Interview by Mr. Owl.
Today lady's and gentlemen's i'm proudly presenting you, hailing from Memphis, Tennessee
the masterful lyricism: Virghost Memphiasco
1.(Mr.Owl) First and foremost, who is Virghost Memphiasco?
(Virghost Memphiasco) I am a Emcee/Spoken Word Artist from The Bluff City, Memphis, Tennessee representing my SQUAD., Point Blank Entertainment. I am a father, husband, brother, son, and Human Being that just happens to be blessed with the gift of poetry. Above all, Virghost is a POET...which sums up all of that in one word.
2. When and why did you decided to start rapping?
I always wanted to rap since I was a freshman in High School, but I was too scared to spit my rhymes to anyone so I would just write my raps down on paper and call it poetry. It was my way to escape all of the negative things that I was going through at the time...a way to get things off my chest. I would let people read them and they would ask me why I wasn't rapping and encourage me to start. I didn't actually start rapping until 2008 after my cousin and fellow Memphis Emcee Knowledge Nick asked me to do a Spoken Word intro to his first mixtape "The Appetite for Knowledge." The track was called "Food 4 Thought." After I recorded the track I overheard one of the tracks that was going on his project called "Higher Ground." The original version featured Nick and his Memphis Boy production lablemates Quake the Great, Fever (formerly known as Novacane), and Memphis Boy Productions CEO Brandon "901" Paige. I was so in love with the beat that I asked Nick to let me hop on, and he said yeah. So I wrote and recorded my first 16 a couple of days later. 901 was so impressed with my first that he put on his label and from there the rest was history.
3. What are your future projects and what can we expect for 2011- 2012 ?
Right now I'm working on a new project entitled "Innermission Intuitions." I named it that because it's like my loose thoughts in-between my last album and my next album. It's not an album itself, but it's also not a mixtape...I don't know what to call it. I guess it's more like an experiment. It's totally different from my last release, "The Memphiasco" because it goes more "outside the box." On "The Memphiasco" I took you around the world. On "Innermission Intuitions" I'm taking you to another galaxy! This project also has more guest features than The Memphiasco and new producers. It's gonna be EPIC I promise. I'm also planning a BIG Hip-Hop show here for the Memphis Hip-Hop scene in February..."The Memph-Hop Winter Jam." Guaranteed to be THE best Hip-Hop show of 2012 in Memphis. And I plan on pushing the SQUAD. brand heavily this year. And if you don't know what that means, then you WILL know soon!!!
4. What about touring, do you plan to do a tour outside the states?
Oh most definitely!!! I just booked a show in Nashville for next month and I'm working on Little Rock, Indianapolis, and Atlanta. I've done a shows in Indianapolis and Oklahoma City before a couple of years back and both cities showed me mad love...Can't wait to get back on the road again. Hopefully we can make that Canada trip happen! lol
5. What are your thoughts, on the Hip-Hop scene right now!
Well, if we are talking about Memphis, as a whole I think that the scene here is doing pretty well. There are a lot of dope Emcees in our city making a lot of local and national noise. The only problem I have is when "certain emcees" in the city place themselves on these imaginary pedestals like they are signed to Def Jam or Interscope or something...I hate when artists proclaims to be things like "Gods" or "Kings" when they have accomplished absolutely nothing . They got this false sense of celebrity when in actuality they are only local starving artists. Egos can be a mothafucka in small city like Memphis. But other than that...I really like what's going on in Memphis as far as Hip-Hop is concerned. On a national level, I think that we are witnessing a "New Golden Era" of Hip-Hop. There are SO MANY dope new artists coming out right now...Artists like Kendrick Lamar and the whole Black Hippy Movement, Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf, A$AP Rocky...man it's so many!!! There is mos def a change going on in Hip-Hop right now and I love it!
6. Who and what are your inspiration to making music?
My biggest inspiration has to be my wife and kids. They give my art purpose and reason. Before I got married and had kids I just rapped to prove a point; to show people that I am a dope emcee. Nowadays, I don't care about any of that. I'm just trying to bring a positive message to the world through my art. Outside of my family, I would have to say Nas and Marvin Gaye. I think that they are the two dopest artists of all-time. Locally, I think that my biggest inspiration has to be my SQUAD., Point Blank Entertainment. The talent and competition within our group most definitely driven me become the Emcee that I am today.
7. What have been the ups and downs since you started making music?
I think that my biggest down musically was December 2009 and the whole year of 2010. I went on an unwanted hiatus. My lights in my apartment had just got cut off. My wife (fiance at the time) had to move with her sister and I had no where to go so I slept in my cold apartment during a time when the temperature in Memphis was below zero. Me and my wife eventually moved with my parents until we got on our feet but that didn't last long at all. Me and my dad don't get along staying in the same house so you know how that goes. As far as the highs go, I've had so many. My album release was probably the most special thing because I worked so hard and put my all into the album and the show.
8. Recently you released a project called "The Memphiasco",how was the project received?
It was received extremely well in my city. I got way more feedback than I expected. I had so many people calling me, messaging me, coming up to me at shows telling me how they really like my album. I even had a couple of people tell me that my album was the best album they had heard this year anywhere! One dude posted a status on his Facebook page saying that the only albums he's been listening to was J. Cole's "Cold World," Wale's "Ambition," and Virghost's "The Memphiasco." I was like, damn! It felt good to be mentioned with national artists like that.
8.5 What was the first lp/cd/cassette and or mixtape you ever bought
with your own money?
Man I don't even remember. I think I bought Mos Def's "The New Danger" and Talib Kweli's "Beautiful Struggle." Before that, I was just bootlegging everything I listened to. lol
9. How do you spoil yourself?
To be honest, I can't spoil myself anymore because I'm too busy spoiling my daughters. But, when I do get a chance I like to vibe and listen to music and smoking on a clove cigarette.
10. Talk about your hometown (Memphis)?
I love my city. I know a lot people have a lot of bad things to say about it but all in all, I like living here. It has it's ups and downs. It has it's ignorance and stupidity, but it also has good down to earth people and a rich music history. I wouldn't claim any other city over. AND YA SAY BLUFF CITY!!!!
11. Who's been supporting you in your career?
The three main people that I can say that have supported me to the fullest since day one is my wife Megan Somerville, my cousin Sonya Somerville, and my SQUAD.bro Denario "Yayo" Dodson. They have always been there with me on this roller coaster ride critiquing me and showing me encouragement, keeping me levelheaded and on my toes.
12. What do you think his overrated in the rap game?
I think that Odd Future is TOTAL overrated. Tyler the Creator is all right but the rest of them niggaz is wack!!! I also think that a couple of artists from Memphis that get a lot of shine on the local and national stage are VERY overrated but I won't get on that. Don't want to ruffle nobodies feathers.
13. Who do you think is the best producer alive?
It's hard to really say that there is a "best" producer because there are so many great ones with so many different styles. But I will say that my two favorite producers are 9th Wonder and 40.
14. Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what
would you serve them + what music would you play?
Dr. King. I would server him a Tostinos Pizza and play the whole Memphiasco album. lol
15. Thank you for taking the time out to speak to us, any final Thoughts?
Yeah make sure you check out my music on my Bandcamp page at http://virghostmemphiasco.bandcamp.com/
And get at me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VirghostPoet
And oh yeah..... SQUAD.
Dope music/Hip-Hop by Virghost Memphiasco.