New Jersey’s ultra emcee and outstanding lyricist Venomous 2000, ahead of his anticipated tour in Europe, caught up with I Am Hip-Hop magazine’s writer Lana Bell to talk about his craft and the Hip-Hop Scene.
Q. How would you describe yourself and the local Hip-Hop scene where you live?
I would describe myself as a humble, patient, hungry artist. By that I mean that I’ve learned how to manuever in this culture in a way that will cause the fewest amounts of headaches for myself, my fellow artists, and my family. I’m a cool, easy, creative person to work with. As far as the Hip-Hop scene in my area, it’s very diverse and over saturated. There are literally hundreds of rappers all trying to get heard. You have these promoters throwing shows, asking artists to pay money for performances; which essentially is geared to have more established rappers to come headline. It’s creating some very interesting showcases that will have the most underground artists mixed in with commerical trap artists and neither is truly interested in hearing the other person’s music!
Q. What inspired you to start freestyling and begin recording your music?
I used to freestyle with one of my older cousin’s who was a member of a rap group called The Deadly Snakes. I wanted to basically be down and like them. We used to play beats and rhyme all day and night. The freestyling eventually transformed to writing. My cousin suggested that I write daily to enhance my freestyle abilities. I stuck with it and continued to develop my craft over the years.
Q. How has your relationship with Hip-Hop music and culture changed through your twenties?
Wow. As a teenager I didn’t have a focus or any particular goals. I was just writing for the sake of getting better. As I began to get better, the realizations of where my music could take and who my music could touch began to grow. I started to meet more and more people that were heavily involved in the culture that taught me many things. I no longer craved the attention from my local scene, but rather sought the attention of those from other parts of the country and world. I realized that investing time and taking risks were an integral part of growing within this culture. I started to take more risks and put myself out there for people to hear, see and critique.
Q. Who are your musical influences, and how have they influenced your material?
I grew up listening to pretty much the same Hip-Hop innovators that we all have; KrsOne, Rakim, Public Enemy, Wu-tang Clan, Juice Crew, etc. I was a fan of Hip-Hop music and was influenced by man emcees. As I began to grow I started listening to a lot more music outside of Hip-Hop. I now find myself listening to mainly Afrobeat…Funk…Soul of the 60’s and 70’s, Reggae, Jazz., and pretty much anything that catches my interest. All of these categories of music have helped my material because they all influence me to write and speak about things that I experience in life. The more sounds and experiences that I am exposed to, I feel that I have new platforms to speak from. I’m still growing as an artist and am looking for inspiration from other inspirational artists out there with phenomenal music to share and teach with.
Q. Do people listen to London rappers over there? What do you know of the London Hip-Hop scene?
Not many of my personal friends listen to emcees from the UK. There doesn’t seem to be an interest for the most part to be honest. I wish there was some more diversity but unfortunately there isn’t. It’s sad because I’ve learned recently after spending some time in London, Luton, and Nottingham this past summer, that the culture of Hip-Hop has been alive and vibrant in the UK for quite some time now. As far as artists I know…I have worked with a few artists from the UK including the likes of JugaNaut, Scorzayzee, Vandal Savage, PhiliNDotz, LayzeeD, TheHipHopFoundation, Pragmatic Theory, Handbook, Yeti, and SkitSlam. They are all good friends and really dope artists. I love connecting with talented individuals from all over the planet! There are some very skillful emcees and producers out in the UK scene! Massive respect to the UK for representing the authentic!
Q. What do you talk about in your music?
LIFE. As simple as that.
Q. What are you up to at the minute as an artist? Are there any tracks/albums you will be dropping soon?
At the current moment I am pushing my latest release “Will To Power” that was released this past summer. I’m currently on mark for a November ten day tour all throughout France with stops in Paris, Lille, Le Harve, Metz, Strasbourg, Orleans and more. Upon the completion of the tour, I plan on shopping the Will To Power album out to a label or collective investor that may be interested in having the project pressed on vinyl. I will be filming a few more videos for the album and will plan a tour in European for Summer 2016 with projected stops in Germany, Czech Republic, Norway, France, Spain, and Italy. During the same time myself and Serbian producer and engineer, Trilian, plan on releasing an album that we have together entitled Sounds Of The Great Ones, that features Inspectah Deck of Wutang, 9th Prince, The Artifacts, The Cella Dwellas, Shabaam Sahdeeq and more. I will also be dropping a secret project with one of Nottingham’s dopest emcees Juganaut. We were able to knock out an album during my last European tour. Finally myself Mansha, DJ EndK, and Architeknic will be working on a Family Spirit album with some crazy dope French backing. I guess I will busy in the next year or so in terms of music.
If you would like to know more about Venomous 2000 please visit Venomous 2000 Bandcamp
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