Sunday, November 30, 2008

The regular hip-hop listener may be quick to dismiss Little Vic as yet another run of the mill rapper; after all his, EP, Each Dawn I Die’s cover art relies on shaky Photoshop work at best. Even if he doesn’t take on the dreaded acronym Lil’, his adopted moniker is so clichéd one could easily shelf him behind the Wayne’s, Scrappy’s and Boosie’s of the saturated rap world. Even more, listeners might involuntarily assume that his Italian heritage might give prominence to superficial Mafioso raps. However, when listeners take in this 11-track effort enveloped within lyrical wizardry and impeccable beats, they will soon find that this is what it sounds like, as I did. Mainstays like Premo and Buckwild provide Vic with worthy instrumentals, but it’s the relative unknowns that make a bigger impression on an assortment of tracks. Sister Morphine for example, produced by Sly Vest, finds Vic cleverly wielding his pen to describe pain against the aforementioned producer’s eerie composition. A single guest feature by the “Kool Genius of Rap”, allows Little Vic to demonstrate his lyrical dexterity, though it seems he has only scratched the surface; as it’s like “[he] hasn’t hit puberty how clear [he] comes…”

I recently chopped it up with this witty NY native. Despite feeling a little under the weather, he was still able to shed some light on himself and his music.

ER: What it is Little Vic, why don’t you start off by letting the readers know where you are from?

Little Vic: I am from Long Island; I am from Five Towns Long Island close to Queens.

ER: What was it like growing up?

Little Vic: It’s quiet. You know I grew up in a real quiet town, called North Woodmere. As far as the hip hop scene, it’s not really big over here, but there’s a couple of towns over and stuff that are really big into hip hop. Saying wise it is big, but as not far as the scene, not as far the performing or artists go.

ER: I know your name is Victor, but why did you opt to go by Little Vic?

Little Vic: (Laughs) Right, right. Well I still get a lot of like-I still get a lot of hate because youknow, the abbreviation. Not even the abbreviation just the prefix. But the reason I use it is because it was my grandfather’s nickname you know in the streets, so I decided to adopt it. I am the third Vic, my grandfather is Vic senior, my father is Vic Junior, and Vic junior, junior, Vic the third. So growing up people always called me little Vic, so…

ER: How would you describe your style?

Little Vic: My style, my style. I am just out there doing what I think is hot. I am not really conforming to any fad or anything like that, I am just trying do what I think is hot. Hopefully people recognize the music for that, what it is - it’s not to follow a trend or anything like that.

ER: Did you face any difficulties as an Italian in the rap game? Did you feel slighted?

Little Vic: Yeah (pauses) I mean you going to get it regardless no matter what you are, youknowhatimean? If I am an Italian rapper I am going to get slighted, just because people look at it. It’s not like- I think that if I was coming out talking about straight mafia shit, shit like that I think that would just be corny, I would be more slighted. I am trying to let it run on lyricism and production alone. Once cats get past, the youknow? (pauses), the whole outer exterior whatever they want to tag you as- usually when they get into the music they forget about all that other nonsense and it comes down to what it’s about.

ER: Who are some of your influences, musically?

Little Vic: Musically as far as lyricism and stuff, I have always been a fan of G Rap, always been a big fan of OC. Naturally, Jay Z, Nas. As for as production goes you know Buckwild, Premo, my man Big K.O., big influence on me ,Pete Rock - all the hard-hitting producers that were influences on the beat scene I mean as far as-you can even go as far as the funk brothers on Motown. They were a big influence on all of us

ER: Why is your EP called Each Dawn I Die?

Little Vic: Well actually, what happened was my first mixtape was from a movie, it was called For A Few Dollars More. I am not even like a movie buff or anything like that. I thought you know for a theme, I am kind of like- I stuck with the theme for the mixtape. So when I was thinking about an album name, someone came to me with a beat and it was labeled track one. Usually I name all the beats people give me so when he, when my boy lunatic gave me a beat-I heard it, and I said, “ you know what this is hot !”, I just named it Each Dawn I Die. So I was like, “it’s not bad because it’s an old movie.” It’s an old movie with James Cagney and he’s dealing will all this shit, he’s in prison and he’s trying to make amends. More or less I just liked the name, it wasn’t really, it turned into what it was, it wasn’t really- It was more or less an idea before we ran with it.

ER: Quite frankly I had never heard of you but when I saw in the credits that you had worked with the likes of Premo, Buckwild and G Rap I felt the need to check it out. How did you hook up with those aforementioned artists?

I hooked up with G Rap through a mutual friend of K.O.’s, Domingo; he made that happen for us. He came down to the lab, you know cool dude, and he made it happen. It was more like a dream come true to work with G Rap, we were all in awe. With Buck, “Buck’s my man.” I speak to Buck on a regular basis. I met Buck through K.O. So me and Buck are more or less youknow? We talk all the time. But working with Buck he’s incredible, he’s just he’s totally on another level; just watching him work I learned a lot of things. As far as premo goes, that was another crazy experience; I still speak to Preem every now and then and hopefully on the next album we will have something together.

ER: What brought about the track Sister Morphine?

Little Vic: Well that track- basically it was crazy how that worked out because I did a quick reference of it, I just did the one verse at first. I was getting good feedback, I was playing it for cats and I just decided to throw a hook on there. When I threw on the hook it started coming together. So I had to change the first verse a little bit and the way it became Sister Morphine is pretty crazy because I had a section open from before I loaded that beat in and with the sample Sister Morphine from the Rolling Stones and what happened was I never changed the session. So when I loaded that beat in I had it saved it as Sister Morphine. So when I reopened it, I said “Oh, Wait”, It didn’t click at first and then I remembered, “Oh yeah ,yeah, yeah, I forgot to close the session.” So when I loaded Sister Morphine up, I did the hook and that song is about more or less- it’s about pain and dealing with pain youknow? in your own way. It does not necessarily mean morphine, like I take morphine youknowhamsayin? But certain people do get that mixed up youknow? But nah it’s just about dealing with pain whatever you gotta do it.

ER: I am feeling the Love Hurts track, “love songs” always nearly seem to be a rappers Achilles heel how were you able to prove otherwise?

John John actually came up with that beat. I went to his crib and he was playing it in the background, I was like, “What is that?” he was like, “Nothing, nothing” like he didn’t even save it, he just had it on pro tools. So I was like, “Yo we got to use that, we got to use that” so I sat down and just came up with the hook right away, like boom! I was going to do it at first just about a girl, you know from a guy’s standpoint. But then I was like, “You know what whatever I will do both”

ER: Anything you want the world to know?

Just be prepared for the next one it’s going to be crazy.


Little Vic- The Exorcist (prod. DJ Premier)

Little Vic- Sister Morphine

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