“X FILES” Philly based artist V.I The Spice Lord talks influence, voting, upcoming projects & more

X Files is a blog from Hip Hop Party for the People president Pili X which includes interviews, Album reviews, editorials and more.

My first X Files blog is a interview I did with artist V.I The Spice Lord. I worked with Spice on two of the songs I did last year and he’s someone I will most definitely work with again in the future. While the philly rap scene is filled with artist who are trying to fit in to whats hot right now Spice is one that won’t be a victim to following what everyone else is doing musical.

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PX: How has the way you were brought up as a child effected and influenced your music?

V.I: I was raised in a single parent household my mom didnt do things most women she grew up with did she was different to say the least she was a rebel and she always believed in the power of god and the human heart. I would hear my mom sing the lyrics to artist like vanity 6 morris day and the time prince and the revolution Sheila E And Madonna. I remember seeing the posters of prince surrounding her bed room and just being so interested in this very different looking man with such a profound voice and influence on my mom I grew a interest in his style and character. I wasnt raised in a home of much hiphop that was discovered very later on in life my roots revolve around 80’s pop and punk the original and pioneers of it to be exact.

PX: Speaking of influences who are some of your influences?

V.I: Haha Well Definitely The Legend That Is The Artist Formerly Known As Is a big influence on me ! I can spend all day about reasons why I love and admire the work of Prince. I drew alot of influence from Carlos Santana and The Isleys brothers The Spinners And Stylistics these are all the sounds I would hear early in life and they still resonate very heavily in my creative process towards music and art. My grandmother mother of 5 a down south women for sure strong willed very spiritual church going women taught me and instilled alot of the respect I have for women and molding me into the man I am now she was my everything and I miss her dearly. I love the work of Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Biggie Smalls, Robert Nesta Marley, Ghost Face Killah, Gza, Styles P, Mobb Deep I was influenced by no one genre or no one artist I have a open ear and I draw my inspiration from hearing a persons story be told over words piano keys frets and high hats its the instruments that attracted me in alot more times than the actual person but the list for it is huge and endless.

PX: Your updates on twitter and Facebook are althen about being positive, showing love, and peace. With so much opposing all of of those how do you maintain the same attitude?

V.I: I would say its more than maintaining the attitude its making it actual and showing people that making a goal to have 3 people smile and 4 laugh every day and recieve the blessings is not talk its actual and at times I feel that Im not even attempting to genuinely BE positive but just BE real BE human and support, influence, inspiration, love, and concern for life around us is what makes us human is what separates us from the beast and even animals show heart. I mean to say Im a saint would be a bold lie I have done bad I have hurt people but most importantly I have hurt myself many times being negative and my choices as do many of us didnt set in until things for me hit a very stagnant point. I have been homeless I have been without food money and many things I used to take for nothing and appreciate nothing. It was in these very dark times in my life not long from now that I realized that even without so much that I once had I still can remain sane and not let these times influence me to pick up guns again or start to rob and steal and con people again. I used to be a swerve artist as some people in philly token the phrase for someone who gets over on people and keeps it moving. Thats foul and after alot of self evaluation and cold nights on the street I no longer wanted anyone to fall into the lazarus pit I found myself in I got out of that runt quickly and although my situation in life remained the same my outlet became more positive more genuine I found myself appreciating being alive and looking forward to living. I was being so comfortable with being uncomfortable it became comforting … and thats a bad mind set to be in alot of brothers / sisters men women decrease or rather become desensitized towards life in those instances and while only god can honestly say why it is I realized this I do know how I did this recovery and it was through and iron will and burning determination to inspire and motivate this unification amongst the masse of people whom feel no way out is there and no way in is possible its all in the mind the biggest challenge for anyone in life is getting past the ego of whats taboo or whats not gonna look right to everyone else. I decided to set a trend of peace and share the insights I found in my days on the streets in a place half way between insanity and clarity.

PX: What type of artist are you? What type of music do you do?

V.I: I am the huey p newton of hip hop but without any sort of ties to one particular group of people or association I am the peoples artist I am the messiah of love I am cupid with a microphone and a pair of thrift store skinny jeans. I do music that invokes the mind and inspires inquiry and represents for the 1% the old heads that cannot listen to so they have been popularly tokened ”the new school” artist which is why there is a funny phrase I use that goes like this ” the new old school” haha real funky name I came up with to describe my general thoughts towards my music its new its definitely not rakim and eric b ( r.i.p the legend Eric B ) but its old school hip hop that feel good like will smith summer time thats timeless because it feels great and inspires individuality like summer may mean something different to you then will describes in his classic but to someone else it maybe something else all together its applicable to all audiences which makes it timeless. I believe I have a timeless sound and I have an open ended almost philosophical approach towards musical concepts and ideas for my writing.

PX: As a resident of philly what do you think can be done and/or needs to be done about current problem of violence?

V.I: I know personally for a fact that alot of the crime being commited out here in philly isnt being done by dummys these people are smart and they know whats up they know that we are congesting the prisons with semi geniuses that have gone rouge gone dummy for materialistic things or honestly just to live. And as much as it brings a tear to my eyes for the victims  of these heinous crimes but the actually muh fuckas doing it aw man its saddening because I know they really honestly felt as though they had no other option or really found themselves in such a dark place that no light reached to them and if it did it wasnt bright enough I wish I could have met them maybe they would have felt differently towards life. I believe what can be done is deep and very drawn out will take time to completely end crime here in philadelphia or anywhere for that matter but the violence especially the violence being commited amongst the youth can stop by giving these young brothers and sister a better outlet to express themselves more art and music being taught in school more focus on the individual it seems when people feel they are not apart of the scene they lash out against it and get lost in this action and before they know it they are arrested for something that was just a good idea at the time. Its a shame but it will end and the people are smart they just need some light to darken those dim mind sets I have faith in my knuckle heads young and old its never too late to wake up unless you get put to sleep for good and thats when obviously and unfortunately its too late.

PX: What are your views on voting?

V.I: I myself am a registered voter in the state of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Municipal and I believe its important its making yourself aware of what these big heads in office are doing theyre some who are genuine theyre some who are fake but you would never know nor understand the difference unless you took the time to look into some politics. Everything in america is politics to not understand and have control over that is almost as if your saying ” hey look at me im here in this country but I dont want to be free” we already clinge onto whatever freedom we do have so imagine how caged you must make yourself by not voting ? I encourage everyone with the physical ability to vote to speak up voice the opinion and hit the ballets whenever possible.

PX: do you think HipHop should play a bigger row in politics?

V.I: I believe hiphop itself has its own different view towards politics most times hiphop has generated a ruckus amongst congress and authority for attacking the system and I mean shit it was once a time when it was a group of young brothers from compton who went by the name Niggas With Attitude and would like to wear all black and make songs titled ” fuck the police” hahaha I mean shit hiphop and politics dont mix well and thats because maybe they are too different spectrums both very influential on the people who get into them and follow the rules of each side but honestly and personally I feel like it should be addressed more in music in general because its no since in pretending that politics isnt important and being a rebel without a cause isnt going to effect anything it pretty pointless to be honest. Have a justification for your out cry and have a strong point and maybe people in congress and higher places in this country would actual take us seriously because they maybe laughing at us and if so they have been for a long time.

PX: I’m rap this up with what can we expect from you this year? What do you have planned?

V.I: I have 3 different mixtapes I have planned for this year and a limitless amount of singles I hope to have out inbetween each release. I cannot say at this time due to studio restraints and many other factors keeping me away from its delivery at the moment but everyone can expect ”different” and something that possibly no other philadelphia artist has ever done and at this time I cannot say exactly what that is but everyone will see and hear for themselves exactly what I have up my tiny sleeves hahaha. Im working closely with Pili X and P.S.A malachi mile hy, My Own Earth Quake and I am also not officially apart of yet at this time but also with BASED world studios and the seattle based producer keyboardkid206. Alot to be looking forward to this year and as random of a guy as I can be my music can be even more random and spontaneous so dates changes often and things get pushed back but expect my first tape L.I.F.E The Earth Tape To Be Released By Earth Day 2012 Thats LOVE IS FOR EVERYONE also my very hyped and most popular discussed release Show Your Love The Peace Tape Expect that during the 2nd quarter of this year as well as Spicey Tuna Rolls The Sukiyaki Tape Which is going to be my trip-hop glitch tape hosted by AGENT ZERO of Psy Fi Productions Yeah we doing alot over here this year and this will be the most positive bringing a philadelphia artist has ever done. The first BASED artist out of the East Coast I have alot in my corner at the moment and the determination to do it has increased my patience in my releases so dont worry no more stressed out facebook statues and tweets bitchin about my studio time. Imma give the poeple something to hate and show them something to love while making them cry all at the same time I dont think anyone has ever done that. Much Love And Respect to you I appreciate you taking the time to sit down and have this discussion with its beautiful to be able to speak freely amongst like minds and share insights with those new to this. As always I love you and I wish everyone the best life they can live its the only one we have. Peace up with both hands !

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Follow V.I The Spice Lord
www.twitter.com/vithespicelord

Follow Pili X
www.twitter.com/PILI_X

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