East coast hip hop is unmistakable. There’s something about Guru, Premier and Wu Tang that fills me with an indescribable sense of pride. Today I bring you Veeay, a Pennsylvania MC who embodies the timbs and baggy jeans ethos of ’96. He rhymes over beats that pay homage to the classics without sounding like a badass swinging for the fences.
Recently, the Temple University scholar spoke with Shiny Glass Houses to school us on his fantastic tape Speak Easy, smoking with the gods, and how he approaches the art of murdering the perfect beat.
SGH: How long have you been rhyming? Speak Easy sounds like the end result of someone who really studies and loves the game.
Veeay: I’d say I’ve been rapping for about 6 years. I didn’t really start recording until I was around 18, but I was always writing low-key though.
SGH: Your tape flows, I really appreciate the beat selection. How do you pick the sounds that end up songs?
Veeay: Everything is mostly spontaneous on how I’m feeling that day in the studio. I’m definitely picky with drums though; everything stays true to my early hip hop influence for the most part. But when I recorded Speak Easy I didn’t really intend on making it have a nostalgic feel to it. It wasn’t until I cut 3-4 tracks.
SGH: How much does the east coast influence you? I hear a lot of gritty 90’s NYC in your work.
Veeay: Definitely. I grew up on early Nas, Jay, Gang Starr, etc. I remember first getting hype on DJ Premier beats when I saw Josh Kalis’ part in the DC video, because me and all my homies skated back then.
SGH: If you could smoke with two rappers to pick their brains, living or dead, who would they be?
Veeay: Probably someone I see as a true connoisseur like B-Real from Cypress Hill and Snoop because those dudes are the real OG’s to the whole smoker scene before it became a fad. They probably get the best OG too.
SGH: What’s the next chapter? You’re pretty DIY right now, but the next level seems to be a few minutes away.
Veeay: The tape is still moving so people are just catching wind of it. But as of now, I’m just starting to get more shows in and out of state. I’m just trying to stay independent, keep pushing music and visuals out, and trying to kill the blog game because I know that’s key being an indie artist. Hopefully form a tour with my homies The Bakery Boys soon enough, that would be epic. Go peep them if you haven’t.
SGH: I appreciate your time, and I have to ask… what’s your drink of choice?
Veeay: I’d say Bombay and Simply Lemonade or any of the other flavors they got out now. In terms of non-alcoholic shit, probably green tea or water. ——-
Stream and download the tape at http://www.datpiff.com/Veeay-Speak-Easy-mixtape.484623.html. Veeay is officially on the radar. The kid’s ill, write nice with the pencil.