Although I’ve only heard two of his songs, Spokane, Washington rapper Vibe has impressed me with his linguistic stylings. With these two songs, he’s proved that he is legit and his skills are at the level of any emcee out there. He’s definitely a star on the rise.
If you check out his Myspace page, he’s got “Speakeasy” and “Midnight Daydreams”. Both very different in meaning, but equally impressive. His rap flow is very methodic and smooth. He’s taken words on paper, combined them with great beats, and made it into rap you can chill to, regardless of your race or sex.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Vibe about his love of music and life as an emcee.
Ryan: I’m here with upcoming rap artist Vibe. First, I want to thank you for being a part of Hmoodle.
Vibe: No problem thanks for having me.
Ryan: For our readers who aren’t that familiar with you, can you give them some background information about yourself?
Vibe: Well, I’m a first generation Hmong-American, born and raised in Spokane, WA. I rhyme words and arrange sounds. I’m part of a northwest based collective called Badpenmanship, I make up one half of the emcee/producer duo Upperleft Social, I’m also part of a global collective consisting of musicians from the States, the UK, and Japan (we don’t have an official name ), and I have a solo instrumental project called Skyscrapers and Scraped Skies.
Ryan: Sounds like you keep yourself pretty busy. How long have you been rapping and making music?
Vibe: I started rhyming in 8th grade thinking I was a godly battle rapper . I later used what I learned from battling to write songs. When I started making music I realized I needed beats. Not just beats on the net, but original stuff. So, I started playing around with beat programs and what not. I honestly can’t claim to be a producer though; I’m still new to this stuff even though it’s been a few years.
Ryan: I know you have just a couple of songs on your Myspace page. Can you tell us about those songs and the meaning behind them?
Vibe: Midnight Daydreams was a track I did with Fidel Cashflow, who’s a producer/emcee from London. The track is just about being a dreamer and making moves nobody expected. Speakeasy which was produced by Zack Austin (formerly known as Nitsua) was supposed to be on his debut album. Nujabes, who is a legend in the jazzhop scene as well as Zack’s boss rejected the song from the album though . The song is about being drunk in a bar while a broken hearted girl is performing a sad song. While she sings, out of loneliness, I fall in love with her song. The story to it is fiction, but we all feel lonely every now and then.
Ryan: Are you currently working on more songs or an album?
Vibe: Yeah, I’ve been working on songs along with my producer buddy M3tta4 for our Upperleft Scoial album titled Touch Foundation. We do not have a deadline which is good and bad . I’m also working on another short album featuring various producers from my music family and I’ve been working on tunes for the Skyscrapers and Scraped Skies project. So yeah, I’m pretty busy.
Ryan: Which rappers inspire your work?
Vibe: I listen to a variety of emcees so just to name a few I would say Slug of Atmosphere, Geo of Blue Scholars, Bambu and Denizen Kane be.
Ryan: I love Atmosphere as well since they are local to Minnesota. If you could perform with any act, who would it be any why?
Vibe: That’s a tough one. I think it would be pretty cool to have a show with all of the emcees I’m affiliated with since I got some folks from the UK and Japan along with dudes from the States.
Ryan: Who are some of your favorite Hmong/Asian artists?
Vibe: Being from the Northwest, I didn’t grow up around Hmong music but if I had to name a Hmong musician I like it would be Fres. For Asian musicians in general I really dig Geo from Blue Scholars, Native Guns, Tiger JK, Denizen Kane and Shing02.
Ryan: Are you performing any time soon where our readers can come check you out live?
Vibe: I currently don’t have any upcoming shows, but when I do perform it’s got to be local. I don’t have money to fly around . I really just do shows when a venue or someone hits me up to do a set
. Ryan: What can we expect from Vibe in the next year?
Vibe: The Upperleft Social EP, my solo EP, collabo tracks, and maybe my instrumental album.
Ryan: Where can our readers check out your music online?
Vibe: I know Myspace is pretty dead now, but you can check it there at www.myspace.com/vibeself
Ryan: Any last words for our readers?
Vibe: I want to first thank Hmoodle for promoting Hmong music and contributing to our community. Boys and girls- saying you have pride doesn’t mean sh*t if you’re not doing anything for your people, so do something! Shout outs to my fam- we stay locally global. I also want to thank the few supporters who listen to my music and actually understand why I say what I say. It really means a lot to me. Much love to everyone worldwide.
As you can see, Vibe is a rapper making moves. Moves that will ensure that his name is remembered. Success is definitely in the now and in his future. I look forward to seeing more tracks of his produced and see if they can match up to his two current songs. Its one thing to make a couple impressive tracks, but to compile a whole LP that is great, is another. I have a feeling he is up to the task.
I definitely recommend you check out his Myspace and show support. Vibe’s music is definitely worth listening to. As you can tell, I’m already a fan. I look forward to the release of more music and reviewing it here on Hmoodle.
If you have any questions, comments in regards to this article or would like to be a featured music artist, email me at [email protected] (Ryan Madland)