Features, Interviews

First Day Feature: B.Eveready discusses his ties to Boston/Baltimore, views on battle rap and more

“Throwback Theatre is a project that illustrates the fact that music made with passion & intention is timeless. This collection of songs illuminates my thoughts on some of the injustices I’ve seen, whether they be towards myself, my crew, or my community, and I feel that they speak to the current moment.” – B.Eveready

Born and bred in Boston, now residing in Baltimore, B.Eveready is committed to excellence and is meticulous about the music he makes. His is the rage of “every suited Black man in America, translated through rhyme & rhythm.” A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and a sincere Christian, B’s intelligence & faith permeates his music and informs his perspective on the world. In his productive career, B.Eveready has recorded or performed with The Last Poets, Cappadonna (of the Wu-Tang Clan), Talib Kweli, Jin the MC, Skyzoo, Torae, Red Cafe, Emilio Rojas, Chen Lo, Chaundon, Comp (formerly of Def Jam), Sean-Toure (Fat Beats), and more. I recently got the chance to chop it up with the homie for 1DF:



How does the Boston vibe differ from that of Baltimore, both musically and just the people in general?


Boston is a little more fast-paced in general, but as far as the music scene, it’s very similar. You’ve got your street rappers, your conscious emcees, your turn up cats, and everything in between. What I’ve noticed that’s also similar is that there’s a lack of support for a lot of the independent artists. And not just the public, but there’s not as much of an infrastructure for the creative community. When I was in Pittsburgh, I helped to start a community-based program (The Arts Greenhouse) that worked with my university to bring resources to bear for the kids in the city. And here in Baltimore, Beats Not Bullets is the same type of program that I want to support.



Tell me 3 of your favorite artists from each city and why:



From Boston: Guru (RIP), because Gang Starr pushed the envelope & he didn’t let the city steal his dream. Che Pope, who’s a producer who’s worked with everyone from Lauryn Hill to Dr. Dre to Kanye. He’s just super talented & ill, and he’s been under the radar for the average fan, but those who know, know. And Jidenna – I know his Wikipedia says Wisconsin, but we went to high school together, so I’ll always support the homie. But aside from that, he’s a dope artist & the type of Black man you can respect.



From Baltimore, I gotta say Huli Shallone, because I’ve always felt that he’s Baltimore’s answer to Jeezy, and even though he’s a legend in the city, he should’ve gotten way more shine. King Los, because he’s just an immensely talented emcee. He’s obviously one of the best freestylers ever, and his last 3 or 4 projects have been really dope. And I’ll say Sean-Toure, because he’s another incredibly gifted artist, emcee, producer & he always supports the city & the scene.



I need to look into Huli Shallone. I can totally co-sign the other two. Which city has better food? Haha



Now I’m not gonna fall into that trap, but I’ll say this: Boston has a strong Caribbean community (my family’s from Barbados), so you can get great island food there, and I have fallen in love with Baltimore-style steamed crabs, so there’s good eating in both cities!



Fair enough lol…Where do your loyalties reside as sports fan?



You trying to get me dragged in these streets! Nah, I am a Boston fan first & foremost, so I’m a Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox dude. But I definitely ride with the Baltimore teams when Boston’s not playing!



Ahh man…I’m also a transplant, and my family is from THE BRONX so interview over haha! What do you like about the Baltimore Hip Hop scene? What can we do better?



I love the diversity. I’ve done work with Huli Shallone, Profitt, ThatzD’Nero, Ogun Hurricane The King – all completely different artists who fit into the scene perfectly. As far as what we can do better, I think it’s just a matter of building together more. A lot of us have pockets of support here & there, but if the artists put more shows on together or do more collaborations, we can consolidate that support & make a larger impact. And I’m guilty of it too, so I’m indicting myself as well.



Respect! You’re a veteran; what makes Lineup Room standout as a recording spot?



Man, it feels like home. Brandon Lackey is just a professional who knows what he’s doing. We got a good rhythm after one session, and now we just bust songs out at a nice pace. There’s no extra going on – it’s just about the music. I gotta shout out ARS & Hitman Studios as well, because that’s where I started recording in Baltimore, and I’d still be working with them if I didn’t move.



I’ve put together a compilation project before with some of my best feature verses, what compelled you to put “Throwback Theatre” together?



I’m working on a collaborative project with Mike Body called “We Been Legendary”, and this Coronavirus situation threw everything off. We want to make sure we can present the project in the way we envisioned, so we decided to push it back. I gave myself a goal of releasing 4 projects this year, and I wanted to shine some light on the depth of my catalog. Thus was born “Throwback Theatre”.



Biggest influences in terms of pen:



Nas, Jay-Z, Black Thought, Common, Talib Kweli, Beanie Sigel, Big Pun



Same but for delivery:



Prodigy, Biggie, Black Thought



Continuing to build on that, describe yourself stylistically and as an overall emcee:



Stylistically, it’s hard for me to pin down. I’ve always believed that any emcee worth their salt should be able to rhyme well over any beat, and as different sounds have emerged, I’ve definitely tried my best to adapt & make my own version of these sounds. My flow & delivery will match whatever track I’m on, but in general, I would say I’m high energy with a fluid flow. I give you a little bit of everything: punchlines, metaphors, double entendres, all with an agile cadence. As an overall emcee, I’m focused on pushing positivity, motivation, cultural awareness, and the Word of God. I want to be the spark to a cultural revolution.



I love the ambition homie…Total tangent, but I ask everybody, so I’m gonna need 5 desert island albums:



Reasonable Doubt

It Was Written

Life After Death

Bandana

Good Kid, MAAD City



You’re an “It Was Written” over “Illmatic” guy!? I respect it. “Reasonable Doubt” is one of my favorite albums ever as well. SPEAKING OF LEGACY (sensei of the segue), what is your overall mission as an artist?



My mission is to make people think. I have certain levers I pull & buttons I push to get certain reactions; but ultimately, I just want people to think about their lives, about the world around them, and what they want to do to improve both.



You and I discussed battle culture a bit in our own conversations outside of this. What about battle rap is so appealing to you? Tell me about a few of your favorites, their seminal moments, and what you dig about them:



What’s appealing to me is the intensity of the moment. You’ve got a crowded room hanging on your every word, and if you deliver? They’re going crazy. If you choke, they’re going crazy.



Now I’m old school with my battle rappers, so I’m a big Loaded Lux, Murda Mook, Jae Millz, Serius Jones, Jin The MC, Math Hoffa, Juice, & Real Deal fan. All these dudes have just showed over the years that they have impeccable pens, and that they can rise to the occasion & the challenge when necessary.



Seminal moments? Definitely Lux over Calicoe, Jae Millz vs. Mook, Supernatural vs. Craig G, Supernatural vs. Juice, Joe Budden vs. Hollow Da Don…I could keep going, but there’s only a few battles that are burned into everyone’s minds like these ones.



Is there any truth to “battle rappers don’t usually make good music”?



All those sayings don’t come from nowhere, right? Tsu Surf dropped a great project (Seven 25) last year, so there are definitely those who buck the trend, but it’s hard because making a great song takes a different skill set than writing 3 winning battle rounds, even though there’s some overlap.



I’ve been slacking on listening to Surf’s music, thank you for the reminder. Surf is also a published author; it’s dope he can apply his skill as a writer across the board. Along those same lines and getting academic, how does your formal education inform your creative side?



I studied psychology, so learning about people’s motivations & how people process trauma – all that & more makes its way into my writing at some point.



How did we get to a point where it seems like skill doesn’t matter much anymore? What is the genesis of this? Will things go back the other way? Do any of the “Lils” have staying power?



I think the further away we got from having real organic gatekeepers in the culture, the more democratized music became, and that allowed people to enter who wouldn’t have before. I think the toothpaste is out of the tube in this case, but, the artists who have real staying power have skill. Wale came out in 2009, Cole came out in 2011. Now you’re getting to a decade in the game at a major level, and who’s still around? The GS Boys who did the “Stankey Leg”? YC with “Racks”? And I picked them because they each had a hit in ‘09 & ‘11. But one hit doesn’t make a career. We’ll see who’s got staying power out of the new class of rappers, but you can see what rises above the noise.



Well said, sir. Back to the lyricists: Strongest trait of each Slaughterhouse member:



Joe Budden – Emotional Honesty

Joell Ortiz – Metaphors

Kxng Crooked – FLOW

Royce Da 5’9” – Insight & Creativity – he’s got the best mix of skills that the other 3 excel in



Royce might be the best rapper alive. He put the work in. I know you’re putting the work in. Where are you in 5 years with this? What’s that endgame?



In 5 years, I’ll be a well-known artist touring around the world. The endgame is to open up multiple streams of income and continue to provide the people with great music.



Tell the people anything else they need to know:



Follow me on IG – @b.eveready & Twitter – @BEveready – I try to post motivational content that will help people throughout their day. My tribe is called the Hustleopians, so we always move forward towards our goals. S/o to all the folks that support me – way too many to name, but especially Rich Croce (MC Bravado) for the assist on this press run.

Purchase, add and favorite B.Eveready’s Throwback Theatre at your preferred DSP: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/beveready/throwback-theatre-2

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