From his first album, “Animate the Lifeless,” to “21117,” and his current one, “Life Through My Dark Shades,” Jay Verze is an artist that continues to break the stereotype and carry the torch that lets us know Hip Hop is not dead. He has been featured in the Baltimore Sun as one of Baltimore’s top 5 promising rappers as well as Hype Magazine and has opened up for the rapper Cam’ron. Now headlining his first show, Jay Verze is proving that with hard work and dedication all things are possible. I had the pleasure of interviewing the young artist back in 2012, and I had the pleasure of doing so again after his show for No Preset Unplugged. Needless to say we had some catching up to do.
Eshet: First let me say this was my first time seeing you perform and I really enjoyed the show. So what has occurred since David Ruffins? (David Ruffins was the name of one of Jay Verze’s singles he released).
Jay Verze: What has happened since than umm a lot like life. 2012 I was still in high school; I hadn’t lived yet. Now with this project I think it show… I try to display growth needed as person and as an artist. With every project I make is like where I am in life and it’s like a perfect way to display my life right now.
Eshet: The new album, let’s talk a little bit about your new album. The title is really catchy and it seems like you had a lot on your mind; a lot that you want to say so can you talk about that?
Jay Verze: I tried to get more in depth with my work; my lyrical ability. The main goal for this project was I was trying to have fun. I was trying to have fun. That was really me. 21117 (Two Eleven Seventeen) I think… I feel like it was too; I don’t want to say like industry ready because of course you have to be like upward compared to like the big people. But I was focused too much on trying to be like; to compare to the people in the industry instead of doing just me you know. I definitely tried to show depth with this project more than the last one.
Eshet: So how does it feel to headline your first show? Now I can see that you were excited and it showed your performance.
Jay Verze: Yeah. I remember doing shows like the five seasons, Fish Head Cantina and for those who don’t know that’s in Baltimore. Umm and I just remember doing shows and nobody showing up. So like to see people out there to come see me is really humbling to me no doubt; lets me know that I am going in the right direction.
Eshet: So if they keep doing this will you always headline the show?
Jay Verze: No they have different headliners like every show. So yeah this was my show and I just dropped the project so it was perfect timing.
Eshet: Okay so Cheike and Rickie Jacobs you all have songs together on the album correct?
Jay Verze: Me and Rickie have the song called “Crown” and me and Cheikh has two songs back to back called “Hollywood” and “Life Through My Dark Shades.”
Eshet: You have a video coming out in about two weeks; “Crown,” Right?
Jay Verze: Uhh I am not even sure when we will drop it. I want to drop it earlier than that but I want to drop it ASAP but I don’t have like a date on it yet but it’s done.
Eshet: Where can people go to download your album?
Jay Verze: Livemixtapes.com, http://www.audiomack.com and Jayverze.com.
Eshet: So you do have any shows coming up correct?
Jay Verze: Yeah, can’t really speak to much about it….
Eshet: Okay so what other shows have you done?
Jay Verze: I did Afram (African American Heritage Festival) last year. I did some festival in DC, I forget the name. The shows coming up, one is in DC that’s like a hint right there.
For more information and upcoming shows or events that will be featuring Jay Verze, Click Here!