Monday, November 28, 2011


1.Wassup Verse Essential!!  So how is the music world treating you?
Can you pinch me to check if I'm still dreaming. Haha! What's good yo! I'm having the time of my life. Things have been crazy and time is moving so fast. Before I was a rap artist, the days would move so slow but time is flying. It's unbelieveable. My debut INGENIOUS: Deluxe Edition is doing well and I'm getting a lot of positive feedback from my work on the Empire Nation Vol. 1 & 2 mixtapes. To make a long story short, I'm blessed bro.

2. Where did you get your rap name from?
Back when I was in high school, I used to go by the name Versatile. I feel old telling you this. Haha. But everybody started calling me Verse for short and that stuck. Plus I was getting bored with the name Versatile anyway. Later on when I was in college, I added Essential to my name and that was it. The funny thing about my name that I never talk about is the word VERSE is actually an acumen that stands for: Verbally-Enhanced-Renewed-Sound-Emigna. I added Essential to my name because I truly feel that i'm making music that is essential for us like food, clothing and shelter. Plus, I wanted to go by a name that is unique and something that I'll never have to change. Luckily, I chose wisely.

3. You were born in the birth place of hip hop Bronx,NY but you represent Queens, what other Queens MCs have you collaborated with?
Honestly, only two. My homies Science and Jus Daze.  All the other emcees I been blessed to work with are from Brooklyn and other places.  I haven't gotten my chance to work with more people from Quueens but judging by the furious pace I'm going, that will happen soon enough. You'll just have to wait and see.

4. Who are your favorite Queens rappers?
Too many to name but the ones on top of list are: Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Run-D.M.C., Mobb Deep, Onyx, L.L. Cool J, Infamous Mobb, 50 Cent, Organized Konfusion, Capone-n-Norega, Dj Marly Marl, Lost Boyz, Royal Flush, Ja-Rule, and Cormega just to name a few.

5. What direction do you see hip hop going in?
That depends on what the people want to hear. Hip-Hop has gone from being Gangsta to Bling Bling to Crunk to Horrorcore and so on and so on. It all depends on what the people demand this music to be. So you see the biggest variable that determines the direction this music goes is one thing: US. But no matter what direction Hip Hop goes, you have to be you no matter what and not allow yourself to get too far caught in the most current direction it's going. It's essential for a good rap artist to leave room to be themselves and not get too caught up in the trends.

6. I noticed you are apart of a group called Empire Nation and y'all just released a Mixtape called Empire Nation Vol.2, how did you connect with the group
Well for starters, I been friends with Access Immortal for many years and he always talked about forming a squad of really dope talented emcees to make a major impact on the music industry as a whole.  So when things started coming together and Empire Nation became a reality, it was a no brainer for me to be a part of it. And having Access Immortal, J.D. Nero, Fess Gotchu, Jukstapose and Dayz Da Empora as crew mates, it's a dream come true for me. That's why I did the song "Nobody Stopping Us" off of Empire Nation Vol.2 to show the world that we are here to stay and that nothing can stop us.  Doing songs as a member of Empire Nation keeps me on my toes because I'm witnessing first hand all the dope styles that my other crew members have. The bottom line is this: It's important to be a part of a dope crew because if your crew is trash, you'll be considered trash yourself no matter how dope you are. Remember, from your company, you shall be known.

7. If you had to label your rap style, what would your rap style be called?
To tell you the truth, I hate labeling my music because when you label yourself, you are instantly putting yourself in a category that the world will know you by and nothing else unless you can show the world that you are capable of doing things outside of your category. From day one, I didn't want to be just labeled as an underground or commercial rapper. I hate it when people refer to me by those terms. My music has no label. It's just quality Hip Hop music. Plain and simple. Just take a look at it like this: the majority of successful hip hop artists that label themselves from the get-go do well in their category but after a while when things start to slow down and their star starts to fall, they then have to step outside of what they labeled themselves to be in order to have further longevity in their career. And that alone is the reason why I don't like to label my music because labeling takes away the one thing you need to survive as a hip hop artist: Growth!

8. You also just released your album called "Ingenious", so who do you have featured on your album?
To answer that question, I must talk about my brother Access Immortal. When I quit making music in 2006, he kept telling me not to quit, keep trying and one day things will pull through. I got back music in 2009 and it's the best decision I ever made.
Other artists I worked with on this album are Vast Aire from Cannibal Ox, Swave Sevah, Fess Gotchu, Jukstapose, EverGreen One, C-Rayz Walz and Project Gotham just name a few.  I must give acknowledgment to Big Kidz Entertainment.  They are responsible for the amazing artwork for my album. I still get goosebumps every time I look at it. I'll never forget what I first said when I saw my album cover for the first time and it was "Verse, You have arrived". I'll never forget that day.

9. Who are some of the producers you worked with on the album?
I worked with producers from all over the world like Juan Lobo, Dj Kev West, Karniege, Dj Ruckspin, P.Stacks & Laws Spoken just to name a few. But the one producer I must give full praise to that gave me my head start and my sound is Todd Sykes.  It was through his sound that helped me develop into the artist that I am today. Todd's beats were a platform for me to express the power in my lyrics. I'm forever grateful to him and all the other producers I worked with on this album. Remember people, you can have the dopest rhymes around but if your beats don't connect with those dope rhymes, your message will never get across to the listener. Trust me! My music's living proof to this.

10. Are there any projects you have coming out for the near future?
Oh you and the world is not ready for what I'm about to release from the cage in 2012. First of all, I'm a part of ART FORM REJECTS which is Che.Sko, Noyz and myself: Two producers, One Emcee..  Our debut album, BLOOD WRITTEN IN INK will be released early 2012. We will begin shooting our first video for our debut single PROTOTYPE early 2012 as well. The first half of 2012 will be all about ART FORM REJECTS. This project is the darker side of Verse Essential.  A lot of eyebrows will be raised with this.
The second half of 2012, I will be releasing my long anticipated 2nd album  "I'm Not Supposed To Be Here". My 2nd album is a diary telling my secrets, feelings and tribulations of my life and where I want to go. I'm gonna straight up tell you like I told everyone else, if you think INGENIOUS Deluxe Edition is hot, you have no idea what's coming you way with Art Form Rejects and my 2nd album. I'm working super hard and the to the fucking top is where I'm headed. My goal as a hip hop artist is to make Verse Essential more than just a name. I want it to be a brand.

11. It's been a pleasure man, let the music world know where to find you at and shout out to all your peoples!!!
The feeling's mutual bro. Thank you so much for this interview. You can follow me on twitter @verseessential and on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube as Verse Essential. My album Ingenious Deluxe Edition is available for purchase at iTunes,, Amazon, or through me directly.
My album is also available for purchase at along with the Empire Nation Vol. 2 as a free download. Don't forget subscribe to me on YouTube so you can be kept up to date with all the new videos from me and my crew. Big shout out and much love to my Empire Nation Family: Access Immortal, Fess Gotchu,Jukstapose, J.D. Nero and Dayz Da Empora. Lots of hugs and kisses to my queen Tiff. And much love to all the fans all over the world that support my music and my Art Form Rejects Family: Che.sko and Noyz. A.F.R all day y'all.
And to all the up and coming emcees in the game today, I will leave you with one simple but crucial piece of advise and that is: Be Yourself.  Don't try to sound like someone else, just be you. That's all there is to it. The moment you stop believing is the moment you will fall. I'm
out y'all.