The great thing about interviewing a high school friend is catching up. The bad thing about interviewing a high school friend is you spend majority of the time laughing and cracking jokes.
Van Buren: Do you prefer artist or rapper?
Aye Verb: Artist, because an artist creates. I can create a moment in my mind. I can create a picture. It’s a form of artistry.
Van Buren: Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
Aye Verb: I always knew I could put words together. I have a gift of rhyming, putting things, thoughts and words together that aren’t supposed to rhyme. I would always hear things differently, even when I was younger. I’ve always loved music. I remember buying my first Another Bad Creation tape. I was cussed out by my mama. Then when I came in the house with Bone Thugs In Harmony she damn near through holy water on me. I’ve just always loved all kinds of music. I used to love Shelia E.
Van Buren: Musically, what are your biggest influences, who are your favorite artists?
Aye Verb: Are you asking of all time? Or of now?
Van Buren: Period. We’ll do all time.
Aye Verb: Of course Jay-Z, Tupac, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Method Man and Redman. I like Drake, Pusha T, and J. Cole. I like rappers that think like Kendrick Lamar.
Van Buren: What do you think of the current state of the hip hop scene ?
Aye Verb: I think it’s a different era. It’s a different expression. I can’t say it’s wack. It’s just not for me. It’s they’re on expression. These kids now grew up different. They cling to certain things that I don’t understand. When I was growing up if you wore something with a strap across it and put it around yo chest, that’s a purse. It’s definitely a different time.
Van Buren: So you don’t agree with rappers wearing dresses and feminine hair cuts?
Aye Verb: I think that they should be who they are, but inform they girlfriends of who they are.
Van Buren: Do you consider yourself a role model?
Aye Verb: Clearly. A lot of the young people pull to me. I started big brother classes with a lot of these kids. They ask for a picture I give them my number and say hit me up. I try to stay close to them so they can understand. I’m popular, I’m not famous and I want them to understand that. One time I was pumping some gas and a lil dude came up “OMG! Verb what you doing out here?” I said, “I need some gas. The gas ain’t gone pump itself.”
Van Buren: Are you working on anything new?
Aye Verb: I’m looking to drop a tape December 4th. The feel or vibe of this tape is real inspirational. It’s going to be a sort of handbook for young people.
Van Buren: Can you describe your style of rap, Who influenced your style?
Aye Verb: Very driven, explosive, artsy, thought provoking.
Van Buren: Who would you credit to influencing your style?
Aye Verb: According to XXL I’m unique.
Van Buren: How do you separate yourself from other artists?
Aye Verb: I usually don’t listen to their product until it’s done. I try to do things that they’re not doing.
Van Buren: Tell me about a really successful or a high point in your career.
Aye Verb: I’ve had many. One of my favorites was when Big Daddy Kane brought me out on stage. He’s only done that for Jay-Z. And now me. He brought me out and said I was one of the best lyricist in the game and the future of hip hop.
Aye Verb has appeared on MTV, BET and FUSE. A St. Louis, Mo. native with the underground battle skills to handle his own, putting him in the ring with A-Kaza, Jimz, The Saurus and countless others.