B.Eveready’s first EP was entitled “Broken Watch”, because if these rappers knew what time it was, they wouldn’t be making the music they do….or maybe his watch is just broken. Born and bred in Boston, now residing in Baltimore, B draws inspiration from wide-ranging influences, from Hip-Hop greats like Nas and B.I.G., to underground torchbearers like Gangstarr, the Perceptionists and BlackStar; from soul legends like James Brown and Marvin Gaye, to rock icons like Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, and everything in between. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University & a sincere Christian, B’s faith & intelligence permeates his music. In the past, B was half of the Hip-Hop duo, Unknown Prose. In 2004, Unknown Prose’s critically acclaimed, locally recognized debut album, “Knowteworthy”, was released, selling over 3,000 copies. UP subsequently performed in many venues on the East Coast, opening for national acts such as Talib Kweli and Jin the MC, and more regional acts such as Little Egypt, RXC, and Soul Purpose. Now as a solo artist, B has recorded or performed with Cappadonna (of the Wu-Tang Clan), The Last Poets, Skyzoo, Torae, Emilio Rojas, Red Cafe, Chen Lo & The Lo Frequency (U.S. State Dept. world music emissaries), Chaundon, Daru Jones (Drummer for Jack White & The Stripes), Comp (formerly of Def Jam), Sean-Toure (Fat Beats), Gene Stovall, Huli Shallone, Breeze Embalm, Scholarman, and more. The tracks from his “C.P.T.” EP/Mixtape, have been downloaded over 10,000 times, and The “Guns & Butta” EP/Mixtape, “A Cold Summer’s Day” EP and compilation album “#INeedAManager”, have all been well received by critics and fans alike. B is now focused on dropping his 2 new projects,”#GrindSeason” EP & “The Grind Is Beautiful” album. Both are poised to serve notice that B is a member of the upper echelon of MC’s in the game today.
1. What’s good homie? How did you come up with your name?
Peace fam. I got the name from my boy Jason who I used to rhyme with. He noticed that I was always on top of things like studio time, selling merch, etc., and he hit me with it. It just stuck. I’ve always been the one who was ready to jump in a cypher, come up with a business plan – just always ready for whatever.
2. We hear a strong golden era influence in your music. For a young emcee that’s hard to find nowerdays. Do you feel the new generation is lacking in substance and content compared to the era that inspired you?
The only thing that’s really lacking is the balance in exposure. There’s a lot of emcees that have substance, but they don’t get pushed as much as they should. That being said, we’re in a much better place than we were 5 years ago, so things are moving in the right direction. As far as my influences, I have a line that says, “Pac, BIG, Jay, Nas & Gangstarr/Common, Wu, The Roots, both sides of Blackstar/molded my whole sound, I ain’t scared to say it/u admit you a fan, it’s like sayin’ you a racist”. That whole 90’s era is what I grew up listening to – I just build on their work, add my own flavor, and try to take it in another direction. But I’m a fan of the legends, first & foremost. I’ve seen a lot of cats say they don’t listen to anybody, they’re only influenced by the block, blah blah blah. I’m a student of the game.
3. When did you first start emceeing?
I started emceeing right at the end of high school, and I started to get real serious with it once I saw I was good. Before we were just freestyling at parties, just goofing around. But when we started recording tracks & bumping them around the neighborhood, people started to take notice. We starting booking shows when we got to college; Jason was in NY and I was in Pittsburgh, so we traded off a lot. Once we graduated, we went our separate ways musically, and I really went to work on my craft. Since then, I’ve dropped six projects, and the #GrindSeason EP is my seventh.
4. Originally you were from Boston and now you are in Bmore. When did you move?
I’ve been down here since 2005. I was broke after our Hip-Hop education program ran into a funding problem & I had to crash with my folks. The good thing is that program is still running today in Pittsburgh (http://artsgreenhouse.org) and I got an opportunity to be a part of another dope music community in Baltimore. But you’ll always hear me reference Boston in my music, because I remember growing up without a lot of emcees to look up to. We had Guru, and we had New Edition in terms of big music stars from the city. We always wanted to hear someone mention our streets and neighborhoods on the radio or on our favorite songs. So just because I remember that so clearly, I’ll always rep for Boston. But Baltimore is my home now, and for that matter, Pittsburgh is a special spot for me as well. I really learned the art of emceeing in Pittsburgh, and I’ve learned the art of the hustle in Baltimore.
5. Which area has the better Hiphop scene, Bmore or Boston?
They’re both pretty similar – there’s only a few venues for Hip-Hop, the artist communities are tight-knit & talented, and they’re both still waiting for an artist or crew to break out & really put on for the city. Bmore’s had more success as of late, with King Los, Tate Kobang, J.Oliver, & Damon Blue running around killing everything out here, but Boston has Michael Christmas and Cousin Stizz buzzing right now, so there’s hope for both scenes.
6. No one has been able to stamp Baltimore yet in the Hip Hop scene. How would you describe the sound and how come no one made it yet? It’s a major urban city and we are sure must be brewing with talent?
To me, there’s no unified Baltimore sound. It’s right next to the Mason-Dixon Line, so there’s a big Southern influence, but it’s also only 3 hours from New York, so you’ve got the East coast influence as well. But that’s the beauty of it – the melting pot of sounds makes for a diverse scene that has something for everyone. You’ve got artists who rap over Baltimore club music, artists who have an industrial influence – almost anything you can think of. There’s plenty of talent, from Huli Shallone, Profitt, D’Nero, F2DaZ, Greenspan, Comp, Kane Mayfield, Skarr Akbar, and the list goes on and on. I think there’ll be more artists that break through in the next few years, because Baltimore artists have the heart to persevere to the end. It’s hard to get the community behind you, so you’ve got to grind for a minute to get the respect you want. But once you’re embraced, Baltimore will ride for you. I think it’s been hard for artists to make it big because the industry hasn’t taken a real look at the music that’s coming out of the city. But now with more of us using the internet to get ourselves notoriety, and the industry turning into a more independent scene, we can’t use that as an excuse. We have to produce & make the world take notice.
7. Who is your favorite Rapper and Producer in the game?
That’s a tough question. All-time, I’d probably have to say Nas & Kanye. Those two are legends that I have spent hours listening to. When I found out that Ye had produced on dead prez’s first album, I started looking into all of his old production credits & this dude has been so versatile for years, it’s incredible. Nas has just mastered the art of marrying flow & content. And his stand as a real artist has really been overlooked. I read an interview where he said that he understood people’s criticism of his beat selection, but the reason he chooses the beats he does is to challenge himself. He knows how he’d sound on more conventional beats, but he wants to push himself. Once I read that, I looked at his catalog in a completely different way. And I’m someone who’s always been a big Nas fan.
8. What can we expect from your new EP “GrindTime”?
You can expect some ill rhymes over some innovative beats, and me killing some classic tracks as well. You’ll hear my faith, my feelings on this police brutality, how the struggle impacts my day to day, and a lot more. This is the appetizer that I’m putting out for the world to remind everyone I’m still here & I’m still making bangers. It’s been almost 3 years since I put a new project out, so I wanted to make sure I gave the people something quality. I’ve lived with these songs for at least a year, and I just kept tweaking the lyrics and the production until I got exactly what I wanted to present. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my music – I don’t understand these guys who record projects in 2 days; my mind doesn’t work that way. I can write quickly, but I’m my own worst critic. I want to make sure that every time you get new B.Eveready material, it’s the best it could be.
9. Can you explain the meaning behind why you chose that title?
I chose #GrindSeaon because this is the time where we all have to go get it. Wherever you are in life right now, it’s time to get yourself together and chase your goals. For me personally, I’ve had some setbacks in terms of dealing with a job and a family and this music. It’s a delicate balance, and I went through some real situations that put music on the back burner. Now that I’m back in a position to be competitive again, I’m not stopping. I’m not where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I was. And now, Lord willing, we work to get to where we want to be.
10. When is the release date for “The Grind Is Beautiful” studio album? What can we expect from that project?
I don’t have a date for the album yet, hopefully we’ll get it out this year. This is the album I’ve been waiting my whole life to make. Most artists would drop this kind of record when they sign their major deal. I’m not waiting for anybody’s validation. I’ve found the production, I’ve got the concept, and I’m going to make it my most introspective work. This album will tell the story of my life.
11. What’s your long term goal for the game. Go big Indy or get signed to a major?
I’m open for whatever God has in mind. No matter if I sign a deal or not, I’m the one who has to do the work to get where I want to go. I just want the respect. I want people to go back to my first mixtapes and realize that I was nice before they ever heard of me. One of the hashtags I’ve been pushing is #WeBeenLegendary. I’m claiming my status and letting anyone who wants to acknowledge do so. But my crew, all of the folks I’ve been rocking with since day one, are the ones who’ve really inspired that train of thought. I know some incredible people who are talented & accomplished in their own right, and we have to acknowledge each other’s brilliance. I don’t care who agrees with it or not.
12. You went in on “Hit & Run”! The new project you got coming out, do you have more joints like that? Straight bars.
Absolutely! Those are the easy joints for me to do; just rhymes on top of rhymes. And I love to get in that lyrical exercise – it keeps me fresh & lets everyone know that I’ve always got something in the stash.
13. It was good chopping it up with you homie and you got some fire for sure! Let our readers know where to check you out and connect with you. The floor is yours..
For real, thank you for the opportunity! Everybody can follow me on IG @b.eveready and Twitter @BEveready. I’m on FB at Facebook.com/beveready, Bandcamp at beveready.bandcamp.com, and my website is BEveready.com. I’ll be hitting the road this year, so if I’m in your city, come out and show some love! Peace to everybody reading this!
DOWNLOAD THE NEW B.EVEREADY EP HERE – http://www.audiomack.com/album/thaadvocate/grind-season-ep