Tue 4/24 - Doors: 8:30 p.m.. Show: 9:00 p.m. 18+ $10
XV - Smallville, KS
Hip-Hop, which used to be an underground artistic platform for creative expression, is now one of the most popular styles in music today. Sadly, with the rise of Hip-Hop becoming a household and popular sound, came the downfall of its essence. Lyrics and creativity have taken a backseat to dance-instructing "rappers" steering Hip-Hop into the future. Segregating and dividing many artists into sub-genres of the art, Hip-Hop has become strikingly similar to high school. Hipsters not eating with the gangsters and ballers not hanging around the conscious rappers. It's no wonder a guy that proclaims, "I don't fit in!", feels so comfortable in this setting.
Obsessed with comic books, action figures, web surfing, and roleplaying video games, "XV" (born Donavan Johnson) would classify as a "nerd". But his love for fashion, colorful sneakers, and porn disqualify him of being such a stereotype. So, the 24-year old lyricist finds himself playing the same role he played in middle school and high school, in the music industry. The nobody begging to become a somebody.
Now, with the rise of the digital age where anybody can wake up and become a rapper, Hip-Hop has become crowded with one-hit wonders. XV, who got his name from the roman numerals of 15, the age he says he was when he departed from Earth to his hermit homelife on a fictional planet he calls, Planet Squaria, has somehow made his mark on the internet scene. Generating a buzz and strong fanbase on some of Hip-Hop's biggest blogs such as NahRight, 2dopeboyz, HipHopDX, AllHipHop, and more, through releasing the largely conceptual project, "The Square In The Circle", which includes a guest feature from Lil' Wayne. As well as releasing a slew of music with the series, "40 Days, 40 Nights", that he began in September of 2008, in which he released a brand new song every morning and every night for 40 days straight!
Ready to capitalize on his growing buzz, XV is ready to share his story to the world through his new album titled, "The Kid With The Green Backpack". A concept album inspired by XV's life in middle school when he was widely known as "the kid with the green backpack" rather than his actual name. He parallels his life of being a nobody in high school to being a nobody in the music industry, as he sees the two worlds being very similar to each other. XV's close-friend and producer, Seven, arranges the entire score to the story that XV says, "is the Hip-Hop soundtrack to a John Hughes movie". Detailing every event leading to him becoming the superstar, "XV", from his talk with his school counselor about being a nobody on "Invisible", to him running away to pursue his dream on "Losing The Signal", all the way to the unforgettable prom night on "A Night To Remember".
As a huge fan of comic books and superheroes, XV has set the stage for a triumphant story to take place. Inside the jewel case of an amazing album, as well as the real world that XV plans to become one of Hip-Hop's greatest artists in. Finally finding his place amongst all the gangsters, hipsters, and ballers in Hip-Hop, as simply, "The Kid With The Green Backpack".
During a time when New York is struggling to break new artists, an unlikely face, from an unlikely place, has emerged. Rochester, New York, native Emilio Rojas is just that: The fresh face New York needs to reclaim a place in the forefront of the Hip Hop genre. In 2005, Emilio received a phone call from a friend asking if he would like to move to New York. After selling everything he owned, he was living in Brooklyn the next day. Since then Emilio has distinguished himself by releasing several critically acclaimed mixtapes, and taken his place amongst the most anticipated of up and coming artists.
Having a cosign from fellow Rochester-native, and Hiphop legend DJ Green Lantern, (who has worked extensively with Hip Hop greats Eminem, Jay Z, Nas, etc) has solidified Emilio’ s place among today’ s most buzzing artists. Together the duo have released two critically acclaimed mixtapes, The Natural and recent Life Without Shame , which feature production and guest appearances from Multi-Platinum and Grammy winning producers and artists, such as Boi-1da, The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Nottz, Needlz, B.o.B., Styles P, Killer Mike, Yelawolf, and more. Emilio is clearly in the company of greatness – but like any other rising star he is carving out a space uniquely his own.
Individuality is the driving force behind Emilio’s music. The only son of an American mother and Venezuelan immigrant father, his perspective reflects the growing biracial climate in the United States today. Couple that with the fact that his father left his family at a young age and you can identify the source of Emilio’s hunger. These themes are prevalent in his music, they are what make him so relatable. Emilio speaks for those who up until now have had no voice, and he does not shy away from the taboo or controversial.
Colby Stiltz -