The first thing you’ll notice within the first minute of listening to In Vitro is that Eyerone (pronounced “irony”) isn’t in the rap “game” to chase monies, girlies or set new trends. (Unless brutal honesty counts as a trend.) That’s a rare artistic quality that – over time – has been buried beneath the hustle & swag of getting rich before one dies, if not sooner.
The project itself is somewhat of a throwback to the days when songs had “rewindability.” That’s when you don’t catch the gist of a clever quip or straight-forward punchline until the third or fourth listen. Replay value, so to speak. Eyerone doesn’t disappoint lyrically one bit.
Standout songs include “One Time,” a defiant audio swipe back at the love of money (which is what’s actually the root of all evil, not money itself), over Chemist Productions’ updated boom bap with a bounce that your ear won’t deny. Much like the overall sound of the project, it’s far cry from the machine gun staccato trap rap music that’s currently dominating the
satellite radio stations & the interstreets. For illustrative purposes, the first two bars are, “One time for the rich & famous, they don’t need shit life is quick & painless.” Those aren’t the words of a man chasing bands & racks & what not.
“Victim of the Bullshit,” another jewel, is a tale of karma-meets-the streets in Urban America, or more specifically, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Chemist Productions samples the illest horn riff that just wafts atop the rest of the track, becoming the proverbial cherry on top of this mini-crime drama/reality show.
The Lokey-produced track entitled “Debt” is perhaps the most poignant of the opus, because it speaks to the heart of today’s America, urban or otherwise, where you either have money or you don’t. Too many of us that don’t get caught in the systematic web of spending hollow dollars, digging ourselves a proverbial hole from the inside out. That’s the debt Eye addresses here. While it probably won’t ever see spins at a strip club or a barbecue, at least you have a soundtrack for ignoring the bill collectors when they call &/or something to think about when you spend your hard-hustled recessions bucks.
Though the EP features other equally as pleasing production from the likes of Majik & Lokey, the magic (no pun intended) between Chemist Productions & Eyerone is obviously organic. & yielding quality results.
The final product is a sonically cohesive piece of art whose lyrical content is timeless & a sound that will satisfy the most stoic of Hip Hop afficianados. Eyerone is definitely off to a good start.
I also had the chance to throw a few questions at Eye about who he is, his mom, & Kobe Bryant among other things. So if the music doesn’t grab you, maybe the personality will.
Tony Grands: Where are you from originally?
Eyerone: I’m from Virginia Beach aka Bomb Beach, VA. Been here pretty much all my life.
TG: Give the people a breakdown of your name.
E: Long story short, when I FIRST started writing in like 2000, I didn’t have a name. Nothing I could think of seemed to fit what i was about or what I was trying to do. Its crazy because the name actually came to me when I wasn’t thinking about it. I was sleeping and it came to me and I woke up and wrote that shit down. I called my homie and told him about the new name and I’ve been running with it ever since.
TG: What’s your first definitive memory that you wanted to be a rapper for a living?
E: That’s a good question. I don’t know the first memory of wanting to be a rapper, but I DO remember the first time I KNEW I wanted to be in the music business. I was like 6. Wreckx N Effect just came out with the “Rump Shaker” video. When I saw that and my Dad told me that they shot the video at the Oceanfront in VA Beach, it was a [w]RAP! I knew right then that I wanted to be SOMETHING [in the music business]. I wanted to be a producer at first. My parents got me a Casio Rapman keyboard that year for Christmas and everything. Too bad I never learned how to play.
TG: How does Virginia feel about Pusha T? Does he represent the state or is the slot for ambassador still open?
E: I can’t speak for the whole state of Virginia but I can say that I’m definitely a fan of Pusha T & The Clipse’s work. They are from my city and they represent 1 particular aspect of what goes on here. I think Pusha is a dope representative of the state, just like Timbaland or Missy, or Teddy Riley, or Nottz or B!NK or Lex Luger, or anyone else here who has established themselves within the last couple decades. You gotta understand, Virginia is a different type of place. They say its hard to get love here. Every time I see him, the people show him love and that’s really all that matters.
TG: Do you consider yourself part of the new era of MC’s, or do you consider yourself a byproduct of the “Golden Era?”
E: I mean, to me, all that “Golden Era” shit is relative. My “Golden Era” just by virtue of being in my mid-twenties is like 94-04. But who’s to say that this “new era of MC’s” isn’t someone else’s “Golden Era”? I’m trying to make it so that my music is part of SOMEONE’s “Golden Era” and if I can do that, it won’t even matter what I consider myself a part of.
TG: Where do you see rap going, sound-wise? The lyrics seem more aggressive, the content a bit more vulgar, is it moving towards mainstream or further underground?
E: I think that music goes wherever the people go and its up to the people to find it. Nowadays, people have all sorts of access to music whether its from iTunes, Youtube or Pandora so ultimately, I think people will find a way to get what they want and what they are looking for that suits them. As I get older, I’m noticing that my tastes for music, especially rap music, is changing. I find myself listening to what I KNOW is good and relevant as it comes to my situation right now. No matter where the music is heading, I’ll always know where to find what I like. And that’s the key to me.
TG: Who is the most unlikely influence to your music? Somebody you’ve never given public props to.
E: Probably my Mom.
TG: Ever try “Bath Salts?”
E: Nah. Definitely not on the bucket list [either].
TG: If rap music gets banned from planet Earth, what would you fall back on?
E: Sade. 24/7, 365 [days] of Sade. I could live with that.
TG: Kobe or Jordan?
E Ha! I’m 25 years old man. This isn’t really a conversation. Jordan all day… •
Words by Tony Grands