Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rapper BLVCK SPVDE Gets Familiar with His Singing Side on New Projects

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rapper BLVCK SPVDE Gets Familiar with His Singing Side on New Projects

Article excerpt

Hip-hop artist BLVCK SPVDE (formerly Black Spade), a godfather on St. Louis' underground rap scene, is ready to show more of his flip side than ever before.

The rap veteran's new releases will focus on his singing skills, while his rap side takes a backseat.

"Right now I'm not doing a lot of hip-hop, but I will never leave rap alone," says BLVCK SPVDE, who will release special project "Hopeless and Romanticizing" on Feb. 14. An album, "BLVCK SPVDE and the Svmthngz-N-Nvthngz Sessions," will follow.

"Not to downplay my rap, but singing is something that's a lot more spiritual than rapping for me," he says. "I can make someone feel it more with my singing. I can always come back to rap. But this is a new lane for me, and I need to tackle it."

He says his collaborations with Coultrain over the years as part of Hawthorne Headhunters helped ignite his interest in singing. He's also been influenced by singer-musician Dam-Funk.

BLVCK SPVDE also says holding a crowd's attention is easier with singing. When he raps, an audience is more apt to get fidgety and loud, forcing him to move quickly from one song to the next.

He says singing still feels fresh for him, though he first dabbled in it at the end of his "To Serve With Love" (2008) album. He says he did it then because "I couldn't get anyone to sing with me."

"BLVCK SPVDE and the Svmthngz-N-Nvthngz Sessions" will be his first full-fledged singing project. While waiting for its release, he'll tide fans over with "Hopeless and Romanticizing."

The music on the project is inspired by different acts he fell in love with and includes his vocals over the likes of Sun Ra, King Krule and Marvin Gaye (borrowing from posthumous Gaye album "Vulnerable").

Some would classify "Hopeless and Romanticizing" as a mixtape, but he doesn't call it that. He considers it a "Bandcamp tape" and says songs from the project will be available on distribution sites Bandcamp and SoundCloud.

On his new projects, fans will hear a mixture of what's going on with him personally, being an older artist on the hip-hop scene (he was a part of the famed Soul Tyde hip-hop and soul collective from the late '90s), and speaking out in the wake of the 2014 events in Ferguson. …

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