Blue Robot

Hip Hop Artist on the Rise: XV

Posted by David Porter Callanan on 03/01 at 11:58 AM

Outside of the black and white scenes in the Wizard of Oz, being the hometown of fast food joints like Pizza Hut and White Castle, and occupying the center of tornado alley, the town of Wichita, Kansas is virtually non existent to the rest of the world. Rapper XV, a Wichita native, hopes to start a whirlwind of his own and put his city on the map. The Warner Brothers MC has been on his musical grind since the age of 15 (hence the XV moniker) and has released a whopping 16 mixtape’s since 2006. Since inking his major deal, XV has toured with the likes of Travie McCoy, Clipse, Kid Cudi and Chiddy Bang. He has also collaborated with some of the rap games hottest artists including J. Cole, Just Blaze, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa.

XV, also known as Vizzy, started to turn heads in 2008 with the release of his mixtape, Square in the Circle which included a feature from arguably the hottest rapper in the world, Lil Wayne. Vizzy hit the ground running after the tape and released an unheard of 80 songs over the course of 40 days via his twitter account which eventually became the project 40 Days and 40 Nights. His grind did not stop there. Less than a year later, Vizzy continued to generate a buzz by dropping Everybody’s Nobody, followed by Vizzy Zone only seven months later. Both mixtapes garnered positive reviews and evantually lead to his major deal with Warner Brothers records.

After a year hiatus without a project being released, his first major fralbum (i.e. free album/mixtape) Zero Heroes was released in May 2011. The album has received over 125,000 downloads, helped build his twitter following of “Squarians” (Nickname for his fans) to 45,ooo plus and received positive reviews from critics. The project was highlighted by catchy hooks, witty lyrics with great pop culture references and dope sample heavy production. Vizzy also showed his versatility on the album with everything from feel good dance tracks like “Foreign exchange student,” and “Awesome,” to emotionally deeper tracks like “Pictures on My Wall,” and “Smallville,” as well as a head banger in “U.F.C.” Zeros Heroes serves as a predecessor to his first retail album entitled The Kid with the Green Backpack, which will hit stores later this year.

Other than rocking nationwide tours and dropping projects, Vizzy has become quite popular for the way he treats his fans. He has interacted with fans at lives shows and on twitter, an approach that has not been done by many in the past. Squarians have saluted Vizzy for this interaction and in return he created a track entitled the “Squarians Anthem.” XV, who is an avid comic fan, even gave one squarian a book from his collection after he did not perform a song the fan had asked him to play. Now ask yourself, what other musician let alone rapper would do that? I cannot think of one. His dedication and kindness is just a few reasons why XV will be putting Wichita on the map before we know it.

{name} Author: David Porter Callanan
Bio: David Porter Callanan is currently a senior studying print journalism and English at Penn State. In his free time he enjoys eating peanut butter, watching premium television shows, listening to rad music and being tortured by his beloved Philadelphia sporting teams. He listens to a wide range of music but his favorite genres are grunge rock and hip hop. Some of his favorite artists include Pearl Jam, Kanye West and J. Cole. Following graduation, his dream job is to write for the hip hop magazine XXL.

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