Peace hip hop heads! It’s been a while since we sat down with an artist to chop it up on some new music. I caught wind of a new project from a cat I’ve been a fan of for some time now, none other than Ullnevano. Ullnevano was always in rotation during my days at WEAA’s Strictly Hip Hop (What up Grizzy?!), and was always rocking a mic at a local venue…giving 110% every time. I got the chance to rap to Ullnevano about his latest release with Illien Rosewell titled, Confidence is Everything 2. Check it out.
DropaJewel: Peace Ullnevano! I haven’t seen you in a while. I hear you have a new project out called Confidence Is Everything 2. Tell me a little about how this project came about and what separates it from Part 1.
Ullnevano: Peace Jewel, what up its been a long time since we last spoke I believe it was either this year or last years Bmore Dilla I’m not sure. Yes CIE2 is out and is more soulful and has me rhyming over more loops as oppose to the first one, and honestly it was Illien’s idea to do a part 2 because of how well the first one was received, we were just blown away of how well cats were digging the first CIE we have cassette tapes pressed up thru indie label already dead tapes, you can actually purchase the tape on ughh.com. The whole concept of the project the idea was sparked by this rapper named Verbal Kent, he’s down with ugly heroes and just from him saying those words it was so powerful and truth being as a rapper or whatever you do in life you have to have confidence in what you do. It’s the only way people respect you and take your craft extremely serious.
DJ: How’d you link with Illien Rosewell? Whats that dynamic like?
Ullnevano: Illien rosewell that’s my bro, and he’s a machine like this dude is soo talented it’s borderline scary how talented this dude is. I met him thru Logic Marselis; I was recording at the research center in Norfolk, Virginia and he happened to be in my session just vibing. Soon after my session was done he was just playing beats for like an hour straight and I’m like saying in my head “why hasn’t this dude been picked up or signed yet.” But he has worked with mad people that local rappers would do anything to be in the studio with. He’s a good dude and has a work ethic like me we both just enjoy crafting music.
DJ: I know you are in love with the whole project, but what tracks are closest to your heart and why? Do you have a favorite?
U: There were some records that I wanted to record for the project but it just didn’t sit right in my heart like I felt it would have thrown the vibe and momentum off. “They all die,” which is me lyrically murdering wack emcees, “the imaginary jam session” I wrote that the day Muhammad Ali passed I was in my apartment one night and wrote that joint like at 2am. “12’s over the wire” has to be my favorite just how the beat is structured and that was the last beat Illien sent me. I locked myself in my girlfriends room for like three hours and wrote the whole joint i knew this was gonna be special joint because I rarely write a full song in one setting.
DJ: Tiramisu Box Cutters has a Ghostface feel to me (with the production and flo). Whats the backstory on it?
U:Funny you should ask that because I just feel like I’m different from your average rapper and I like to stand out and I just thought the title “tiramisu box cutters” was such a fly name, no reason I had the title before I even wrote it, which was one of the first records I wrote for the project.
DJ: Who are you listening to right now?
U: I’m currently listening to my homie from Norfolk, VA London Boi “lawyer fee$” that project is insanely good, a couple of instrumental albums from tuamie, knxwledge, and this dude from Seattle named J’Von, he has an album out called “Potato” that’s pretty dope. I’m just waiting on the new Skyzoo and Apollo brown album lol.
DJ: I think you will definitely get some new ears with this project. What do you want new Ullnevano fans to take away with them after listening to this?
U: I feel like I’m still one of the most slept on emcees, and I hold that underdog title near and dear to my heart I don’t mind it at all, but I want listeners to take from this project is that I can rap my a** off and I’m nice period! Then once they listen to this project I want them to go back and revisit my other projects as well that’s the goal.
DJ: Can we look forward to any upcoming visuals from the project?
U: Of course shouts to CamCamTv for always holding me down on the visuals so I’m hoping to get something done by the end of this year.
DJ: Do you have any upcoming shows coming up where we can see you rock the mic live?
U: The next show that I have coming up is the 2nd MGNTK emcee/producer showcase its taking place at the windup space November 26th. I’m really excited bout this one, because the first showcase we had early this past April was so much fun so I expect nothing but good energy.
DJ: With all of the police brutality going on in the world, do you think hip hop is doing an adequate job at bringing a solution to a story as old as time? Hip Hop has ALWAYS been a vehicle for speaking out on social injustice, but today, is it doing enough to bring about a change?
U: I feel like hip hop is doing an amazing job on voicing on what’s going on in the world dealing with police brutality, some may not want to hear us but they have no choice but to listen to what we have to say because our music is powerful. I can also say that locally the hip hop community has been pretty vocal in terms of what’s going on with unarmed black men police shootings. We just can’t give up hope, we have to continue on speaking on these issues. As far as bringing change, I say give it time but we have to continue to speak on these issues and not pretend like it’s not happening, to be seriously honest I feel hip hop is the only music genre that’s actually speaking on social injustice, I truly believe in my soul that we are going to get our voice heard one way or the other.
DJ: Thanks for chopping it up. Anything else you want to add? Where can folks find you on social media?
U: Dustin Grime is coming you suckas a project that me and logic marselis are currently working on, the work never stops y’all can find me on Twitter @ulllnevanohiphop and ig: @ullnevanohiphop.