Not too long ago, I received an emal from the homey, Praverb The Wyse (@PTheWyse) which contained a single 16 bar verse. He was looking to get an opinion on it. A day or two later, he sent me another email with a video for that same 16 bar verse. In its description, he mentioned that it was for the YouTube16s. At the time, I did not know what the YouTube16s was ; but, I was intrigued.
It wasn’t long before my email filled up again with more verses; and, another video. Curiosity finally got the best of be; so, I went to YouTube and typed in “YouTube16s”. There I found a series of videos, not just from Praverb, but there was also a video from the homey Change (@changehiphop) as well. The concept, as simple as it was blew me away. Needless to say, I could not wait to join in and be a part of it. I’m two videos in now; and, I was thinking – the masses really need to know what the YouTube16s series is all about. So, after hooking up with Praverb over burgers when he was here in Tampa, I decided to arrange the following interview in order to shed a little light on YouTube16s . . . .
Q: So what exactly is the YouTube16s Series?
The YouTube16s Series was created due to the lack of visual exposure for myself and some of the people that I associate with. For the longest I
would complain about the state of hip-hop and I would not present a solution. A lot of emcees that I have been following lately utilized YouTube to build their fanbase – Shout out to Essence(@Essencehiphop), Anomaly, B. Dice(@bdice3), Alyssa Marie (@alysssaMariiie), R-Sonic (@rsonictweet), Street Light (@StreetxLight) and a slew of others.
Q: How did the idea for it come about?
Believe it or not I am a big fan of emcees spitting bars. Grind Time, Don’t Flop, KOTD, Black Budget Ent, DHLTV, GlobalFaction, We Run The
Streets and others planted the seed. I thought, why not present rhymes to the masses. I have resources to make it happen so I decided to overcome the fear of seeing myself on cam and just make it happen.
The technology boom plays a big role in the development of the series. Fans no longer just buy music, they buy YOU! I have a basic understanding of Twitter and Facebook yet I neglected YouTube for so long – I have been signed up since 2007.
YouTube is vital for Do It Yourself artists because it leads to free promo.
Q: I think you got over your fear of being on camera with the “Ima Boss” Freeverse video. How did you come up with that concept?
Honestly, the cooking concept came after I was watching the Food Network. I wanted to get away from the typical rhyming in the camera videos and highlight something that I am passionate about, cooking and eating.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8spXSkezQB0]
Q: Was there something specific that you were hoping to accomplish by launching this series?
The goal is to expose the audience to the rhyming prowess. I would like for the series to develop into something more conceptually based and provide room for more engagement.
Building a fanbase is also goal of the YouTube16s series. It also helps me work on my video editing skills – haha.
Q: There are a lot of “freeverse” videos on YouTube right now. What sets the YouTube16s apart from the rest?
Well in all honesty, every series has a hint of individuality. The concept of rhyming on cam over a beat is not novel yet the individual
The advancement in technology makes video the go to choice in regards to free promotion. When I was in high school, I gravitated to Rap City
and the Philly battle scene. I was exposed to Cassidy, Reignman, Joey Jihad and more.
Q: How many participants are there currently?
Right now there are 3 participants. Myself, Idiomz and Change.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVNXQYUNX8Y]
Q: Is the series open to more participation?
Yes the series is open to whoever wants to spit a 16 on cam. All you have to do is record a 16 on beat or acapella and notify me and I will add it
to the playlist.
If you are local (DMV) hit me up and we can make it happen.
Q: If there was any one emcee that you would like to see be a part of the series, who would that be?
I would love to have Corey Red (@CoreyRed) a part of the series, his rhymes have
matured over time.
I also would love to cypher with Vinnie Paz (@vinnie_paz), MC Juice, One Be Lo (@OneBeLo), Elzhi (@ELZHI) and Journalist.
Q: How often are new verses/videos posted in the series?
New verses or videos will be posted every week or every other week. In the future this may change based on demand.
Q: How long do you think the series will run?
The series will continue and continue until we get tired of rhyming. The series will definitely morph over time.
Q: What does the future hold for the series?
The future. Well I love interaction and maybe posting a challenge would spice things up a bit. As I stated earlier, the series will morph from
braggadocio bars to actual concepts.
I also think that it would be nice to pick up some sponsorship as the series grows. We have the power to endorse stuff all the time.
I love being creative and showing the masses that emceeing or rhythm and poetry can be a teaching tool.
Q: Are there any final thoughts that you would like to inject about the series?
Let’s continue to represent the preservation of hip-hop. Remember that we all have the power to influence others. Be the change you seek…
Thank you for setting up this interview and asking about this series. I appreciate your time and effort.
Thanks to Praverb for taking time out of his schedule to grant this interview. To catch up on YouTube16s, check the play list here.