Born Donovan Johnson but known in the rap game as XV, is a singer, rapper, and song writer who hails from Wichita, Kansas. This MC definitely has the nerd rap thing on lock down by spitting bars like money longer than Sephiroth’s blade. Yeah-I’m still not sure who or what Sephiroth is. I’ll leave that up to you to look up. This Kansas rhyme slinger has had collaborations with everyone from Talib Kweli to J. Cole, and has gained major attention after his twelfth mixtape Everybody’s Nobody, in which he had received two awards from DJBooth.net
His stage name XV, refers to the age (15) when he first began creating music. In an interview with Spinner.com he stated that his major rap influences were Andre 3000, whom is his favorite rapper of all time. Some of his other musical influences are Jay Z, John Mayer, Rivers Cuomo from Weezer, and Lupe Fiasco. XV also has a huge fascination with video games; especially the Xbox 360. One of his more popular songs Mirror’s Edge actually was inspired by an Xbox 360 game.
He said, “The song isn’t talking about the video game, I just felt it fit the same mood as that video game and I liked the fact that the game was about running free and defying laws of gravity in real life.” Other inspirations that XV had while growing up include comic books, TV shows, and movies. These influences have left his music with a particular style, new to rap.
In April of this year ,his new mixtape Zeroes Heroes , and has everyone buzzing on the Internet. With production from Just Blaze, and J Cole and features from Pusha T, Vado, and Cyhi Da Prince is a must listen. You can check out the entire mixtape on http://www.datpiff.com/ , but for now you can listen to Pictures On My Wall right here.
XV is a really tight and intelligent rapper. His flow is awesome in my opinion, but what is real ill is how every song on the mixtape has something to do with the title Zero Heroes. I really like how XV ties in his knowledge of old school rap like Biggie in Pictures On My Wall and how people like BIG are missing in the rap game today.
This kid is real and without a doubt is killing it, and is a forced to be reckoned with.
You Get the latest news and updates about XV from XV [twitter.com/XtotheV].