Keon Shavers is A.K.A. “V.E.X.” a very talented hardcore relentless emcee who’s considered by many to be an underground legend on the hip hop scene in southeast Georgia and community activist. He’s involved with several community outreach programs such as feeding the homeless, healthcare and mental health assistance programs, job placement and referrals, youth counseling and tutoring. He has a unique insight into a broad spectrum of topics discussed over a few hours in a recording studio in south Atlanta owned and operated by Bro.Joseph Muhammad. V.E.X. is currently recording two upcoming projects simultaneously “The Beautiful Ugly” Album and “Big Beard Bully” Mixtape both set to drop early 2017. He is also apart of the hip hop ensemble “Clutch The Movement” a group of very talented highly unorthodox emcees originally from “Wick-Town” Brunswick,Ga but based in Houston , Tx. mostly known and respected for their different brand of hip hop. Stay Tuned!!!
Where do you currently see the state of hip hop?
Man, in my opinion its poor. I think we’re on the road on the path of making hip hop great again but in its current state its terrible.
What are your thoughts on the election and the aftermath?
Me personally, the election really didn’t move me at all. I’m one of those individuals that understand the whole political process, so the election to me was a huge popularity contest so I wasn’t moved by either candidate so I did not vote for either. In a nutshell I really think Trump is going to fare much better than most of his critics think, with that being said I still don’t trust him personally. But I do think he will fare far better than Hillary Clinton would have no doubt.
My take is this, I didn’t hold up campaign signs for either candidate nor did I vote for either candidate but when nearly 60 million people vote for you reguardless if you won the popular vote or not is a real statement. That isn’t no fluke in any manner by no means. People can rant, rave, protest but we’re a democracy and you definitely do not want America to turn into one of those foreign third world countries where its damn near anarchy and violence every election that the people don’t agree with. Whether we like it or not, the people have spoken and they voted Trump in office deal with it.
I don’t foresee Trump being anywhere near worse than both President Bushes. We all know how they both deceived the world.
Moving right along back to music, what projects are you working on currently?
What’s going to drop first is my mix tape “Big Beard Bully” that I have been working on for awhile about as long as Dr. Dre with the Detox project, lolololol. I’m just such a perfectionist so if it doesn’t come out like I need it to then I wont release it. My album project that I’m working on is 90% percent finished it’s called “The Beautiful Ugly” I’m really ready for the world to hear that one. The “Big Beard Bully” Mixtape will be the first one released. I’m going all in on it. I got a lot of stuff on deck for 2017, movies and T.V. projects I’m working on with my video production team. The music serves as the catalyst for everything else that I have going on.
Tell me about the program and the investment business your into, tell me more about the services your company offers.
The name of my company is Rays Of Life Counseling Services, basically what it is is mental health counseling. Mental health therapy counseling, we target the homeless population but it’s for anyone of course. Basically it’s my way of trying to really better some lives, I’ve done a lot of things in my past that’s a whole other enemy. I’ve done a whole lot of negativity that’s affected a lot of lives in my past and now that I’m older I see people every day affected by some of the things I inflicted on people in my past. It’s all about making people’s lives better now, my company is for profit but most of the money generated is recycled right back into helping and assisting my clients and the community in general. I feed the homeless and the community in general for free once a month in Vegas where my company is based at and I do it around the holidays in Atlanta. That’s part of the responsibility for us in the black community to help and give back. I just think that so many of us are sitting around waiting on this big savior to arrive and do everything for us as a people but I feel that at the end of the day we’re all saviors. We have to save ourselves and our communities. We have to collectively fix the black community, no white president no black president going to fix us, we have to fix ourselves from the grassroots up. So feeding somebody in need a hot meal can spark the next mind to do something great. A volunteer can access to jobs that can employ someone coming for meal, a volunteer can be into real estate and decide to donate housing or property to help the less fortunate. It’s all about giving and helping. We’re the only race of people that fight each other about everything, it’s a tug of war about everything, so getting people together to feed those in need along with those in positions to help them may motivate others to do the same things and much bigger. I truly feel that it’s my responsibility to look out for my people more, that’s the only way we’re going to get out of these mental chains.
In recent years we’ve seen Brunswick,Ga/ St. Simons Island become home to some very talented professional athletes who have become instant multi-millionaires hailing from Small Town U.S.A. The legendary hall of famer Jim Brown, Adam Wainwright with the St.Louis Cardinals, Kwame Brown NBA player drafted Number 1. in 2001 draft by Michael Jordan and went on to play 9 seasons, Darius “BigPlay” Slay with the Detroit Lions, Allen Bailey with the Kansas City Chiefs, Justin Coleman with the New England Patriots, and Reshard Lee played 4 seasons in the NFL. What responsibility if any do you think the players that have made millions have to Brunswick,Ga and the community?
They have a huge responsibility you should never forget the place that helped shape and motivate you to do better and to change your reality and their handlers should encourage that and really push that. When you have tens of millions of dollars at your disposal collectively you can all team up and make such a huge impact and difference really without it costing any one of them too much personally. You have a lot of youth that are inspired by these guys and look up to these guys in a major way. Brunswick is a cess pool for unnecessary hatred and the crabs in the barrel syndrome, the community the hoods are in bad shape down there and the mindset there reflects it. So yes they can such a huge impact on the community there for generations. Community Centers, Youth Programs, Activity Centers, Parks and Recreations, there’s so much that can be done and sponsors will help athletes do it. There’s a lot of other real talented kids in Brunswick that are destined to make it and they need to know that the proper thing to do is to come back and help your community however you can.
BST: What do you make of the recent Kanye meltdowns and hospitalization?
VEX: A lot of people and other entertainers are calling him crazy, I think he’s very much in his right mind and crying out for help. I think he’s at a point where he really wants to expose a lot of the inner workings of the industry that the average people are oblivious to. I think he really does fear for his life if he exposes whatever it is he’s holding in. Kanye has been dropping jewels and bombs in a lot of his music if people really listen to the music and dissect the bars like we do, he mixes the heavy content with some of that other crap he does. Kanye is an emotional guy always have been and Jay Z knows that so he knows he have to play Kanye with kid gloves. So Jay Z should have dealt with Kanye much better and Kanye basically reminded him I know a lot, I possess a lot of crucial information. He’s shifting the power of their relationship because apparently he feels he’s holding all the cards. Now when he brought Beyonce into it he was dead wrong and I think that was maybe the point of no return but he was desperate he would do anything to get a response from Jay. Now the ball is in Jay’s court. Kanye has to be extremely careful not to ruin Kim’s brand and he doesn’t want Beyonce and the Beehive to go in on Kim because her brand would definitely take a major hit overnight.
BST: What is your take on all these new Atlanta rap cats with these mickey mouse rhymes Lil this Lil that?
VEX: These dudes are all wack, they suck no real content no bars no creativity their all part of an ignorant formula with absolutely no real talent. I don’t knock anyone for getting their paper but as for the art form and the culture their all buffoons.
BST: The league made Steph Curry the face of the league the past two seasons and was nearly trying to over hype him last season as the model for the new NBA player etc. but then Lebron, Kyrie, and company comes back from an unprecedented 3-1 deficit to capture the championship on the road in Golden State. Next thing you know Under Armor’s stock takes a nose dive with the launch of the curry 3 shoe which was released to poor sells and even poorer reviews. What’s your take on the short lived NBA golden boy?
First of all why the Under Armor stock went down because those are some ugly extremely hideous shoes that’s the number one reason. They look like cafeteria ladies shoes, secondly I think that Lebron and the Cavs winning played a role in that but I relate that to music when the radio stations push garbage and force wack music on the masses , I think the league did that with Steph and overzealous fans and the media forced that heavily on people to the point where people began to believe it. He’s very good but the face of the league lets be real, there’s no way in hell he should even be considered as the face of the NBA period. Lebron is the face of the league hands down, Klay is the best player on that team other than K.D. Steph is not a complete player he’s good not great, Lebron is great. I think Under Armor jumped the gun with that contract they gave him and now its showing.
BST: Name your top (10) emcees of all time.
VEX: Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Andre 3000, Nas, Biggie, 2Pac, Jay Z., Joe Budden, Busta Rhymes, Scarface, and my wild card would be Fabulous.
BST: How do you view the state of black leadership in 2016?
VEX: Right now its mental, I think its back on the rise and a person like myself with minimal resources feel compelled enough to spark change then it has to be others out there who has real resources and finances to spark some real change. I was telling some homies around election time that Minister Farrakhan should run for president, I know it’ll never happen but The Minister is what we need to properly address the issues plaguing the black community as a whole, he has the answers. A lot of people don’t respect what all the Minister has to say until we get in deep turmoil then we want to listen then but we have no choice. At the end of the day The Minister is the only unapologetic black leader everyone else wants to be leaders when its convenient. The biggest problem with any so-called wannabe black leaders are their always looking for acceptance from whites and the establishment. No other race is trying to be accepted by us bottom line. We gotta fix our own communities and we gotta focus on us not everything and everybody else. We need to wake up, we’ll spend $700 on some foolishness but then rely on food stamps to feed our family. We need to create our own businesses and our own jobs, we can’t have real black leadership because we don’t have real followers everyone is so fickle but white folks have no problem following their own look at how 60 million voted for Trump and putting their hope and trust in him.