Ever met someone that you just knew would be in your life a little while longer than the rest? Like, you guys just connect on so many different levels? The energy is just right. I’m pretty sure I met this guy on Twitter through mutual friends. We met (in real life) the Summer of 2011 and it was just an immediate connection. I’ve never met a soul as cool and comfortable as his. Meet my first male feature and ever so humble friend, Verb.
Tell us your name, where you’re from and what you do.
Verbatum Jones from Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. I make rap songs and have a really good time doing it.
A)what is the meaning behind your “name”?
Oh man that’s a long story that is much better in person but basically it was a nickname given to me in high school before I even started rapping. The actual word verbatim (I spell it with a ‘u’ because misspelling is cool) means word for word so it feels appropriate for a rapper. When rapping got really serious I just kept the nickname I was blessed with. The last name came from a google search I did of popular last names. Jones sounded way better than Johnson or Blacksmith.
B) What do you believe is your calling?
Honestly that’s a great question and I truly believe my calling in life is to help others. For me that specifically means sharing my life experiences and hoping those experiences can inspire and give strength to others. Oh and make people smile. I’ve got a knack for that too.
C) When did you begin rapping/get involved in music?
Well in 2010 I started freestyling for fun at my university (Temple U) every Friday and that hobby slowly but surely became a full-blown passion about a year later. I’ve been recording music since 2011 but 2010 is where I got bit by the hip-hop bug. I’ve always liked hip-hop but I wasn’t allowed to listen to it (strict Christian music onlyhome). I felt like it was only right that I would gravitate towards it. As I got older, I fell in love with the art form more.
Having style means being bold. If you know who are then let your clothes reflect that.
How would you describe your style?
I’m all about texture and fit. If it feels weird on my flesh and fits a bit strangely I’ll probably like it. Since I’ve been a church kid all my life, I have a special place in my heart for formal wear so you might catch me in a bowtie or dress shoes for no particular reason but to feel fancy. Mostly though I’m into wearing a couple of pieces until they’re worn down to the ground. For example, I’ve got some forest green leather Vans that I’ve worn everyday since I purchased them three months ago. I’m a rough-looking chap with the beard and hair so I like my clothes to follow that same trend. Corduroy, denim, cable knit sweaters, linen…I just like fabric that feels good and looks like it has some feel to it. I’m rambling ok, that’s my style.
A) In what ways does your creative lifestyle influence your personal style?
Rap is such a crazy thing to do. Rappers are so into themselves. You’re always hearing about the newest this and flashiest that. It actually helps a lot to know what’s hip so that I can stray away from it. I try not to adopt anything influenced by my peers clothing wise. There’s nothing worse than being fake when it comes to who you are in music so I try to keep my style genuine like my raps. If I like it, I’ll wear it just like the raps.
What celebrity inspires your style and why?
Yasiin Bey (Mos Def). I consider him my spiritual grandfather. He’s got the colors and textures thing down to a science. If I could talk with him about the contents of his closet I would probably leave crying bearded tears of joy.
If you had to give all of your clothes away, what are five things that you would keep?
- Coogi sweater I took from my cousin Maggie. I wore it in my Nappy video and it jumped to the top of my “wear it every chance I get list”.
- Rainbow brand flip-flops. Never liked flip-flops until I owned a pair of these bad boys. Super comfy and over time they mold to the shape of your feet.
- Tan bucket hat I stole from my pops. It has a really cool blue and red lining around the hat that makes me feel like a real fisherman.
- The forest green leather Vans I mentioned earlier.
- Grey Lucky brand slim cords because they make me look sexy, yet distinguished.
What does having style mean to you?
It means genuinely enjoying wearing the clothes you own. I take pride in not just looking good but feeling good too. Having style means being bold. If you know who are then let your clothes reflect that.
What advice would you give to someone trying to find their own style?
Magazines are guides not rule books. If you don’t like it, still try it on. You never know.
My favorite Verb. Glad to call him friend.