Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vado x Complex Mag!

Teeyon Winfree better known to everyone else as "Vado" is indeed even more 'Large in the Streets'. After his Summer Jam debut this past Sunday he is nothing but so much hotter right now! Out of Harlem he is the first artist signed to the U.N., Cam’ron’s newly formed music group. Complex magazine caught up with VADO (which is actually an acronym for “violence and drugs only”) to discuss his freshly dropped video for his Big L-inspired “Large In The Streets". Busy working on his solo debut, Slime Flu which is said to drop real soon, as well as the upcoming U.N. album, Gunz N’ Butta, Vado checked in with Complex to discuss how he met Cam, what “Large In The Streets” meant for his career, and his role in the upcoming Diplomats reunion.

Complex: Has anyone ever told you that you look like Shyne?

Vado: Ah, man, if I were to get a dollar for that every time I heard it, I would be a millionaire. That was one of the first things people used to say.

Complex: You’ve said before your style is more ’90s and the way you rap people can tell you still listen toIllmatic and It Was Written. What made you want to go in that direction?

Vado: I’m young with an old soul. I know music where every song is concepts. Every verse you have to talk about something. Paint some type of picture and make a person interested and if you not painting a picture, at least explain yourself. Like how you livin’? What you wear? What type of girls you like? What kind of cars you want to drive? That’s from the ’90s era. You know when Big, Cam, Pac and all those artist were spittin’, they was always talking about something. So that’s my style—and my clothing style is new, but it’s different.

Complex: Yeah, I noticed you wear Polo a lot.

Vado: Yeah I was a boat head, like a Nautica head. Then I started fuckin’ with Polo in 2000. My man put me on to the Rugby and I know a lot of people ain’t know about that because there is only one store in New York. Rugby is a clothing line where you can make your own clothes. You pick up a shirt and they give you patches and you make it hot so I started runnin’ with that and it stood out.

Complex: How old were you when you started to rap?

Vado: When I started to pick up the pen and take it serious, I was about 19. But I started rapping when I was 16.

Complex: When did it actually become something in your mind like “I’m going to try and do this?”

Vado: When I was doing this popular public access show in New York called Mad Ciphers. It only plays in Manhattan and the Bronx. I was about 18 and I just put some bars together and went up there with Jae Millz and I started grabbing attention. People started diggin’ me, so that’s when I started to take it serious. When I was taking it serious, Millz had got on in ’03 to Warner Bros. so I started runnin’ around with Millz.

Complex: How did “Large On The Streets” come about?

Vado: V Don brought me the beat with the sample; honestly, I was sittin’ on it. He gave it to me in November and I didn’t record it until January. We knew the sample was going to be hard to clear. That’s why “Large On The Streets” has turned into a street record, ’cause we already changed the hook and everything.

Complex: You changed the hook from what’s in the video?

Vado: It’s a sample of one of my bars: “Niggas got no Morals, Values or Principles” [from "Ric Flair"]. The hook is now from “MVP,” I’m still givin’ a shout out to Big L. It’s just like the sample with Big L sayin’, “Large On The Streets.” It’s going to sound like that. It’s still gonna be good money ’cause that’s one of my popular quotes.

Complex: So you guys tried to clear it and couldn’t?

Vado: Yeah, so it was a choice we had to do.

Complex: What was Sony asking for?

Vado: Shit, let’s just put it like this: A mansion, a Phantom, and a jet flight. They asked for too much. So we had to change it up for BET and MTV.

Complex: I know it started off as Movado, then you shortened it to Vado. When did you pick up your rap name?

Vado: I think around 17. Money Out of Violence And Drugs Only. It was originally Cree. I made up a meaning. [Laughs.] The meaning was Cute Real and Everything Else. It was just a tag name I had. I would spray it up on walls in junior high. Me and Millz did graffiti and used to tag up whatever. We was on some ‘hood shit. We tried to, but we didn’t have the heart to go everywhere and tag up and go on trains. But we wanted fame, so we had fame in our area. I was just taggin’ that up and Millz was taggin’ his up. One day when we was rhymin’ and making up names and his name I think was Jarvis Milli-on and he said put “Movado on the end of that, Cree Movado.” I thought it sounded cool so I started runnin’ with it. Then I just took the Cree off and kept the Movado and then people just started callin’ me Vado for short.

Complex: Given that you’re thought of as a flashy Harlem dude, it’s interesting how you’ve mentioned not being into wearing jewelry.

Vado: Yeah, I don’t do the jewelry. Probably a nice little chain. Nothing big or crazy. Maybe a little diamond necklace and a good watch. I’m more into watches, I love watches. I started off wearin’ G-Shocks and toy watches, but now I’m into Rolexes, Cartiers, Audemars. I’m just a watch fanatic. Right now my level is just icing out G-Shocks, toy watches, and all that, but in a minute I should be in the Cartiers and Franck Mullers.

Complex: What is your dream watch?

Vado: A Rolex GMT.

Check out the rest of the interview over at Complex, we have a couple questions for Vado himself. .. Hopefully that interview will come sooner than you think! ;-)

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