V.A. Tha Gray: Blunt Reality
Article & Photos By: K.G. Graham
After speaking with Dallas artist V.A. Tha Gray a few weeks ago at KD’s Custom Jewelry, I realized that there are two things that V.A. and Michael Jordan have in common. The first is the love of the game they’re in and the second is how versatile they both are/were in their respective fields. V.A. Tha Gray (V.A. stands for Versatile Artist) is a Nawf (North) Dallas native who’s simply a very passionate being that happens to be a musician. When asked where “Tha Gray” derives from V.A. says, “The gray symbolizes that I never wanted to be classified in a certain genre or as a certain type of rapper. I’m versatile in all aspects. I’m neither black nor white; I’m in the grey area.”
“Blunt Reality” is V.A.’s latest body of work consisting of 13 original tracks. “I wanted to show my growth on this album. The first thing I wanted people to see was growth from my previous project, “The Haze.” I wanted to show them that I can story tell and show more direction. For the most part you get the bluntness in our reality with this project, nothing is sugar coated,” says V.A. He also mentioned his admiration for Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole for the truth in their music. One of my favorite records on “Blunt Reality” is “Sinner’s Paradise,” which immediately gave me a Kendrick or Cole vibe. It’s approximately 4 minutes of truth that I’m sure the masses can relate to, and from the song’s title, you can sense just how personable the record is. “It’s hard to be genuine in a rap world that’s really fake, but it’s set up that way for financial profit and gain. It’s hard to stay true to your core. It’s hard to keep that passion. I’m not like every other rapper though, fortunately. I want to be more like Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley. I want to express true feelings and not hide them in the background. It’s a struggle though. The Kendrick and J. Cole routes are not easy to come by, especially coming from Dallas. [It] takes timing, patience and movement,” says V.A. regarding his personal struggles and temptations in the industry.
With three projects under his belt, some may still ask, “Who is V.A. Tha Gray?” With so much music being put out, consumers have developed short attention spans. One thing V.A. has done quite well is put out both quality and personable music. As an artist your job is to let your fans get to know you through your music; they need to buy into you. “I have a song called “Black Boy” which describes me. That song embodies all my feelings; feelings about being a person of color, feelings I feel America puts on people of color, black men especially. My greatest passion is our culture and I want to bring it more into my music.” “Big Dreams” is another record on “Blunt Reality” that stuck with me. Being young entrepreneurs, we all have dreams and I was curious to find out what V.A.’s dreams are. “I simply want our label, NILE Music, to be viewed as a staple in Dallas. I feel like what we wanna do with the label inside the community itself would be great for black people in general. Get the people behind us. As far as myself I just wanna get the truth out and real music out there.”
Cosigns are very important and play a major role in transitioning from a local to a national artist. V.A. let it be known that his cosign is of his fellow Dallas rapper, Mga-Czar, for being a great addition to the Dallas hip-hop scene and for being a teacher to the next wave of artists. We at COSIGN Magazine #COSIGN V.A. Tha Gray for remaining true to his artistry and not taking the mainstream approach with his music. His content and production alone are enough to reach the masses in a positive light. With a few more months of hard work and a break out record, we believe the truth in V.A.’s music will be heard across the globe.