Hip-Hop runs deep in Harrisburg.
Deeper than I originally thought. With every person I meet, every new connection, every track I’ve been shown, it continues to become more and more relevant to me that I’ve tapped into something very special around Harrisburg.
When I saw a guy named Vito Depiero was going to headline HMAC with guys like Entellekt and Rawston George opening for him, I had to find out just who he was. Even though I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of hip-hop in our fine city, how has this guy not come across my radar yet?
I tracked him down on Facebook and we met up last week at Midtown Scholar to discuss hip-hop in Harrisburg:
MJ: So out of nowhere I see this event for you headlining a show at HMAC with Entellekt?
Vito: I heard about the Entellekt show the other week and heard that it did really well. I just had my release party at MoMo’s BBQ and Grill, and we put together a dope video for it, about 150 people showed up, so I went ahead and reached out to HMAC and they put me on a headliner gig and suggested that I join forces with Entellekt because of how well his show did. I’m very excited about it and really appreciate the opportunity to share the stage with other talent from the area.
How long have you been laying down verses?
I’ve been freestyling and rapping in ciphers with my friends since I was about 13 years old. I started out as a manager in the entertainment business though I wasn’t always a rapper. I traveled a good bit, managed artists in LA, Miami, and Las Vegas. Last summer I came back from LA and having been around studios and music all the time I would always hear verses in my head, but it was never my position. My position was to manage the artists, help promote and book shows. Never to actually be a rapper. So when I left the corporate music world behind and came back to Harrisburg I told myself that I better take a chance while I can.
What’s the change been like going from the corporate music world to back home now being on the artist side of things?
Honestly, I come up with a lot of crazy ideas about projects, and my friends and family have been so supportive of this decision. I think now I am finding a better balance of what really matters in life like being close to my family, doing construction work with my dad every day, giving back to the community, doing interviews and, it’s just crazy to me how quickly everything is happening. I really want to make sure I take advantage this opportunity.
Where does your music come from, the spectrum of rap is huge nowadays, where do you fit in?
My niche is from an organization I started with my best friend called Blessed and Appreciative about 6 years ago. We do things to give back to the community at least once a month from giving hundreds of gifts away around Christmas time, volunteering at Bethesda Mission, and doing things like this is what created these opportunities in my life. Once I started to realize that I needed to appreciate more in my life all of these different, new things and, opportunities started making themselves evident to me. So it reflects in my music, I try to relate to people and inspire them to do good as well. I share things that have touched me in my life.
What would you say your goal is when it comes to music then?
To impact. To impact my community and those around me. I know other people have different financial goals, buy fancy cars, pack an arena but, I just really want to impact and send that positive message.
You’re pretty new to hip hop in Harrisburg, it’s a lot bigger than people think it is, so let me ask you what your perception of hip hop is in our city?
There are a lot of dope artists in our city, some really nice lyricists. There are a lot of guys working hard out here and really trying to do something with their lives and do something with their talent. Guys like Ralston George just have crazy talent. I don’t know if anyone has what it takes to make it, I don’t know if I have what it takes, but I’m definitely going to give it a run for the money. I hope at the show at HMAC I can pay respects to the artist that have put so much into our music scene here.