XV > Kansas > 50 Bands / 50 States 2010 > Boston Phoenix 50 Bands 50 States




CITY: Kansas

CITY: Smallville
SONGS THAT GOT US: "Everybody's Nobody," "Vizzy, Vizzy, Vizzy"
MYSPACE ADDRESS: myspace.com/xtothevizzy
RECORD LABEL: Royalty City

WHY THEM? Donavan Johnson, a/k/a XV, makes music at the crossroads of a number of different aesthetic styles, with lyrically complex rap music equally indebted to hardcore boasters, synth-heavy '80s film soundtracks, and Day-Glo glitter pop. With a casual confidence that that is neither intimidating nor lightweight, Vizzy spits out rhyme after rhyme over heavily-produced beat-beds that sound like some kind of alternate pop universe where the hits of the past 30 years have been put in a blender and spit out in a way that is familiar without being recognizable.

BONUS BIT! When XV describes himself as a nerd in his raps, he isn't kidding: dude cites John Hughes and George Lucas as his top two influences, and his blog, The Kid with the Green Backpack, is littered, amongst new tunes and mixtapes, with in-depth videogame and comic-book analyses.