Photo credits:  Eric Logan / Videos credits: YouTube

 

Vito Tisdale, also known as “Big V” or “Vito Banga,” is a former member and front man of the multiplatinum hip-hop group Nappy Roots. Big V has been credited as the architect of several of the group’s biggest hits including “Po Folks” and “AwNaw”. Hip Hop magazine XXL named Vito to their top ten rap voices list.

 



Vito left the group in 2012 to concentrate on being a father, but has recently decided that the time was right to return to music. With singles like “When We Were Young ”, a tribute to both his time in Nappy Roots and the trials of being a young parent, along with “Street Boy” which chronicles the problems in relationships marked by drug abuse and infidelity. 

 

The song “It’s Ok”, which the Grammy-nominated rapper chronicles his personal challenges and setbacks, comforts and encourages listeners along the way. Big V was re-introduced to the music world as a talented solo artist.

 

His current singles “All On Me” and “All Nite” features R&B artist Urban Mystic and provides a grown man’s view of how you should treat the woman in your life and is sure to be a favorite among his female fans. Big V also just released his 5 Mic mixtape on his website.

 



In addition to the music, Vito has also added “actor” to his lists of accomplishments landing roles in the movies “Don’t Shoot The Messenger”, “Business of Christmas 2”, “Blue and Black Tears” and a lead role in the film “45 Seconds.”

Going Solo:


GO BANG! Magazine: Nappy Roots has a strong legacy. What inspired you to embark on a solo career, and how do you differentiate your sound from the group’s music?

Big V: I decided to go solo after some things just didn’t equal up. I had passed up previous opportunities to do some solo music because of my
loyalty to the group. Also, during that time, my girl dumped our kids on my mama’s doorstep and never looked back.  So I took 12 years off to raise four kids as a single dad. As far as the sound is concerned, I took my part with me. I was a major architect of the Nappy Roots sound, so it was only right to take it with me.

Finding Your Voice:

GO BANG! Magazine: How has your creative expression evolved since going solo and are there themes or topics you’re now exploring that wouldn’t have fit with Roots?

Big V: I no longer have to accommodate five other ideas and voices, so I get to tell the story the way I hear it. I was a back-alley cat, so I get to bring those stories to life that probably would not have fit the Nappy image. Also, I get to talk to the women more as a solo artist.

Building a New Audience:

GO BANG! Magazine: Nappy Roots has a dedicated fan base. How are you approaching building your solo audience and what kind of connection are you hoping to create with new listeners?

Big V: I am just tapping into the audience that I helped create. We were illegally downloaded 11 million times during Napster heyday, so there are 11 million people that I am re-introducing myself to.

In addition, I am connecting to the audience that wants to hear reality rap and understand the plight of working-class people.

Production Powerhouse:

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve always been a skilled producer. How is your production style unique as a solo artist compared to your work with Nappy Roots?

Big V: Again, I get to have all of the input instead of having other people saying let’s try this way or that. So, I use my whole arsenal of influences from Country, Blues, RnB, to jazz, rock and Hip Hop.


Unexpected Collaborations:

GO BANG! Magazine: Nappy Roots has collaborated with a diverse range of artists. Are there any dream collaborations you’d pursue as a solo artist?

Big V: Rapwise, it would be Scarface as well as Jadakiss. Face and I get compared a lot, so it would be the opportunity….a LeBron playing with
Jordan type thing. RnBwise would have to be Stevie (Wonder) or Mr. Bigg aka Ron Isley. On the country and rock sides, it would have to be a Darius Rucker and the Rolling Stones.

Showtime:

GO BANG! Magazine: : Performing solo presents a different experience from group shows. How do you approach crafting your live performances as a solo artist?

Big V: I try to make my live shows just that, “an Experience.” I am putting together a live band and I have my background singers with me onstage as well.

Lessons Learned:

GO BANG! Magazine: What are some of the biggest takeaways you’ve gained from your solo journey so far? Have there been any unexpected challenges or rewards?

Big V: You have to have identity and remain true to who you are. You learn that everyone that you look out for doesn’t necessarily do the same for you. All money ain’t good money and you can’t be afraid to walk away and restart.

Staying True:

GO BANG! Magazine: Nappy Roots is known for its authenticity. How do you maintain that same genuine voice in your solo work?

Big V: The authenticity that the group is known for stems from me, so I just keep doing for myself what I used to do for the group. I’m Mr. Awnaw and Po Folks. The same way Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson took their signature sounds with them when they left their groups, I’m doing the same thing.

The Future is Bright:

GO BANG! Magazine: What are you most excited about for the future of your solo career? Are there any specific musical goals you’re working towards?

Big V: I’m excited that I get to say what I want, when I want and how I want. I also get to bring up other young artist and producers in the industry and helped them avoid the situations I had to go through.

Balancing Acts:

GO BANG! Magazine: Juggling a solo career and acting can be challenging. How do you manage your time and dedication between the two projects?

Big V: Actually, acting was my first love before the music, but music is what took off for me first. It really isn’t a struggle to juggle them, they are both artistic outlets for me.

GO BANG! Magazine: As an actor, you’ve landed roles in several movies. Do you plan to continue acting and do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

Big V: Most definitely. I love the film and acting world. I am working on scripts now that I plan to direct and distribute the films. One is called “The Dispensary.” I own a dispensary, so I get to tell the stories that only occur in that world.

GO BANG! Magazine: Is there anything that you would like to do professionally, that you haven’t done thus far?

Big V: Man, I’ve had a blessed career, so I really can’t complain. I met Prince, Michael Jackson, Lil Richard and Rick James. I’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Kanye West, as well as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The only thing else I want is the money that I should have got for all of the work I’ve put in.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, what would you like your legacy to be?

Big V: My Aunt Dot used to say “let that king have the Castle and the Gold, for the one you serve was born in a manger.” So, I want my legacy to reflect that saying. To stand for the people, and not step on the people. As a people, we shouldn’t have to put each other down to feel like we are standing tall.

GO BANG! Magazine: Well Vito, you have officially been banged!! GO BANG!!!

Big V: Vibe Vito


You can follow Big V:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/bigvofnappyroots
IG – @bigvofnappyroots
TikTok – @therealbigvofnappyroots
Website – www.bigvofnappyroots.com
Linktree – https://linktr.ee/bigvofnappyroots

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG!

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