Inspired by Eminem’s “My Name Is,” Vinny Valente, 25, (aka Verbal Phantom) seeks to take the music industry by storm. Hailing from the Big Apple, this quick-witted artist has worked on mastering his craft for many years.
It all started when Valente, 12, was first introduced to Eminem.
The year was 1999.
“This funny, white, dope rapper,” as Valente calls him, helped transform this preteen into the upcoming emcee he is today. Valente says in the moments after hearing Em spit, he began jotting down his own verses.
As an idealist, Valente took time and developed his rhymes. He did not produce his first single, “Just a Fan” until 2001.
This delay was not without a grand epiphany, however. Straying away from the status quo, this verbal phantom has learned to allow his creative genius to flow into his rhymes, critiquing himself along the way.
“I just do what I feel, to me that’s cool,” Valente says. “I’m a perfectionist when I write as far as syllables, pronunciations and voice inflection. The same with recording, I need to be 100 percent comfortable with the recording before releasing it.”
Valente has always maintained a stable work ethic that many of his colleagues. He has transformed his home into a studio where he has recorded and produced all of his material.
“Vinny is one the hardest working people I know,” says Martin Perry, Valente’s videographer/director. “Not only has he produced all of his albums, he has gotten all his business cards, flyers and CD’s printed out on his own. If that’s not a hard worker, I don’t know what is.”
In the era of internet frenzy, it is not uncommon to find artists that produce their own work. However, it is uncommon to find someone that isn’t afraid to step out of the social norm. Valente, is that person. According to his peers, Valente’s artistic outlook is different from the others.
“Most of the upcoming artists out right now, in my opinion, only rap about the same exact things from the same exact perspective,” Perry says. “It gets old and everyone starts to sound the same. Vinny, isn’t from the ghetto or hood. He doesn’t pack heat or shoot niggas up, and he doesn’t slang rock or do drugs.”
Perry feels as though VP’s work ethic and superior lyrical flow, as he calls it, speaks for itself therefore he doesn’t have the need to do the extra stuff. Besides, according to Valente, he was always seen as the “little white boy rapping,” therefore the need for gangbanging clichés was not necessary.
“At a young age I was ready to be disregarded as being the ‘little white boy rapping,’ so I coined the name Verbal Phantom,” Valente explains. “It’s a way of saying I rap, but I will never be seen as a true emcee. That’s a battle I’ve been trying to conquer ever since I began.”
However, being seen as a true emcee is not a struggle this verbal phantom has had to go through. According to dictionary.com, the word phantom means, “A ghost or the figment of one’s imagination.”
This term coincides with the witty, philosophical words uttered from this young man’s mouth. It is hard to deny the talent once his music is played.
Download Verbal Phantom music at verbalphantom.com