Spose red sweater

The Next Great White Rapper Hails From Wells, Maine

Ryan "Spose" Peters. Though you may not be familiar with his name, you're probably familiar with his current hit, "I'm Awesome"—a self-produced, self-deprecating rap song from his 2009 mixtape, We Smoked It All, that debuted at No. 54 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart last week and moved more than 33,000 digital downloads to land in the Top 30 on the iTunes Top Songs list. Unfortunately, that's probably just about all you know about the 24-year-old rapper from Wells, Maine—because despite the fact that he recently inked a deal with Universal Republic, Spose has taken the path less traveled when it comes to making his mark. His presence on rap blogs is essentially non-existent, he still lives in Maine, and, outside of a few local press clippings, he's gotten almost no national media attention. So VIBE.com caught up with Spose by phone (where the rapper was kicking it in the parking lot outside of a Taco Bell in his hometown, no less) to find out more about the man behind one of the fastest-growing songs in the country.

 

VIBE: You're at an interesting place in your career right now. You're a rapper with a huge hit song on your hands, but it feel likes a lot of people out there still have no idea who you really are. So let me start by asking this: Who the hell is Spose?
Spose: [Laughs] I've been a full-fledged independent artist since 2006. I've been grinding and doing live shows. I probably did 100 of them per year in Maine the last two years. But I have to be honest: To think a year ago that my song would be Top 30 on iTunes would have been bewildering. I didn’t plan for this. I mean, two months ago, I was delivering pizza and I had just gone back to college to get my English degree at Suffolk University in Boston.

How did you actually start rapping seriously in Maine? It definitely doesn't seem like the ideal place to launch a hip-hop career.
I was in a band in eighth grade in 2000 and they kicked me out because I was too bossy. So I had this dude from my hometown named DJ Food Stamp, who is now the house DJ for UndergroundHipHop.com, who kind of mentored me. He turned me on to a lot of stuff like Dilated People, Jurassic 5, early OutKast, and Jay-Z. I started trying to rhyme myself and I sucked. But I spent all of high school rhyming everyday and by the time I graduated, I had really found my voice as an MC.

Did you have a studio available to you during high school? 
Nope. [Laughs] I recorded most of it right at my mom's house. I had a computer and a Radio Shack mic. It wasn't until my junior year of high school that I ended up recording my first song at a legit studio. I caught the bug and started working on my debut album, Preposterously Dank, which I released in 2007. And then I started touring.

Let's talk about "I'm Awesome." The first thing people recognize is the beat—the xylophone, the accordion, the drums. It's a strange combination. How did you come up with it?
I recorded that in my basement. I did the drums on an MPC and played the keyboard to incorporate the other sounds. I actually borrowed the keyboard from my grandfather. [Laughs] And I ended up only using intentionally corny instruments. It's a pan flute, an xylophone and an accordion. It doesn't get any cheesier than that.

The subject matter is pretty out there, too. The song is called "I'm Awesome" but you're basically making fun of yourself throughout the course of it. Outside of just being a white rapper, it's one of the things that's helped fuel comparisons to Eminem and Asher Roth.
Conceptually, the track was an experiment to see how far I could take it. Though it might not sound like it, the record was a well-thought-out idea on my behalf. It was intentional for me to self-deprecate myself and throw myself under the bus to see how far I could take it, but at the same time, I still wanted it to come across as entertaining and captivating.

How did it end up getting played on the local radio station? 
It's funny. We don't have a rap station in Maine. There used to be one when I was growing up but it disappeared shortly after my first album dropped. So the first time I heard it was actually on a local show called Spinout on 94.3 WCYY, which is the rock station I grew up listening to. They'd never played a rap record, so I didn't even think there was a chance to be on a local show. But once they played it, people started calling in and reacting to it.

Did you think it would become as big as it has become?
Honestly, that cosign was as good as I thought I would do. My hope was that I could use that radio play in my bio and maybe get some shows in New Hampshire or even Boston and push myself as an independent musician, step-by-step. I never thought I was going to climb the ladder to the top, escalator-style, you know? [Laughs]

CLICK NEXT TO READ HOW SPOSE'S LIFE CHANGED SINCE SIGNING WITH UNIVERSAL

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Cardi B To Join James Corden On A Forthcoming "Carpool Karaoke" Segment

Your rapper’s favorite rapper Cardi B is slated to make her debut on “Car Pool Karaoke” with James Corden, Billboard reports. The Late Late Show host teased the upcoming episode, which airs Monday (Dec.17) via Instagram along with a small schedule of the show’s upcoming guests.

 

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Here’s what the next two weeks look like on the @latelateshow! Seeing the year out with a bang x x x

A post shared by James Corden (@j_corden) on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:17pm PST

In addition to the “Money” rapper, Amber Heard and Armie Hammer will also appear on the same episode. Corden is closing out the last leg of 2018 strong by having a slew of other prominent stars on the show on the last week before the program goes on break for the holidays. The likes of Gwen Stefani, RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Leah Remini, Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others will be featured on the show after Bardi’s Monday episode.

To say the least, we're sure the British talk show host and the newly minted Grammy-nominated rapper are going to have the time of their lives.

The 26-year-old's now estranged husband Offset, along with the other members of Migos were guests on the beloved show. Joining Corden as he drove through the streets of Los Angeles, the trio performed a slew of hits including "Walk It Talk It"  while also giving a nod of praise to past hits, including Whitney Houston's "Wanna Dance With Somebody."

With all the fun Migos had with Corden, we can only imagine what shenanigans James and Belcalis are going to get into.

READ MORE: Cardi B Buys Her Mother's House

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Usher Releases "Peace Sign" Video Off Of 'A' Project

Given Monday's (Dec. 10) debate about who's the king of R&B, one of the names that steadily popped up in the conversation has stepped onto the scene. In a visual promotion for his A soundscape, Usher released the video for "Peace Sign" alongside producer Zaytoven.

Previously, the pair hit the studio for an eight-track project that pays respect to their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. It was surprise-released in October and effortlessly fuses ATL's aura on the soundscape. Now, the "Peace Sign" video puts that decision into cinematic motion.

"Atlanta offers a certain attitude and a sauce that I can't explain, and it is a little bit in 'No Limit,' it is a little bit in 'TNT.' I'm literally talking sh*t, man," he said in an interview with The Fader. "I'm popping sh*t that I haven't popped, like really ever. And that's what being in the moment creates. When you have months and months to think about it and you begin to analyze all the people who you need to think of and what you want this entire project to work out, you'll lose certain elements of your spontaneity an incredible culture that just happens in the moment. I didn't give that space. I really was honest with the feelings, I was honest with the conversation and I was really in the moment. And I thank Zay for that."

Watch the video up top.

READ MORE: Tyrese, Usher And Others Reacts To Jacquees' Claim That He's The King Of R&B

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T.I. Releases Short Film For "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up"

T.I. keeps himself accountable for his wrongdoings in the cinematic visual for "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up."

Premiered Monday (Dec. 10) on his series T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle, the track featuring singer-songwriter Victoria Monet, is flipped into a 10-minute-short film. Directed by Mike Ho, the short film stars comedienne Britney Elena, Colombus Short, Woody McClain and model Denise Rodriguez.

Starting at a fancy dinner gathering among friends, things take a turn for the worst when the rapper's other partner invades the feast. On the Dime Trap cut, T.I. calls out himself for his past mistakes and deviances with acknowledgment on how he needs to do better.

"It's amazing all the sh*t I done / Such examples I've been setting for my son / All she did was stay down and have my kid / All the time just to realize I ain't sh*t," T.I. spits. In addition to the rapper flexing his acting chops, the album version of the song includes the infamous scene in ATL between Tip and Lauren London, where his character snatches a necklace he gifted for New New.

The rapper is currently closing out the year on an impressive note as it was revealed that his music has been streamed 276 million times on the music streaming service Spotify. "A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!!," the Grand Hustle emcee tweeted on Saturday (Dec. 8).

Check out the video above

 

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Extra thx to @brittneyelena @woody_thegreat @mikeho_ @officialcshort and errrrbody involved in bringing this vision to life!!! #TheAmazingMrFuckUP out @vevo after tonight’s episode of Friends and Family Hustle!!! @vh1

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on Dec 10, 2018 at 6:34pm PST

 

A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!! pic.twitter.com/7J6FFsUicS

— T.I. (@Tip) December 8, 2018

READ MORE: T.I. On 'Madman' Donald Trump: 'On The World Stage, It's A Joke'

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