Grease Is on the Move: A Conversation with Wes Blanco

Written by Dulce Mercado

 

When you think of Houston you think, DJ Screw, Pimp C, codeine in double cups, swangin’ in old schools with the ‘bows poking out and that Southern feel — at least when it comes to the music. As one of the major and most populated cities in America, you think versatility, openness, diversity. All of those things are what truly makes Houston known for what it is. I had the opportunity to chit-chat with one of Houston’s upcoming artists, Wes Blanco, and talked about influences, important things to consider in the game, past encounters that have changed his style and exciting things he has coming up in the future.

Wes Blanco has released three projects “Wes Be Blanco, Grease Is The Word” and his most recent one, “Real Quick.” All three of these EP’s have consisted of six to seven tracks as a stranger to keep people intrigued. Blanco mentioned that one thing he feels that people lack these days is attention span — “It is hard for people to go song for song on an upcoming artists tape.” Up and coming artists have to first catch the attention of people to then form an audience that will be consistently waiting for the next set to drop to take a listen. His plan as an artist is to “hit them over the head.” It is a way to hold everyone’s attention and hopefully keep them hooked. A well-produced project of six songs is more likely to entertain a new listener rather than a 12 plus track project that will probably, most likely, bore the unknown audience.

“Chop Sticks” from “Grease Is The Word” has 130,000 plays, “Mula Fiend” from “Real Quick” has 50,800 plays and “Measurements,” which is just a single, has 14,700 plays on SoundCloud. All from different areas and time and all with thousands of plays, proving that Wes Blanco isn't just some mundane rapper who is just jumping on this wave.

We went on to talk about the significance of each of these three tracks. “Chop Sticks” was something contrary from his past songs — “Everything was so different and cohesive from like the beat, to the subject matter, to the hook.” “Mula Fiend” is one of my personal favorites. It has a good beat which gets your mood going, and also the story he is telling you is very personal. He raps about things he entangles himself in that has caused his legal difficulties, but he censured himself about these circumstances. To him “Mula Fiend” was a success because of the production and the feel that is has, “that dab type shit.” In the simplest form, it just puts you in a good mood and gets your head bobbing. From not promoting Measurements at all and it exceeding in plays, it was a real shock for Blanco — “I just got the cover art and dropped that motherf*cker.” Measurements showed a lot more versatility.

“I showed people I could do something different, even the way I sang the hook, even the rhyme scheme.”

He goes in on that track, like completely just tears it up. Coming in super hard then transitioning into something else but keeping that steady hype flow was amazing. He flourishes the beat with his flow and got it going. “Measurements” is one if favorite tracks and we can all see why.

The numbers in plays keep growing by the day. He comments about the old stuff catching up to his newer music, another confirmation that Wes Blanco is really starting to regale his listeners with his music. Talking about his old stuff, we got into a talk about how hard “Wes Be Blanco" really is. Even though according to him, “the sound quality is pretty mediocre” on that tape, the things he was rapping about were the light of that tape. At the time, he was on house arrest and didn't have much available to him.

“Don't put yourself in a box, think on some creative sh*t and just kinda like, just listen to the music. I don't over analyze sh*t, so even if I don't understand it I appreciate it.” “That’s really how I look at music too, it’s just art.”

 

“I was on house arrest when I made that tape, so I was recording that h*e in the house. I shot my first video I dropped for “Game,” on the porch when I was on house arrest.”

 

Even though he was going through a rough patch in his life during that time-period, he devised a cunning strategy and made the best out of “Wes Be Blanco.”

 

Discussing the music scene, we start talking about the truth in raps and the lies that some artists talk about. He talks about living a certain lifestyle that you emerge yourself in and how that causes you to experience things and see things for what they really are.

 

“When I rap, a lot of shit is past experiences. It’s not necessarily what I'm doing now. A lot of it is but a lot of it isn’t.”

 

Experiences are what gets him to make music. The more he experiences, the more he goes through things, the more things he comes across with the more he has to rap about. He talks about how some artists have the ability to make music and rap about things someone else has gone through. This was his example: “Even if you rap about some sh*t your brother did, just be real. Like I'm not gonna lie, I had the capability to put music together, and my brother lived a lifestyle I felt was worthy enough to rap about.” It is about finding the balance in what people want to listen to and in what they need. People need to hear the truth but in a way that they will enjoy the music. It’s okay to rap about things that someone close to you has gone through, but don’t lie about it if you have never came close to the kind of problems you are rapping about.

 

This ties into pantomimed music. You can tell a story through gestures and through your music. It isn't necessarily lying because you are making up a story, not putting yourself in a lifestyle you haven’t lived. Blanco has a track on “Grease Is The Word,” “Fully Loaded,” which is all storytelling.

 

“I made that story up, its like a movie. Its art. You can appreciate art. It’s like people paint pictures of f*cking pigs flying. People aren't gonna be like, ‘oh bro, did you really see a pig fly’?”

 

The way Wes Blanco makes music is like this, painting pictures. He says that he likes to give the people the real, but also include that wavy sh*t. Blanco talks about how he watches a lot of movies and watches the news often. These are some of the things that give him ideas and allows him to paint these pictures he expresses through his music.

 

Some of his cinema influences are Kurt Cobain, Johnny Cash and Bruce Lee. All three of these men have some sort of gravity in the life of Blanco. The most important one to him has to be Johnny Cash — “Johnny Cash I was in my past life.” He goes on to talk about how Johnny Cash was a real rockstar, a player, a smooth talker, the first major recording artist ever to perform in front of people at a penitentiary, how he wore all black and most importantly, telling the president of the United States no. Blanco values how he stood up for what he believed in and stood up for himself even if it was the president and it's a plus that Blanco also wears all black all the time. Kurt Cobain and Bruce Lee are other significant figures to Blanco. The things they would talk about, being outside the box, understanding where they come from.

 

“Don't put yourself in a box, think on some creative sh*t and just kinda like, just listen to the music. I don't over analyze sh*t, so even if I don't understand it I appreciate it.” “That’s really how I look at music too, it’s just art.”

 

Some of his other inspirations are Schoolboy Q, Nipsey Hussle, Action Bronson and Vince Staples. His flow resembles the kind of flows these men have. Picking apart a beat but keeping that flow connected and making the listener fascinated. That’s what Blanco is mastering. Staying with the beat and keeping it interesting — “I'm not just gonna keep the same consistent cadence, same flow throughout the whole song simply because that sh*t is annoying.”

 

On the lyrical side, the Hot Boyz and old Lil Wayne are who have more of an impact on the topics and content he raps about. “That older just raw ruggish sh*t, thats really who I am.” The things that these men would rap about such as women, drug abuse, violence that goes on, how they felt about what was going on in the world, are all the kind of things that makes Blanco speak on the kind of things he does. It gives him the confidence to be able to express his thoughts on these kind of situations and allow him to confide in himself and bring out his own personal encounters. New Orleans, Louisiana is like his second home making it have a major influence on his sound, which brings us to him working with Curren$y on his track “So Strong” from the “Real Quick” EP. Curren$y is one of the most respected and consistent artists in the rap game. Always dropping new music and keeping up with his fans. He also has a lot of things going on himself. He does his “Raps and Lowriders”weekly vlog, he just made his own strand of weed and has his own music he's doing. Due to his busy schedule, they were not able to get into the studio together and chop it up, but they did link up in NOLA. Blanco sent over the track after that and Spitta jumped on it, did his thing and sent it back. This is only the beginning of the people who Blanco is working with for his newer music and projects.

 

Right now he is working on a new project in which he’s trying to solidify and be more precise with his personal sound. He has a huge vision for this project and is working immensely hard on perfecting it. This upcoming project is going to be very particular. He mentioned how it will be a lot different from his last two projects. A mixture of “Wes Be Blanco" and “Grease Is The Word,” you could say. It will not be out until probably late September, early November, somewhere around that time. He is rapping about his occurrences and refining his sound to be solid and specifically his. He has been working with a producer from Virginia named Ronney Villain whom he has a really cool connection with. They both enjoy each others work and that is the perfect combo. We will most likely be seeing a lot of Ronney V’s production in this project.

 

“That next project, I can’t just say it enough. That sh*t is about to be hard as fuck.”

 

Blanco is going to prove himself to the people that this is really what he does, he can make music and it will not stop any time soon. This is going to be something consistent. From the production to the visuals to the style, this is what it will be. He is just going to keep moving forward and keep reaching for his goals. He has some merchandise also coming so that is something to be on the looks for as well as more shows he has planned.

 

Wes Blanco sees himself selling out shows, having a solid foundation of artists who supper him 100%. Performing in big arenas and huge major festivals such as Free Press Summer Fest, Lollapalooza, Buzz Fest, even Warped Tour. He is heavily influenced by Schoolboy Q and Action Bronson, men who perform at shows like these and always sell out at every city they go to. As far as long term goals he wants to create a concrete enough foundation to go into different avenues outside of music. Things like creative direction, writing scripts, helping with films, things as such since he has a passion and love for movies. One thing he wants to do is keep money in circulation. He wants to be the benefactor, helping out his family and taking care of their needs. El Patron.

Fun Facts about Wes Blanco:

1. What is your favorite song?

Sky is The Limit Remix- Lil Wayne.

2. What is your favorite movie?

Old School, Good Fellas, Pulp Fiction.

3. What is your favorite car?

88 box Chevy El Camino.

4. What is your favorite thing to munch on?

Hamburgers, Hot Wings and Sushi.

5. What if your favorite quote or saying?

Proverbs (26:24).

Listen to Wes Blanco's project, "Real Quick" Below