Local rapper/poet Virghost Memphiasco (real name: Durand Somerville) will officially unveil his debut LP, The Memphiasco, this Saturday night with a release show at The Daily Planet.
Somerville, 24, is a native of the Mid-South area who began writing poetry and raps sometime in 2008 after befriending a group of like-minded hip-hop artists, including Knowledge Nick, Quake, 901, and Young Yayo.
"I was working on a spoken word intro for Nick's first project which also led to me writing and recording my first rap to this song called 'Higher Ground,'" says Somerville. "901 was so impressed with my verse that he let me join Memphis Boy Productions, and from there I began working on my first mixtape."
"It was a really raw project. I was just learning to record and rap but people really liked it. It's hard for me to listen to it now because I have evolved so much."
Around that same time Somerville also began performing spoken word around town as a part of Hypelife Marketing, which ultimately lead to to him to take on the stage name Virghost Memphiasco.
"When I first joined Hypelife, I went by D. Somerville but my Myspace music page said 'The Virghost Poet,'" says Somerville. "Hypelife CEO Darius 'Phatmak' Clayton used to host the open mics and I think he may have saw it on my page when I messaged him or something and he started introducing me as 'D. Somerville the Virghost.' And everybody else just caught on and started calling me Virghost."
Now a part of the Point Blank Entertainment roster with a debut LP about to drop, Somerville sees nothing but a bright future ahead.
"I'm really excited about this album. I've never been completely confident in any of my projects. But with this one I am fully confident," he says.
"I will never stop pushing towards my dream. Music and poetry are not hobbies for me. It is me. It is my passion. It is who I am. I just want my word to be heard. Hopefully one day it will be my job also."
Virghost Memphiasco Record Release Party
w/ Quake the Great, Sleepy J. Barksdale, Hardface, Jason tha Hater, Charles White and D.J. Trick
Saturday, October 29, 9 p.m.
The Daily Planet