Jevon Sims is far from a rapper. His
spirit wouldnt let him claim such an uncompromising title. The born
and reared ATLien remains steadfast to his jack-of-a-trades persona.
Able to give the public the whole package, the man also known as Vawn, has taken hard earned lesson learned in Adamsville and is applying them to hip-hop.
music the backbone in Vawns life, this future superstar admitted to
being a hardcore R&B fan, first! Influences ranging from Donnie
Hathaway to Sam Cooke helped fuel his creative penmanship to writing
for acts like Ginuwine, B2K, Xscape, Avant and Mya. His impeccable
business acumen has allowed him to go from artist development, pulling
the Black star power out of your favorite BET mainstays, to realizing
his own destiny as a force of his own.
securing a management deal with Tricky Stewart (producer for Rihanna's
Umbrella) and building with partners Eugene Smoke and Jeff Woods
(SmoakWood), Vawn songs are a reflection of his commercial appeal
matched with his inspirational demeanor. The lead single, "Hollyhood" with Jazze Pha is a fire-starter in the clubs and with tracks such as "Ain't Running Away" and "Please Don't Stop" as follow-ups the future is bright for Vawn.
presents Vawn; hes not your average rapper. In this interview, he
discusses why Gods love is U.G.L.Y., speaks on how you can still be
inspirational and commercial and says three things that a true baler
should have if he says that hes such.
AllHipHop.com: Youve worked with a lot of people before you got behind the mic. Who all have youve worked with?
Vawn: I have worked with people like Jermaine Dupri, Jagged Edge, Avant, Xscape, B2K, Mya and Ginuwine... just to name a few.
AllHipHop.com: What have you learned from working with them?
I learned a lot from all of them. With Jermaine, I just saw how hard he
works to make his business flourish. He built his team from the ground
up and its just amazing to see how is work ethic is. Avant wow I
learned how to be humble. Hes one of the most humble people out there.
We got a really good friendship and Ive learned a lot from him. Hes a
hardworking guy. Even when he doesnt have time to give to his fans, he
tries to make time.
The team that supports you is always major. You have a manager who
produced Rihannas new single and another wrote the song?
My manager, Tricky Stewart, produced the song for Rihanna [Umbrella].
The whole Red Zone family is hot right now. Theyre doing their thing.
In addition to being my manager, hes produced records for Britney
Spears and plenty of others. Hes been in the game for sixteen years.
One of our key people, his name is Dream, he wrote the song, too. So,
the team is on point. Hes the next hottest writer and hes really
going to do his thing.
AllHipHop.com: How does having those connections help you in this industry?
Well, one thing that makes it better is that some doors open faster for
you. The people who Im close to are very educated in the music game.
So, it makes you have to step your game up. The Red Zone building has a
lot of people who are connected to one another. Jazze Pha is in the
building and we have all these works that come out of this place 1410!
Everybody comes through this building and well get involved in some
Now, with the artists that youve written for, whats one downside to
giving up your own personal talent to someone else?
Nothing really it wasnt really rap music that I was writing. It was
R&B. But I was also doing artist development and Ive learned a lot
from it. Now, it would hurt if you were a singer and you gave up a
great number one hit. But in my situation, most of the stuff that I
written wasnt for me, so it was cool. The greatest thing about working
about different people is understanding peoples work ethic. Thats why
Jay-Z, Beyoncé and people like that are on top. Their work ethic is
extreme. You can just see how hard they work for the success they got.
AllHipHop.com: Hollyhood is a strong single featuring Jazze Pha. How did the song come about?
I was entertaining my peers and sometimes thats a lot harder than just
doing a crowd. Jazze Pha played me a bunch of beats and there was just
this one beat. He said that nobody wanted it. I called my friend
Jasper, he writes for a lot of people and he came in and we just
started vibing. The rest is history. It was great. We just finished the
video for it. The concept is kind of like, Coming To America, so I cant wait for people to see it.
AllHipHop.com: I know that Hollyhoodlumz.com hasnt launched, yet, but what will the site focus on?
Im out on tour with Bow Wow, right now and my brother Mike set up a
site for the kids to be a part of the street team. They get to do
promotion and I send them gift cards and other exclusive materials. Im
giving them an autographed quote book of things that I believe in and
what I say. You have to build your dreams up! You have to get people to
believe in what youre trying to do. I have 400 people signed up
already. The word of mouth is out there. Shout out to my Hollyhoodlumz
out there! You buy the hood pass and you get all the free stuff.
You have a lot of good business practices and a strong team around you,
whats been the hardest thing about the grind?
The hardest thing about it is trying to get people to believe in what I
believe in. I have a saying that I say to myself. I say, Make a small
buzz and all the bees will flock to your comb. People always like to
have something to say about someone. The only person that can hold you
back is yourself. Sometimes it gets hard to knock those walls down
trying to get people grasp. But there are only 1% leaders in this world
and the rest are followers. Everyday, all day, I dream and think, I eat
and work out and think about what I want to be and how I want to do it.
Whenever I stop, I feel lazy. I have a team around me that has the same
intensity. They have the same mentality, the same focus as me. But
thats the hard part; to get people hype enough to where they want to
get on the same page.
AllHipHop.com: In addition to writing for other people, you also wrote an inspirational book called, The True Hollyhood Story. Can you talk about it?
Its about me and the essence of everything that Ive been through. I
dont glorify the things that other people do, but Im trying to give
something tangible that people can relate to. Its hard to provide for
your family, so for me, thats what I talk about. I want to show people
the good times, the bad times and the arguments that went into my life.
Its all just a testimony. Im a rapper, but spirituality is about
everything. As long as you pray about it, you can get it. I have two
programs. One is called U.G.L.Y. [Understanding God Loves You] and
the other one is called Im Safe. It stands for Im Stopping AIDS
From Expanding. Were trying to inspire people to be the best that
they can be. Thats what Hollyhood stands for. Just because Ive done
all these things, Im still thinking big. When the lights were off at
my apartment, which is a true story, for about two months, my
imagination was my TV!
AllHipHop.com: What geared you to write such a motivation piece of literature for [target audience] ?
Its definitely in there. Let me tell you why. I can relate all the way
from the hood to Mid-America. I can relate from the kids to the grown
folks. For the adults, Im saying stop being content with anything.
Time is everything. Its about having freedom. You have one life to
live and as people you have to live it. If you dream it and talk about
it, then do it! At the end of the day its been a road; been a
struggle, but people will be able to see it. Youll see this upcoming
documentary and I want people to be inspired. Thats all I can give to
the world. Thats all I can ask for.
AllHipHop.com: "Ain't Running Away"
has a strong hook. It sounds like something that champions ride out to.
Who produced the song and how was that studio session like?
It was incredible. God put his beam on me for that. This producer by
the name of Nastee cooked it up. Hes signed to CTE; shout out to all
them Jeezy, I see you! Rock City, theyre some friends of mine, hopped
on the track to do the hook. I heard it all together and I thought that
the song was crazy. The concept was ill, but I wanted to flip it. I
still wanted to say that I aint running away, but lets dig deeper.
So, when Rock City was about to do the bridge, I told him to do a
ghetto We Are The World, type of vibe and he made it an aggressive
track. By the time they [the listener] figured it out, they realize the
strength within the song. By all means, its the truth, its absolutely
the truth. The 1st verse is about not growing up with a father. The 2nd
verse is saying that it doesnt matter if he [the father] wasnt there.
Sometimes, its the mothers fault. They can use the kid as a tool. So,
Im not blaming anybody. Im just saying in the song that my time as a
man is now and Im speaking from the bottom of my heart. Im trying to
change the tree. Im not saying that any man is a bad father, but for
me, I dont care if you cut my legs off, Im going to make sure that my
son shines. If youre a man, a true man, then youre son is going to
follow suit. But if you raised a male, hes going to be a male. Im
trying to come outside the boundaries with something different. I am
not trying to preach to anybody, but you didnt even think about it
happening in the song. But when you listen to it for a second time and
really listen to it, the message pulls you and it gets you.
Its message speaks to those who have no fear but, can a man be a strong
individual without having to make a name for themselves in the streets?
A man is a man who can stand in the mirror and stay in his lane. You
have to be spiritually grounded to know how it is. You have to really,
really understand what it means to be successful. There are a lot of
people who have money who arent successful. I think that its funny,
back in the day we had all types of rap. We had Public Enemy, Wu-Tang,
Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow everybody had their lane. People could enjoy
their type of rap music. Now today, its only one way. Youre a thug, a
gangsta. Youve killed somebody or been shot. Im not trying to be the
best rapper, I just entertain and I want people to know whats going
down. In the same way, Im not perfect. Dont praise me, just praise
God. I dont care what youve done, I just want people to wake up and
realize things. You dont have to be like everyone else in order to be
With rap music coming under so much fire lately and you being an artist
who has an inspirational tone, does your message of motivation ever get
conflicted with what the streets would want to hear?
Put it this way in my music, it is what the streets want to hear. I
got some fun songs; I got some songs about being a G. My inspirational
tone is in my interviews, in my personality. I have a song about how I
beat up the block. Rick Ross is on the song, yet his views are
different than mines. Im not saying my spiritual tone is me, but its
in certain things in my music. There are three things that an artist
should do and it should fit into each other. In order to be successful
in music, your songs should be on fire. Then, you should try to be more
visually exciting than your music. Last, you should have something to
say in your interview that is relevant and informative. Thats where my
tone came from. Everything that Ive seen, Ive written about. I write
about what people like to do, I write about what Ive done. The way
that I put it in is inspiration but most people wouldnt even get it.
Im going to shoot the pictures because people dont read, but theyll
look at pictures. In order to affect people, you got to be in. What I
mean by that is that I cant just come in and change your diet. Yeah,
it may be a little cleaner than Jeezys, but if youre not interested
then you wont eat it. So, Id have to advertise and gain that
interested. But I guarantee if you come to my restaurant, youll dig my
AllHipHop.com: How does that conflict or that battle between secular and spiritual affect something like U.G.L.Y. ?
It depends on how you look at it. You have to look at it as an entity.
I wear different hats. Hell, let take me out of the discussion. With
Jeezy or Ludacris, they do something catchy, but it has nothing to do
with the fact that they give back to the community. Even Nino Brown
gave back. Theres a double standard, but I dont know if in the music
game, you can wear multiple hats and put them in the same sentence.
Youll still have your contradictions, which will give people a lot to
say, but youre still a man. Regardless of the hats that you wear,
youre already born into sin. Let the contradictions begin, because
after that I get to be on television and get a chance to speak on those
things! Thats what I say about rapping; music is music! Dont just
blame it on rappers, because when someone does clean raps, no one talks
AllHipHop.com: "Please Don't Stop" is another track that caught my attention. What was your worst moment with a lady?
Ah, bruh, let me think... What was worst date ? Im a picky dude. I had
a blind date when I was younger. My brother hooked me up with this cute
girl. Her attitude sucked and she smoked so much cigarettes! It was
disgusting. I would say in the whole course of the date, she had to
have smoked three packs of cigarettes. It was ridiculous. She got drunk
and she threw up in the house. We took care of her like gentlemen, but
I think that that was my worst date. She threw up in my car too!
AllHipHop.com: "Let Me See Dat"
is a song for the ballers. With freshness close to Godliness [laughs],
what are three things that every man who says got money should have?
Youd have to have a bank account, for one [laughs]. Its easy to say
regular stuff like a car, house and women, but Im trying to think
above that. I would have to say a bank account, a stable environment
for your family and loved ones and a roof over everyones head. But
Let Me See Dat was aimed at the dudes who act like they get money.
Theyre the ones who say they got money wrapped around money, but all
the really got is a hundred wrapped around a bundle of ones. I got a
dude, right now, who has a Mercedes key ring and doesnt have a
Mercedes. Hes never owned one. But it [the song] sounds like a party
joint. Thats my thing to get you involved. Thats what makes my music
good. The beat jams, you know?! In music, Im trying to put in comedy.
A lot of this stuff can be too serious. I just want to make people feel
good. Why cant it make you feel like you want to wash your car and
stunt? Im from the hood, but I got flavor and I want people to
understand. I got love from the neighborhood and I told them thank you
because I wouldnt have been able to do all that I am doing now. Thank
you to AllHipHop.com for doing this interview. I appreciate all that. I
can walk anywhere in the hood and get love because I show love.
AllHipHop.com: With a healthy buzz, a strong future and a dream to achieve, whats next for Vawn?
Im trying to make this record number one. Shout out to my business
partners Eugene Smoke and Jeff Woods. Together were trying to make
Hollyhood a number one record. The hardest thing to pick is a wife
and a business partner. Until then, Im trying to diversify. I want to
be able to do a lot of things in my career. This [music] is my love. I
had to slow down somewhat because I didnt want my acting career to go
faster than my rapping career. So, Im striving to be the newest number
one artist of the year. I may fall short, but Im going to give 250
million percent to get it. Im going to strive for that this year and
push to be a people person, continue to glorify God and to make sure
that I balance it out and give a different flavor to music. My music is
hood, but its not me over some beats just talking about the same thing
over and over again.
Vawn's website is www.vawnsworld.net
Vawn's Myspace Page is www.myspace.com/vawnsworld