Blvck Svm talks Carpaccio, performing with Waka Flocka, and almost giving up rap
Allow me to introduce you to Ben Glover aka Blvck Svm. He’s methodical; both in his lyrics and in the way he goes about his business.
The South Florida-turned-South Side Chicago rapper is alert and insightful, always thinking what’s best for himself, as well as for his loyal fans. An example of this is how he handled the pandemic. Ben made the executive decision to jump into his music head on and release a new single every other week. So far, he’s stayed true to that and it shows in his heightened following.
Blvck Svm saw his rap career take a giant leap only a matter of months ago when his hit song “Bleach” caught the eye of Spotify’s coveted Discover Weekly playlist. Ben saw his flagship track go from 9,800 plays to over 40,000 during that week…..it’s now at 569,000+ and still growing.
I had planned to drive the 30 mins south to Hyde Park to meet up with Blvck Svm in person, but Covid had something else in store. He was nice enough to audible to Facetime.
Entire Blvck Svm interview below:
Deviate: Music aside, how’s life been for you throughout the pandemic?
Blvck Svm: It’s been a very confusing time for me man. At the start of the pandemic I thought I was going to have to move back to Florida because I couldn’t work when everything was shut down. I even contemplated giving up this rap stuff to either 1. get a real job or 2. try to get into grad school. But I decided to give it a last ditch effort and that’s kinda around the time that “Bleach” started poppin’….so life definitely started getting clearer once my music began to take off. I got back into hoopin’ a little bit too so everything is all good for the most part.
Deviate: Before we get into how you got your start in music… “Blvck Svm”..where does this name come from?
Blvck Svm: Blvck Svm is by my count the 4th rap name I’ve went by….it started with “Kid Wicked,” but if I was going to keep rapping…you can only be a kid for so long. So then it changed to “Chief Wicked”. Then down the road one day I was watching Samurai Jack and it really interested me. I started doing some samurai research and found the first black samurai. So I wanted to pay homage to him as “Black Sam[urai]”. I then realized how many other Black Sams there were in real life so it changed to “Blvck Svm” and that’s what I’ve been going with ever since.
I remember looking out into the crowd and feeling nothing. No nervousness, no anxiety. That was the moment that I thought I could really do something with rapBen Glover, Blvck Svm
Deviate: Take us back to Blvck Svm’s genesis. Where/how did your music journey get it’s start?
Blvck Svm: Let’s see….I began free-styling in high school with someone that I played ball with and shortly after that I realized that my enjoyment of rap music extended outside of just free-styling. It eventually manifested itself into writing my own raps…I remember I would look up rap beats on Youtube to try my lyrics over. I would always do “Roger That” with Tyga, Wayne, and Nicki and also “Tom Ford” with Hova and Kanye. I ended up making a Facebook group called “BARS” and I would put my stuff up and my homies would put their stuff up…It was real cool.
Deviate: Chicago has a pretty strong hip-hop scene in general…what helps you stand out as an artist?
Blvck Svm: I wouldn’t say I actively do anything special to stand out as a Chicago artist. I’m originally from South Florida so naturally my sound is going to be a little different. I guess the one thing that sets me apart is the fact that I’m a very lyrical rapper. I always have been too…I need the play on words, the metaphors, and the wittiness in my songs. When I always ask people what I sound like they always tell me a New York rapper so I don’t know.
Deviate: Alright lets talk Waka Flocka…what was it like meeting and performing alongside him?
Blvck Svm: Probably the best night of my life in all honesty…..I had always wanted to be an act for UChicago’s “Summer Breeze” festival they put on every year. And I remember I was on the short list to perform, but never was asked. So senior year comes around and I finally got the chance to be an opening act…I’ll be honest I was still a little salty about not being asked the year before and even considered turning it down…..that was until I heard Waka was the headliner. The interesting thing was my routine leading up to that day. I’d walk home from work the long way and go into the hood and just start rapping my shit over and over again…and keep in mind this is when its single digits out and I’m a Florida boy so I hate the cold. I wanted to be the most uncomfortable I could possibly be so I could get in the mindset of knowing my lyrics inside and out.
I’d say it paid off because it was the most calm I’ve every felt before and during a show. The most memorable part of that night was when Waka brought me out for “O Let’s Do It”. I don’t think he knew ahead of time that I knew every word, but after the intro he passed me the mic and had me rap the first verse. I had rapped that verse 100 times growing up so it was perfect. It was like an out-of-body experience.
Deviate: I know you JUST dropped a new single. Can you speak on that a little bit?
Blvck Svm: Yeah so I had a new single come out on Black Friday. It didn’t have a name for a while, but I finally landed on “Pendulum”. Funny you brought up that Waka shit because the cover art is actually a picture from the green room when I opened for him. My sound engineer “Chxll” is on the second half of the track too. The song is about what we were talking about a few minutes about…ya know….like I thought about throwing in the towel on the rap career, but decided to stick it out. I will say I don’t usually get too personal in what I rap about…I have to ask myself “is this corny or not”, but this one is definitely more personal.
Deviate: Besides your new single, what can your fans look forward to in the future from Blvck Svm?
Blvck Svm: Man I hope in a year or two now we can look forward to a debut album that’s being pushed by a major label’s budget, but in the next few months I’m just gonna keep putting out bi-weekly singles. I’ve got the first single of 2021 planned out to drop a few days after NYE so be on the lookout for that. I also plan is to release a short EP on December 16th that’s comprised of a few songs I recorded a month or two ago. That’s gonna be called “Carpaccio”.
Deviate: Why “Carpaccio”?
Blvck Svm: I was listening to this Action Bronson project and it was like 7 little vignettes and just flowed together really nicely. So I thought man I wanna do a project like this Bronson project. My plan is to do a few cuts of music, not like fully fleshed out songs…and it reminded me of carpaccio, which is thin, pounded out cuts of meat.
Deviate: If you were to be an inanimate object what would you be?
Blvck Svm: I think I would be this water jug (shows gallon of water) right here….I’ve kept a gallon of water with me for about 3 or 4 years now and its become the new normal for me. Before I carried this jug with me I never used to drink that much water. I can relate that to before I started rapid-releasing songs. I used to just drop songs whenever I felt like it, but now I can’t go 2 weeks without putting something out. I don’t ever want to go back to not releasing stuff bi-weekly, and similarly, I don’t ever want to not be hydrated at all times.
The man can connect dots on a whim
I want to thank Ben for taking the time to Facetime with me for the hour. Very insightful and extremely humble. Be on the lookout for his new single in the coming days, as well as his new EP, Carpaccio, December 16th.
Blvck Svm is unmistakeably a Deviate.