About two months ago, I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of Peter Wesley at a show put on for Never Nervous. At the end of the crowd, Wesley introduced himself. He’s cool and quiet and definitely easy to talk to. I checked his music out and… I thought it was alright. Jump forward almost no time at all and he’s already crushing it. With the release of Rematch, which just dropped at the end of July, Wesley has more than proven his chops as a rising talent in the Louisville hip-hop community, no small feat given the quality of that company. You can listen to that record here or listen to Try Again, the first single off the record, which features the always on point Jordan Jetson and TrapKingKai, and you can catch him this Saturday at the 502 Cafe with Bonez, Dave., Defiant, and Pronoun, a boss lineup. We caught up with Wesley to ask about the Rematch, themes, and the Bill & Ted of hip-hop!
Never Nervous: What got you into music? Is it something you grew up with? Was it in any way an out for you from whatever? I mean, growing up with a bunch of small folks with small minds, indie and hip-hop was definitely my opportunity to escape that.
Peter Wesley: It was always around. I use to listen to the radio at night before going to sleep. As a kid, my brother and his friends we’re always free-styling together. Rap was always the “cool” thing to me. But it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I actually fell in love with it. After buying my first rap album. I instantly thought “I have to do this!”
NN: Do you play an instrument other than your voice? Do you produce your own stuff?
PW: I played the drums when I was younger. I stopped after middle school, but I wish I didn’t. Unfortunately I don’t produce my own music.
“Rap was always the “cool” thing to me. But it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I actually fell in love with it.”
NN: Relative to that, how do you cultivate relationships with producers? How do you keep your artistic vision consistent?
PW: Most of my relationships with producers start from them hearing my work or seeing me perform live. So they already have a idea of what I want. Sometimes a producer will come to me with something different than what I had in mind, but I try to fit my style into it if I can.
NN: Have you ever had to turn down a beat because it wasn’t you? Can you tell us any about how you handle that kind of situation?
PW: Yes. I try not to be rude about it. I just let them know that I think that beat could be better for someone else and I ask if there is something else we could work on.
NN: What’s the scoop with Rematch? How did that come together?
PW: DJ Shaheed hit me up about doing a EP. He wanted to do a release show and set a date before we even started on the project. It sounded like a really cool challenge and I was all game for it.
NN: Is there any theme to the record? If so, can you elaborate? To whom are you having a rematch, so to speak?
PW: DJ Shaheed is really good at making beats that have a dark feeling around them. I was down in the dumps about a lot of stuff this summer, so it was the perfect style of beats to write to. I was feeling like I was losing at life and wanted a rematch. So that became the theme and the title to the whole project.
NN: As a relative newcomer to the scene, how do you view the Louisville hip-hop scene? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
PW: I really love the scene. It’s full of a bunch people who are so passionate about their music. There is so many talented artist on the scene that just full of creativity. The major weakness of the scene could be that a lot people are impatient. They want progress and recognition to just happen overnight. But most of the weaknesses are the same stuff you would see anywhere, really.
NN: Who are the emcees in town that you most admire and why? What have you learned from them? How have you evolved as a rapper since you started?
PW: Ah man, there’s so many. Dom B, Jordan Jetson, Rmllw2llz, ShadowPact, Mmuso, Mr. Goodbar, T Razor, Touch AC. I probably left some really dope people off. Those are guys that all new rappers should study. Me personally, I’ve learned something different from all these guys, whether is was about making better hooks, stage presence , or just inspiration to write more material. The best thing about being apart of a scene full of so many dope rappers is it humbles you. Whenever you’re thinking you’re the best, there’s another guy that is just as good to keep you on your toes.
“The best thing about being apart of a scene full of so many dope rappers is it humbles you. Whenever you’re thinking you’re the best, there’s another guy that is just as good to keep you on your toes.”
NN: Tell me a little about your writing process. Does it start with the beat or some good bars?
PW: Usually it starts with a beat. I will have a concept for a song and sometimes a few lines in my head, but I never do any serious writing until I pick a beat. Once I get the right beat, I feel it out and decide how I want to flow on it.
NN: The premise of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is that two idiots are the saviors of the future, because they can shred guitar. Who is the Bill & Ted of hip-hop and how will their rhymes save humanity?
PW: I’m having trouble seeing a hip-hop version of Keanu Reeves. I’m going to do a odd pairing of Logic and Kendrick Lamar. They’re both really good at motivating people through their music. They could probably unite and make something really dope that brings together 2 different fan bases, causing people to put their differences aside, and saving the world in the process.
NN: Imagine that to rule the internet, you have to find the One Meme (to rule them all). What meme is that and why?
PW: Rickrolling. It’s the best meme ever. And outside of the meme, the song is so catchy.
NN: What non-musical things get you fired up lately and why? Have you read, watched, eaten, or drank anything worth mentioning?
PW: I’m a big wrestling fan and I read comics. These are coolest things to me, outside of rap. There’s this comic called Saga. It’s like Romeo and Juliet, but in space. I probably didn’t sell it good but it’s worth a read, anyway.
NN: Last and always last (because that’s the way of our world here): what are your top three desert island albums and why?
PW: 1. Eminem: Marshall Mathers LP. It was my first rap album. I fell in love with rap after listening to this. 2. Kanye West: Graduation. This was the soundtrack to my senior year of high school. 3. N’sync: No Strings Attached. Don’t judge. I love this album.