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Nashville, TN | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Nashville, TN | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Hip Hop Spoken Word




"Take a Contemplative Music City Tour in Virghost's 'Aviator's Theme' [Fresh Vid]"

Take a Contemplative Music City Tour in Virghost's 'Aviator's Theme' [Fresh Vid]
Clip previews his forthcoming record No Sleep Under the Circumstances
STEPHEN TRAGESER APR 3, 2017 3 PM 0 Tweet Share

Last we heard from Virghost, the Memphis-born MC and organizer of the excellent Villematic hip-hop showcase was making preparations to drop a new album. He called No Sleep Under the Circumstances "the album I've been trying to make since I first became an artist," and the first track released from it, "Aviator's Theme," certainly exhibits that kind of focus.

Today, Virghost dropped a video for the track, for which Aperture Visuals' Joel Davis filmed a series of simple, contemplative performance sequences. As he navigates some complex and increasingly ferocious verses about his goals and inspiration, the rapper tours some serene local spots that, while not unknown, aren't the first places you'd think of to film (maybe Love Circle used to get a little more attention, though at least one video in recent memory featured it).

No Sleep Under the Circumstances is out April 23, and you can preorder it here. - Nashville Scene

"Lyrical Assassin: Virghost Is Killing Competition"

There’s a burgeoning underground hip-hop community in Memphis that sounds nothing like the Bluff City-bred artists currently enjoying national exposure.

Durand “Virghost” Somerville is one of those artists, who categorize their music as "Memphop," a local version of the beloved genre. The 26-year-old emcee is currently prepping the release of his forthcoming album, Ghosts. He assures the project will not only satisfy the ear buds of listeners but also give them a look into one of the most challenging periods of his life.

“I named it Ghosts, because I feel like every song on that album represents something that happened in my past that I’ve been too afraid to actually face and tell people about,” Virghost said. “Every song represents something that’s haunted me. But if none of that stuff had happened, I wouldn’t have become an artist. I wouldn’t have become a poet. I wouldn’t have gotten married."

Ghosts will be based around a three-year time period: 2005 to 2008. On the album, Virghost opens up about hardships he experienced during those years, such as being arrested for a crime he allegedly didn’t commit and his expulsion from the University of Memphis. He credits the trials he encountered as the driving force for him becoming a spoken word artist and deciding to pursue a career in rap.

“I look it at it like those are the worst things to happen in my life,” he said. “If they didn’t happen, I would not be doing any of the good things I’m doing now. This Ghosts album is a really deeply personal album. It’s very detailed. I’m going to be talking about a lot of stuff that I just never really wanted to put out there to people, but it is what it is. People are just gonna have to take it how they hear it."

Since joining the local hip-hop community in 2008, Virghost has released several mixtapes, EPs, and albums. In 2013 alone, he released two projects: Live From The Other Side and Summer In September, a collaborative EP with KingPin Da' Composer. He said he's managed to collectively distribute several thousand units of his projects so far.

Virghost's undeniable talent earned him a slot among the city’s best lyricist for K97’s fifth annual "Next Big Thing" competition in 2013. To his surprise, he ended up winning.

“To be perfectly honest with you, man, I heard [about] it on the radio one day while I was at work and I figured that I wasn’t going to do it,” Virghost said. “I felt like every year they have it, they don’t choose people like a Virghost or a Knowledge Nick or Royal'T. I felt like, ‘what’s the point of me getting in it?’ And then a friend of mine, [Soulman] Snipes, posted on Facebook that me and a couple other guys should get in it. I was like, ‘Well, it won’t hurt me. If I don’t make it, oh well. If I do make it, a couple more people will listen to my music.’ I decided to go ahead and do it. It was crazy that I actually won. I had no idea I was going to win.”

Although Virghost achieved something unprecedented within the local hip-hop realm, he said some people downplayed his accomplishment. In the song “Best Rapper On The Planet,” he sarcastically echoed the naysayers' comments after dropping a solemn verse about the struggles he continues to face months after winning the competition.

“A lot of people were telling me, ‘You won the contest, but K97 ain’t get you signed,’ basically dismissing what happened,” he said. “That was an accomplishment for me. Even if didn’t that much come out of it, it was an accomplishment for an actual lyricist to win a contest in Memphis, Tennessee with a major radio station.”

Virghost possesses a flow that's aggressive at times, laid-back and melodic at others, but is consistently lyrical. Growing up, he listened to local legends like Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat, Playa Fly, and Gangsta Pat. However, he credits East Coast artist Nas — along with Mos Def — as the rapper who truly influenced his style and delivery and gave him the confidence to create music from the soul.

“I wanted to rap, but I was scared,” Virghost reveals. “I wasn’t that typical thug, gangster, or [doing] the music that was popping at the time. I didn’t feel comfortable or confident in vocalizing the things that I wanted to vocalize, so I wrote them down in notebooks. Nas is the artist that really pushed me out there and influenced me to get deeper with what I was talking about.”

From being a teen reluctant to publicly display his lyrical talent to becoming one of the most respected spitters within the city's underground hip-hop movement, Virghost is clearly on the road to success. His unique subject matter and raw lyrical delivery combined with solid production has placed him among the elite hip-hop artists representing Memphis. And it’s safe to presume that continuing to embrace that formula will do nothing but continue to catapult his career while simultaneously influencing other artists to stay true to themselves in their music.

Aside from being a promising hip-hop artist, Virghost is also a father and husband. He uses his music to both reflect the love he has for his family and the inspiration they provide to continue chasing his dreams. In addition to being one of the area's most respected rhymers, Virghost said he's determined to be a voice for minority fathers who take care of their obligations, eradicating stereotypes in the process.

"I feel like there’s not really an artist out there who’s representing for the fathers," Virghost said. "People try to paint a picture out of black men as not taking care of their kids and not caring about their kids and their wives or the women that they have children by. But there are a lot of black men out here who care about their family. I care about my family, and I want to represent that African-American man out there who takes care of his kids, wife, and his responsibilities.”

Check out Virghost's bandcamp page here
Friend him on Facebook: Virghost Memphiasco
Follow him on Twitter: @VirghostPoet

Check out my website:
Follow me on Twitter: @Lou4President
Friend me on Facebook: Louis Goggans - Memphis Flyer

"Trials & Tribulations: An Interview with Virghost"

Spirituality. Confidence. Bitterness. Betrayal. Resiliency.

These are all pieces to the musical puzzle that makes up Virghost's latest album It Gets Greater Later. Arguably his best project to date, the album takes listeners through a bright-turned-gloomy period the Memphis emcee experienced after relocating to Nashville. The project also shines light on Virghost's desire and determination to be globally recognized as one of hip-hop's elite artists.

It Gets Greater Later takes a different lane than its predecessor, 2014's GHOSTS. Virghost's previous project focused on his life between 2005 and 2008, a challenging period that served as his motivation to get involved with spoken word and hip-hop. However, It Gets Greater Later touches on more recent situations and experiences, such as Virghost winning K97's "Next Big Thing" competition and him being a casualty of infidelity.

Virghost talked with A Humble Soul about creating It Gets Greater Later, his bittersweet feelings towards K97’s competition, and why he's not fond of rap's mixtape culture. He also opened up about revisiting spoken word poetry; how going through a divorce changed his life for the better; the passing of hip-hop artist Fathom 9; and Memphis' thriving music scene.

AHS: The last project you released was GHOSTS, which focuses on a period of your life when you were in college. Things are more current on It Gets Greater Later. What were you trying to convey with your latest effort?

When I started the album, I was originally wanting to show the transition from living in Memphis to moving to Nashville. I moved here in 2014, and when I moved here, the last project I had come out was GHOSTS and before that was Summer in September with KingPin. On GHOSTS, I was talking about things that happened back in college, so I never really got to reflect on the stuff that happened with the K97 competition in 2013 or the move I made to Nashville. It’s kind of like this album picked up from where Trial N Error left off, my album right before Summer in September. The major theme of it was supposed to be the transition from Memphis, being a known artist in Memphis to being practically a nobody in Nashville. And why I moved here and what went on with that. During the year that I was recording it, I started off with a bunch of bravado-type tracks, displaying lyricism and all that, but in the middle of recording it last year I went through a divorce. That kind of changed the mode of the album, but it also added a great element to it that was not there in the beginning.

​You're open and candid on the album's track "Nashvillain." You talk about cutting ties with a lot of people and switching your surroundings. The song sounds like a theme for someone making a fresh start.

That was actually the first song I put together and recorded for the whole project. Right before I left Memphis, and when I moved here to Nashville, I was real bitter. When I moved here in 2014, I didn't record any music at all. I had shows and stuff I turned down. I wasn't feeling music. I was bitter from the K97 stuff, because it didn't really turn out like I wanted it to. And my group, PBE/Squad, we had kind of fell apart. A lot of the guys in the group kind of turned on me. And a couple people actually got mad because I moved to Nashville, like I was turning my back on Memphis and that wasn't what I was doing. I moved here and started doing music, but my original reason for moving to Nashville had nothing to do with music. But I took advantage of the move, after that year. When I was living in Memphis, I felt like, to a certain degree, I was viewed as an hero-type figure because K97 doesn't usually let a lyricist win something. They don't showcase lyricism and that type of stuff, so when I won, a lot of people were happy that I won, not just because of me, but because [K97] put light on a lyricist. When I moved to Nashville, that whole thing changed. I personally felt like a villain because of the way a lot of people were treating me.

When I spoke to you in 2014, you seemed appreciative of winning K97's Next Big Thing competition. But on this album, it seems like things have changed. On "Nashvillain," you talk about the station giving you props but not playing your music. And on the track "Searching," you say, 'Fuck the Next Big Thing, I was the biggest thing before that shit.' What brought forth the change in perspective?

I’m still appreciative of it. It was a great opportunity. I appreciate the opportunity and the things that came with it. A lot of people found out about my music that wouldn't have known about my music if I wouldn't have won that contest. But like I said in the “Nashvillain” song, ‘They said I was the greatest when they heard me on my tracklist, but at the same breath they still playing all that whack shit.’ That’s literally what it was. They were telling me that. I had “Be Without You” out, and they were telling me, ‘This is the hottest song we’ve heard by anybody, not just in Memphis.’ [DJ] Mic Tee said that. But at the same time, they weren't playing it. And I understand the politics and the big money and all that goes behind it. For a lot of people, you have to have the dough to get your records played, you’ve got to have the representation. And I didn't have none of that, so I understand that. But it’s still hypocritical. Don’t tell me that I’m one of the dopest dudes you ever heard, but you ain’t playing my music. And I feel like that contest didn't really have nothing to do with me. I feel like it was more so for them making their selves look good. And I’m not afraid to say that. I said that before I even won the contest. Now what I said on “Searching” when I said ‘Fuck the Next Big Thing, I was the biggest thing before that shit,’ it wasn't really a shot in my opinion. What I was saying was, before I won that K97 contest, like, back in 2009, I was literally probably the hottest poet in Memphis. The same level of notoriety I had as a rapper in 2013 with the Next Big Thing, I had in 2009 as a spoken word artist. And I was also saying I don't want to be completely labeled by that shit. It’s way more to me and what I’ve done than just the K97 Next Big Thing contest.

On “Searching,” you reflect on your time as a poet and spoken word artist. You even do some spoken word at the end of the song. Did it feel refreshing to revisit your roots?

Yeah, it’s funny because I wrote “Searching” for two reasons. I was trying to revisit myself as a poet because I really left that shit behind when I focused on rapping. A lot of people still want to see me as a poet; they don't want to hear my raps. Even though I won that contest and did all of the things I did rap-wise in Memphis, a lot of people still, to this day, know me as a spoken word artist. And that’s all they want to see me as. But that’s not where my mind is at, but I do want that back because that’s my first love. I wrote that poem at the end before I even came up with that song. And the reason I wrote that poem, it was for people who kept asking me to do spoken word. That’s why I said, ‘Fuck this shit, give me another beat that I can rhyme on.’ It’s like, ‘I’m givin’ you this spoken word, shit. You got that, now let’s get back to this rap.’ That’s what the poem was about. But the song in its entirety, it was basically picking up where GHOSTS left at the end. It was telling what happened when I was in Hypelife with Phat Mak and spoken word and all that. And it was basically me trying to find myself as an artist. But I can’t find myself if I don't find the spoken word artist in me because that’s where I started.

​​You’re very outspoken and assertive in your music. Do you encounter a lot of jealousy and/or competition because of this?

I don’t personally think anyone is jealous of me. Locally, I feel like there may be a couple of people who have a little fear in them because of me, not because I’m a super-ass rapper or nothing like that, but it’s just the way I carry myself. I don’t fear no other artist. I don't care what level you’re on. I may be local by definition, but my mind has never been local. I’m not star-struck by J. Cole or [Big] K.R.I.T. or nobody like that. I may be star-struck by Nas or somebody I look up to, or Playa Fly, somebody who was doing it when I was younger. But people in my same peer group, even if they are top artist in the world, I look at myself as that. Even though I may not have that right now, that’s how I look at myself. To a certain extent, yeah, I’m very competitive. A lot of people may look at that as something cocky. A lot of people say I’m cocky until they get to know me as a person. I’m very confident in what I do, but I’m not no cocky person. Life has humbled me many times in the last 10 years. ​

We're currently in the era of the mixtape rapper. Fewer artists are releasing albums because fewer people are buying them. What are your thoughts on rap artists solely releasing their music as mixtapes nowadays?

Man, I don’t like that word. Mixtape, it’s like it has a bad rap when it comes to rap music. When I hear the word mixtape, I automatically think it’s not your best effort. That’s why I hate when people call Big K.R.I.T.’s independent albums mixtapes. Those are not mixtapes, those are albums. He put his all into that. When I approach music, I don’t approach it as a mixtape. This is art. It has value to it. Think about it, what other genres come out with mixtapes other than hip-hop music? I feel like we should quit calling our projects mixtapes. We make albums. That devalues what we do when we keep releasing shit and calling it a mixtape.

One of my favorite vibes off your latest album is “Nevermind.” How did that song come about?

It’s funny you say that, because that’s one song I was about to take off the album because I felt like it didn't fit. It Gets Greater Later is a really deep, dark and personal album. And that song is so bouncy, but my engineer was like, ‘Naw, we gotta keep that on there.’ He kept telling me it was hard. That really was just fun, a rap track. It was something I just wanted to get on and go in on. I didn't really have a purpose for it. I just wanted to be lyrical on there and say what I had to say.

​Who is the guy at the end, Ricache’?

Ricache’, he was in…if you go search for my videos, I have a song on Youtube called “Ain’t No Love.” Ricache’ is the guy rapping right after my verse. He was in my group, when we had Squad/PBE. Even though Squad and PBE, we don't have that anymore, me and him are still very close. Literally, man, I feel like the only person in Memphis messing with me lyrically is Ricache’. He just hasn't been putting any music out as of late. I just wanted his voice out there. I wanted the people to hear something he had to say. Ricache’ is like Big Foot. (Laughs). He dropped a classic album in 2013. He’s just getting his thing together right now, but I just wanted to get his voice out there until he drops again.
The last time we spoke, you talked about how you met your then-wife after deciding to do spoken word and create music. Obviously, things have changed since then. On “Samson’s Theme,” you are unapologetically open about being unhappy with your marriage. You also touch on being a victim of infidelity in the song. Can you take me back to when you created that track?

That song actually had way more to it, but I didn't put it in there because I didn't want to be too harsh. And a lot of people that heard it said I was harsh. But I was thinking, 'If you heard everything I wrote, you wouldn't say that.' Basically, man, I had found out about a lot of stuff. I left my wife. I got tired of the disrespect — the stuff she was saying to me around my kids. It happened for years. That stuff went on for a long time, I just felt like, as a husband, that’s nobody’s business. One day, I just got fed up and left. I moved with my uncle, and when I did that I found out my wife was cheating on me. She had been cheating on me. Originally, I didn't leave because she cheated on me. I was just tired of the disrespect. When I found that out, I didn't necessarily get mad about her cheating on me, I got mad because the last three months we were together, she was doing a lot of extremely disrespectful stuff towards me. I didn't know why she was doing it. I started blaming it on myself. She was doing stuff right in my face, giving me signs she was cheating on me, but I just trusted her. She was my wife. I thought, ‘Maybe she’s doing this because of this. It ain’t because she’s cheating on me.’ When I found out she was cheating on me, it put everything into perspective of why she was acting the way she was the last three months we were together. It made me extremely mad, like, to the point where I was going to do something really crazy. At the last minute, I called off what I was about to do, and I just vented how I felt in the studio. That night, I went to the studio; it was like the easiest thing I’ve ever recorded. It’s like I didn't even write that shit. I wrote it, but it didn't feel like I wrote it.

How is everything now?

I’m good now. I was big on family, big on my wife, and big on my kids. I still am. Even after I said all of that, I still respect my ex-wife. I’m not going to let anybody do nothin’ to her. If a man puts his hands on the mother of my kids, he’s going to have to deal with me. Right now, I’m in a great place, man. Actually, this is the best place I’ve been in since before I graduated from college. No lie. That divorce was the best thing that could have happened to me, even though, during that time, it was the darkest, worse thing that could have ever happened to me. After I got on the other side, that’s what I needed to give me the extra push to really do this music shit. It was hard to not wake up to my kids every day, but I’m used to that now. It’s all good. [Regarding my ex-wife], I don't have no anger toward her at all. I wish her the best.
On the first verse of “The Darkness,” you drop a few lines about attending funerals and people dying before they get the chance to fully enjoy their lives. What moved you to place those lyrics in that song?

In the beginning of 2014, my grandfather passed away. The beginning of this year, my grandmother passed away. A poet dear to me, an older lady by the name of Gran Gran from Memphis, she passed away in 2014. Fathom 9 passed away in 2014. A lot of people passed away in 2014. What I was saying in that line, I was really talking about Fathom. Fathom’s passing, that shit tore me the fuck up. Fathom was such a big breath of life, and he was not an old guy. And he had so much music in him and so much positivity in him. And it just shocked me that a person like that passed away so early, but then you got people just going out here and ending people’s lives and they’re still here.​​

​It sounds like you developed a closer relationship with God on this album.

I’ve always had a close relationship with God, man. And I put that on my dad for instilling that in me my whole life. I’m not a religious guy at all, but I do believe in God. And I believe there’s a reason for everything and God knows the reason, and that’s what keeps me sane. Even when I was going through my divorce, it’s meaning in that. Something positive is going to come out of that, even though it was bad. I reference God a lot in my music, all of my projects, but it was more so in this one than any other one. A lot of people don't know that about me; I have a very, very close personal relationship with God. Even on my song “Greater,” the first song on It Gets Greater Later, I say, “I’m growing more every time you water my seed.' I’m talking about God. The first two lines on the album, I’m talking about God.

I notice you touch on cities in each district of Tennessee on It Gets Greater Later. You go from Memphis to Nashville to my old stomping grounds, Chattanooga. Break down your track “Chattanooga.”

The main reason I named it "Chattanooga"…the song, it’s not necessarily about Chattanooga. In the first verse, I’m talking about what me and my ex-wife went through when I didn't have no money, was losing my job and all that. I also talk about this girl who I was cool with. She was telling me about what she was going through — her baby daddy left her and all of that. Ironically, that’s the same thing that happened with me and my ex-wife. I left her, and she battled with the same thing. In the second verse, I was talking about this guy who was going through it with his newly-wed wife. He didn't know what to do, and he was asking me for advice. I gave him advice about what I was going through with my marriage and all that, and I eventually left. What the song represents in its entirety is freedom and getting away. The reason I call it "Chattanooga" is because recently, like the last two or three years, anytime I feel like I need to get away, that’s where I go. I don't know a whole lot about Chattanooga, but every time I go there, it’s just refreshing. I hear a lot of people talk bad about Chattanooga, but when I go there, man, it’s just beautiful to me. It’s always a place to get away for me. I named the song “Freedom” at first, then I decided to name it “Chattanooga” because that’s what I do, when I feel bad, I go to that city. When I feel down, that’s where I go to get a breath of fresh air.

Who are some of the up-and-coming acts in Memphis you’re feeling right now?

Definitely Hippy S.O.U.L., man. Hippy S.O.U.L. is number one on my list. It’s funny, man. Before they were even known in Memphis, I had put together a show the year I won the K97 contest. I think I had just saw a video of them on Youtube — they were just freestyling to some beats. They had a real professional-looking video. I was like, ‘Who are these lil' dudes?’ I hit them up and asked if they wanted to perform at my show? They were like, ‘Aw, we ain’t never performed at no show before.’ (Laughs) I was like, ‘Ah, for real? Y’all just get up there. It ain’t no thing to it. Y’all dope, so I’m pretty sure y’all can incorporate that into y’all performance.’ And they came to my show and killed it. And now, man, they are waaay better performers than me, man. They done surpassed me in a lot of stuff. I did a lot of stuff in Memphis, but it’s some things they’ve done that I didn’t even do in Memphis. And it’s just crazy that I kind of put them on that show and nobody knew them and now everybody fuckin’ know them. It makes me proud that I had a part in that. They’re going to do some big things. I’m really, really excited for their future and what they’re going to do. They’re very talented. They’re like lil’ brothers to me, man. But even though they’re lil’ brothers, I look at them as equals.

​It’s a dude named Crisis 901, he’s been grinding. I remember when he used to come to the Squad shows, just trying to get in the scene, and now he’s doing his own thing. He’s got his own shows. He has a good following of people there. Definitely him. Um, it’s a cat named...I’m not sure if he still lives in Memphis, I think he moved to California a couple months ago, he used to be called Tre Merit. He calls himself Sumo Tre now. That dude is dope ass hell, too. He’s real dope. It’s a lot of cats, man. It’s a dude named Michael Royal. He’s originally from New Orleans, but he’s on the scene in Memphis. He dope ass hell. It’s funny because I remember when I was coming up. I was the young dude, now, I’m like one of the old cats looking at the young dudes come up. It’s a lot of talent in Memphis, man. It’s so much talent that I don't know everybody.

Right now, you have more of a regional buzz. But on your latest project you express your determination to be featured in notable hip-hop publications and recognized by the masses like some of your peers.

I honestly see myself already there with them guys if not better. My only thing is I’ve got to get to the right ears, get to the right people, man. My music is already up there. It’s nothing I can do to make my music up to par with the people like the J. Coles and the K.R.I.T.s. I feel like my music is right there with their music. I just gotta find a way to get over the hump. I’m 28, but I still feel like I can make an impact and break out. I’m not satisfied with nothing that I’ve done. Nothing. I want to be way bigger than what I am.

What’s next for you, Ghost?

Man, me and my guy Snipes and Truth Clipsy, we’ve got a label. We started a company together called Capitol Minds. We’re trying to spread out to different places, make an impact in Nashville, rekindle some things in Memphis and expand to other cities and make this out to be something. As far as projects, me and KingPin are actually doing a Summer in September 2. We’ve already started working on that; it’s coming out in September. Me and Ricache’, we also plan on putting out a little EP this year, too. Other than that, I’m trying to push this It Gets Greater Later. I really think we’ve got a lot of work to do with this. I see this shit being in Pitchfork and Complex and shit like that. I just got to get to the right ears. That project is powerful. I just need to get it on a bigger platform, so it can compete with these major projects that’s out right now. I feel it’s on that level. Also, me and Tyke T are working on something right now. We’re going to have something together, too.

Any last words?

I just want people to give that project a listen. I put out a lot of stuff, but I really put a lot into that. Out of all my projects, the quality of that project is better, the lyricism is better, and the beats are better. My other projects don't even compare to this project when it comes to quality. You won't be wrong for listening to it. You’re going to love what you hear. - A Humble Soul

"[Video] Virghost (@VirghostPoet) - Distractions"

Rapper and spoken word artist Virghost delivers an uncompromising concert of thought provoking lyrics, witty exchanges with the skills and versatility to grace the most infectious beat or acapella in the intensity of silence.

Durand 'Virghost' Somerville has established himself as a heavyweight among artists in the Memphis community. Initially joining Hype Life as a poet/spoken word artist and Memphis Boy Productions as a rapper back in 2008, Virghost has actively perfected his craft over the past 7 years captivating his audiences and growing his list of accolades.

In 2013, he was the winner of the K97 (WHRK) Memphis' Next Big Thing and went on to perform and open shows for artists such as Juicy J, French Montana and Rocko. He has collaborated with various artists and one of Memphis' top producers, KingPin Da Composer and released a joint-album "Summer in September", and the single, "Be Without You". The "Summer in September" album was nominated in the category Album/Mixtape of the Year (2014) at the SCM/Knockdown Awards -- recognizing top talent in the mid-south and tri-state area.

As a poet, Virghost has participated in national poetry slams and competitions in Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana and Georgia, and has performed alongside Def Poet, Abyss and has worked with Mike Guinn founder of DFW Brave New Voices Youth Poetry in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

As an on-air radio personality, Virghost consistently delivers his artistry via his internet radio show "Live From The Other Side" on Liberated Audio.

Join the #IGGL Mailing List here for latest music, videos, news and shows from Virghost

Download the "Distractions" single on iTunes here:




Soundcloud: - ThisIs50

"Virghost: No Sleep Under The Circumstances (Album Review)"

No sleep starts off with the soothing background of mother nature. Screaming into its nightly ambiance as crickets chirp in unison. Virghost paints a picture of restless nights with the production. A simple yet rhythm plagued beat pattern laced with vivid ticks and faint drums. All blended well with the light yet significant sample. Opening up the production from being simple to genius.

The song "No Sleep" lyrics are clear and passionate. Virghost captures you into his simple flow pattern with heavy chalked lyrics that paint a very prestige picture. He folds through the chapters of his life. Following the trails, and triumphs that mold together his everyday. Virghost finds peace at where he is as an artist, but will always feel the hunger pains of wanting more. Stuck between the paradigm of chasing his career while maintaining his normal life. His flow pattern stays creative and never grows dull. His chorus is simple yet captivating. Leaving you to indulge in the simplicity of what this record captures. The next piece "Rent Song" immediately drags you into a bluesy coffee shop on the corner of nowhere. The production is laced with a somber piano melody than sits on top. The synthetic sax kisses the production with that extra touch that gleam over the instrumentation. The chorus follows a simple format. Which lacks to have an impact or transition in emotions as it plays simply to the already highly developed scenery set by the production. The song finds its safe place and never develops pass that. Virghost lyrics are realistic which push the hardship theme. The song never seem to capture an element pass its scenery. Although production is excellent and lyrics are very potent. The song never pulls us past the feeling of above moderate. The next song "Goat" kicks us with the familiar yet throwback sound of boom-pap. The production has charm and captures the 1994 feel of NYC hip-hop. Samples are placed perfectly as they lay into the production adding more flavor. Virghost revisits the early Memphis music scenes of an legendary movement called Memphop and his involvement. Hardcore music enthusiast would appreciate his references as he dive deeply into an reminiscent approach of story telling. Virghost flow pattern coast around the same tempo throughout. This song graces all its performance into the verse. Which is delivered in Virghost's common dance of elegance and aggression. His approach is stronger than his usual self-serving lyrical content. Virghost manages to deliver such an climatic experience. A vocally soothing yet lyrically scathing song to hear. Float into the next song "Aviators Theme" which beacons bright from the start. The production instantly sends you chills. The piano lives alone as it stands on stage accompanied by nothing but its own echoes. The smokey production accompanied by the heavy reverb of a synthy guitar touches your soul. The sound is so smooth yet stronger than cocoa cola after a 6 month break from carbonated drinks. The beat patterns play background as the distortion of the instruments grow, leaving the song continuously elevate to higher levels. Chimes and crisp ticks support the rhythm and make this production well rounded on every single aspect. Virghost verse has an complex rhyme scheme and higher tempo than his normal. The aggression is immaculate and drives the record into another level. You can almost feel him running out of air, but never hear his voice crack or stumble. You can truly feel the passion and pain written and performed throughout the record. Virghost performance on his records are god sent. He manages to captures each piece of production, matching his tone, lyrics and even story telling. This song manages to give you that euphoric feeling as the music confiscates your mental space. Virghost chorus is subtle and gives you time to take in the view. Which was needed as his verse and production gave you such an heavy feeling. Finally letting you come up for air after diving deep into the waves. His lyrics are touching, speaking on his past, and love ones that pass. Speaking on his understanding that he is here for a reason. Virghost gives us one of the best records we have heard in many years. "FYM" is the next record on the album. The production is smooth and has more melody than beat. The standard sound for Virghost. It starts to show some similarity towards this moment in the album. The production even though common still feels amazing. The instrumentation is well placed and hypnotizing. It starts with an interview clip where a rapper seems to be confronted on questions about a rap beef. The chorus from Virghost is creative and infectious. Social meme'd infused with the backdrop of golden era hiphop. His voice doubles as it hit the major component to the hook "F*ck You Mean". Virghost lyrics come out to prove a point. Don't challenge his throne, his musical prowess or anything else he claims. His flow pattern is simplistic and coast on the music perfectly. It has a certain bounce that makes it stand out. His feature: Ricache' comes in after Virghost. Ricache's flow is more sporadic and noticeably not as tight as Virghost. His vocal presence is amazing and voice sounds great against the instrumental. The records starts to drag after Ricache passes close to 20 bars. You start to miss the chorus which was such a good part of the song. It felt like a miss to only have it come after both artist verses ended. Ricache flow doesn't really change much after its start and loses its momentum as the song continues to push pass. The verses just seem too long and hurt the piece as a whole. Drop down to "DownTown" where the production is sampled from 90's era RandB. The production is gratifying and the sample that sits in the background is simply amazing. Virghost rushes you into a reminiscent vibe of 2pac with hard vocal infliction laced behind cushioned vocals. The vibe on this song is dope and highly refreshing. His flow pattern is modern and stays entertaining throughout. Lyrics seem to tell a story about a new love interest he cant take his mind off. The chorus is supported by the sample which also plays into the 90's hip-hop format. A greatly constructed song that stays entertaining throughout its journey. "No Good" is the next song on the album. Once again Virghost choice in production is regal. The bass is smooth and the ticks sits directly in the center of production. This instrumental is laced with more rhythm and drums than his usual choices. Virghost verse is slower and takes a different approach. His vocals are wrapped a couple times to amplify the performance. The verse switches styles right after the bridge. Complex, quick and very vivid to ear. We note this as another amazing vocal performance from Virghost. The chorus comes in after and feels simple, but works. It has a more southern sound to it as his lingo approaches as such. The chorus never manages to amplify the piece but neither does it falter. His features: Hippy Soul (Teco Tate-Idi Ah Que) Teco starts off first. His flow pattern is frantic and strong. His vocals are clear and mid-pitched. He switches his flow which keeps you entertain throughout the piece. His lyrics are clever and capture the energy of the song and Virghost. Next was Idi and his flow pattern is totally different. He slowed down the pace of the song and brought a change in direction. His lyrics are more direct with a slight metaphorical canvas. The feature fit perfectly on a song that already stood strong on its own. Drop down to "Facebook" the first thing you notice is the production. Crisp kicks and light piano keys make up the meat of this song. A simplified drum kit that supports Virghost's "freedom flow". His flow is standard and kind of coast around the same pattern and tempo. What shines here is the dynamic story that Virghost tells throughout the song. He speaks on the addictions of social media and how he and other artist are affected. Its perfectly told and delivers on every level. The chorus once again is simplistic but fits the overall feel. The production help carries it, feeling more like a duet between him and the instrumental. Virghost story telling and metaphorical presence makes this song a standout project on the album. Forward to the last song on album "Nas in 96".The production is stella on this song. Funky, clean with a simplified rhythm. Virghost showed throughout this album he has an ear for good production. The instrumental grants you an instant head knod. His flow pattern is aggressive and takes no breaks. His lyrics are strong with ego-driven metaphors that remind you what hip-hop was built from. Nas in 96 is a metaphor or punchline in himself. Showing how powerful Nas influence on hiphop was in 1996. The chorus is amazingly done and has hip-hop splattered all over it. Chunky reverb with stereo effects that echo into an empty backdrop. The last verse is actually a spoken word piece by Virghost. Which is one of the strongest performances on the album. Its so well put together that it still sounds like he is rapping. This song sends you out with chills and Virghost displays his aggression and passion on a level that's unmatched. No sleep is a passionately written album that feels like an artist of today walking through the golden era of hiphop. Virghsost manages to capture 90's in such a organic way it would be hard to tell exactly which era this album was conceived in. Without his insanely developed flow pattern, up to date topics it would be hard to tell. Certain songs touched our soul, going deep into human emotions and caused all of us to react. I literally almost had tears fall from my face on "Aviators Theme". The usage of words and how he forms everything to rhyme so flawlessly. Virghost vocals gives you instant gratification as his control is the best we have judged. Such a soothing sound yet rolled into some of the most aggressively driven lyrics. You fall into a trance as his ability to rap cant be judged or critiqued as its perfect. Sometimes there is no score to give. Choruses seem to fall below the standard of his verses. Sometimes relying to much on the production and not creating selling points through the chorus. But, at the same time that's what we loved about it. It wasn't trying to sell you on anything. It was just a golden driven package of great hiphop. The songs that made us feel good. That had Virghost in a lighter mood, was simply amazing. He drives so much emotion that he has to be careful. When he was angry we where too. When he was happy we where too. Sometimes we missed the lighter feels of the artist as more songs took to the hardships or competition. Virghost: No Sleep is one of the most put together pieces we have ever heard. Production all similar to the theme of the album. Songs driven by lyrical content and vivid story telling. If you slept on Virghost at any point. No Sleep Under no Circumstances will wake any skeptic all the way up.



DOWNLOAD IT NOW! - Viral Voice


No Sleep Under the Circumstances (2017)
Summer in September 2 w/ KingPin Da' Composer (2016) 
It Gets Greater Later (2016)
GHOSTS. (2014)
Summer in September w/ KingPin Da' Composer (2013)
Live From the Other Side EP (2013)
Live From the Other Side [Mixtape] w/ K97FM (2013)
Trial N Error (2012)
The Memphiasco (2011)
The Invisible Man EP w/ Kenny Wayne (2011)
Dear Fall, I'm Stilliterate [Mixtape] (2010)
R.A.P. Vol. 2: Evolutionary [Mixtape] (2009)
R.A.P. Vol. 1 [Mixtape] (2009)



Durand ‘Virghost’ Somerville is a Rapper, spoken word artist, and songwriter.

'Virghost' has established himself as a heavyweight among artists in the Memphis and Nashville communities. Initially joining Memphis Spoken Word collective Hype Life as a poet/spoken word artist and Memphis Boy Productions as a rapper in 2008, Virghost has actively perfected his craft over the past 9 years, recording and releasing 13 studio projects (5 studio albums, 4 EP's, and 4 mixtapes), captivating his audiences and growing his list of accolades.

In 2013, he was the winner of the K97 (WHRK) Memphis' Next Big Thing and went on to perform and open shows for artists such as Juicy J, French Montana, Ro James and Rocko.

Virghost has been featured in various publications including the Nashville Scene, Memphis Flyer,, and Viral Voice.  He has also been nominated for several awards such as the Nashville Industry Music Awards.

As a poet, Virghost has participated in national poetry slams and competitions in Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana and Georgia, and has performed alongside Def Poet, Abyss and has worked with Mike Guinn founder of DFW Brave New Voices Youth Poetry in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

No Sleep Under The Circumstances, Virghost's most recent studio album (2017 April release) is a showcase of his artistic evolution and growth, using his experiences to illustrate the culmination of one chapter while offering a preview of what’s to come from him.

Band Members