Wednesday, February 15, 2012

XV -- "Wichita" (2011)

Small town, big dreams
And a young boy the age of fifteen
Had a premonition 

That his city would get seen

Rapper Donavan Johnson is better known by his stage name, XV -- that's the Roman numeral for fifteen, which is the age Johnson was when he started to rap.

XV is from Wichita, which is the largest city in Kansas -- not exactly a hotbed of hip-hop music.  "Wichita" is from his most recent mixtape, Zero Heroes, which was released last April.

XV (né Donavan Johnson)
His first major-label album is scheduled to be released later this year.  It will be titled The Kid With the Green Backpack, which is what XV says people used to call him in high school because he was so shy that no one knew his name.

"Wichita" is full of references to XV's hometown.  For example, it mentions the three Wichita high schools that he attended -- Heights HS, Northeast Magnet HS, and Southeast HS.

Kirstie Alley in high school
Kirstie Alley is one of the most famous graduates of Wichita Southeast.  The most famous graduate of Wichita Heights is Dennis Rader, who is better known as the "BTK Killer."  (Those initials stand for "bind, torture, kill.")  He murdered ten people in the Wichita area between 1974 and 1991.

Here's a nice black-and-white video that features the last verse of "Wichita."  Listen for the stringed instruments playing a sample from "Wichita Lineman" -- and note the green backpack at about 1:11 of the video:

Here's the entire song:

Click on this link to download "Wichita."  (Follow the directions carefully.  You don't need to hit any of the green "download" buttons to get "Wichita" or Zero Heroes in its entirety.) 

1 comment:

  1. Download XV's new mixtape "Popular Culture" on

    Also pre-order XV's "Awesome EP" here: