By: Tony Davis
Daniel Butterfield has been rapping since he was 13, but has recently started taking his music more seriously performing as Vince the Messenger. (Tony Davis)
Ben Taylor was angry.
He was 14 and he just got suspended from school.
Taylor was caught smoking weed in the dugouts at East Wiltshire School.
He channeled that anger into his first rap song.
“It’s not the most Cinderella story of how I started. It was really angry and horrible; it was your typical 14 year old trying to be Eminem trashing his room type stuff,” he said.
The rap music scene on P.E.I. is picking up after being an underground movement for several years and Taylor has been part of that evolution, rapping as B.T. Flow.
For seven years he honed his craft working hard but feeling like he wasn’t moving forward.
Then one night at a local bar changed everything, it was only local artists on the bill and there was a popular pub-crawl held the same night. Taylor didn’t expect a packed bar full of people chanting his name.
“It was the same night as twelve bars. I went in and I didn’t know what to expect because it was the first show I did in a long time and the show hit capacity twice. That is when I realized this is legit, this is no longer something people are trying to shut down anymore. We actually have people who appreciate what we do.”
“It was seven years of rapping before I did a show that actually drew that many people.”
Rob Oakie is the Executive Director of music P.E.I., he said in past year rap was something you needed to seek out on the Island, but that has changed.
“There seems to be recently more interest in it. There are some new artists coming up who are really encouraging, artists like Vince the Messenger.”
Daniel Butterfield has been rapping since he was 13, but he has been producing more serious songs under his alias Vince the Messenger the past year.
“I draw a lot of inspiration from day to day life, anything will inspire me. Maybe, I flip through a newspaper and I read a headline maybe that will spark my mind.”
Butterfield was recently honoured for his album Self Sabotage. It was recognized as the 2019 Urban Recording of the Year in P.E.I.
“It feels awesome. It’s like all the work we have put in is getting recognition. It’s cool to hear it from people who are just into hip hop exclusively, but to hear it from a organization like Music P.E.I. it feels good.”
Butterfield doesn’t know where his rap career will take him next, he’s working on a few things, collaborating with other Island artists, but mostly he is going with the flow.
“Like in Mr. Sun, the gonna shine when it want to, they can’t control what you won’t do. It’s kind of telling myself like you don’t have control over everything that happens. You have to make things yourself.”