Versailles the Everything is a rapper/singer/songwriter and all around artist from South Florida. Gaining her name from The Palace of Versailles and its connection to “absolute rule”, Versailles remains true to her artistry with the idea that she isn’t bound by the typical blueprint for other female artists. So expect nothing typical when listening to her music. Her voice creates tantalizing tunnels and sultry seas for listeners to get lost in, while her lyrics captivate and educate in the same sense. One to look out for, Versailles The Everything is just that… Everything.
BEHIND THE MUSIC....
In an one on one interview with the amazing Versailles she answered questions from Shades of Melanins' very own Yiskahcee:
Yiskahcee: Where are you from?
Versailles: The small town of Clewiston, FL. I moved to West Palm 4-5 years ago. Then I moved to Tallahassee.
Yiskahcee: Can you remember an experience when hip hop influenced you?
Versailles: At fourteen I went to visit my mom in North Carolina. I visited my mom every summer however, that particular summer I was going through a phase where I listened to Twista and stuff on the radio when I could, (I grew up in a church home) and started memorizing verses, and started writing my own verses at the same speed to see if I could keep it up. I started thinking I could really do this. Eventually I stopped because of school, and with just getting a scholarship, I had to focus on school.
Yiskahcee: Whats the story behind the name Versailles the Everything?
Versailles: Well, I use to be called Lady P. P for my last name Pass.Then I was like let’s get rid of that ratchet stuff, and started looking up the Palace of Versailles where I was intrigued not by the Peace Treaty but the King that inhabited the palace went by absolute rule. They were not bound by any constitutional laws. It’s not dictatorship, but it’s, “you can’t put me in any particular box because I am absolute rule”. I thought as Hip-hop as a law. And everyone says if you’re a female you have to look like this act like that, dress like this person, act like Nicki. Your lyrical content can’t be conscious. I thought as hip-hop as the Palace of Versailles. I wasn’t going to sit here….I was going to let hip-hop be my absolute rule and embody Versailles as everything I can possibly be. And it use to be Versailles the rapper but then I said to myself I do more than rap. I rap, sing, dance, I can do everything.
Yiskahcee: What are the challenges of trying to make it in todays industry as a woman compared to back then? Do you feel like you have to sexualize yourself because you are a woman? Does that make it hard to convey your message?
Versailles: Today is very sexually based. Everything for a female is very sexually based. Everything across the board is very sexually based. From modeling, to acting, to artistry. It’s like if you appeal to a certain type of demographic sexually you automatically have a foot in the door versus someone who says I’m going to have content and try to speak to someone and have to listen and people will barely listen unless you show something. I’ve had people tell me that to my face. “Ya you rap it’s cool but you need to show some skin, you need to do some sexual video, we need to see something”, that’s what they would tell me. “Ya you can spit you sort of sound like Kendrick but show us some boobs.” So it’s like coming up I said ‘forget it, forget everybody.’ I’m going to be independent because if I go through an industry they’d probably try to change me.
If sexuality is tastefully done, it’s different. If you embody and glorify the sexuality in a women and not out there hoein out in these poses and dispositions, and at the same time have a message it can work. I would always find the balance, and sexually I’m curious, and sexually conscious. I’m not going to say I’m never going to talk about sex. The song I did, “3 AM” is all about sex yet, it’s tastefully done.
Yiskahcee: Have you or are you experiencing any challenges or struggles getting out there in the industry?
Versailles: My challenges as a female artists comes from collabs where someone will come to me and say “hey I have this song about love” or “I have this song about a relationship and I need a females perspective on it.” 9 times out of 10 it’ll be, “can you sing this hook for me.” It’s always that. So If I try to present myself as a female emcee they never get it at first. They never say “oh you’re a rapper!” When they see Versailles, they see me and they think “you sing! oh that’s great.” Then I say, “I rap”. They say “oh you rap as well.” The majority of my first project that I put out was rapping. Most people that listened to it was like we love your “singing songs” although 75% was rapping. They’d still gravitate towards singer.
Any collab I got after that no one wanted me as a rapper.
Yiskahcee: Do you think it’s because the way society defines and associates the term rapper?
Versailles: The way people define rapper they’ve associated with a male for so long. So when they see a female they don’t see her as a rapper it’s “oh she’s a female artist, female emcee….”
Yiskahcee: Do you have any veteran Femcs that inspire you?
Versailles: I can’t lie, I’m not very musically knowledgeable. I can’t tell you I know all of this person’s stuff. I know of them but I’m starting to get to learn. People would always come to me and say “you sound like such and such”. But I would never listen to that person because I didn’t want to get influenced. I wanted to find my own sound without being inspired by anything.
Yiskahcee: What do you wish to contribute to the entertainment industry?
Versailles: I always stay true to myself because if you try to compete with everybody else then it turns into you have to do twice as much as everybody else. I’m in my own lane and I will continue to do what I’ve been doing. Now as far as contribution to the game I want to show people what true artistry is. I don’t want to bring no fakeness. I don’t want people to think that when they hear rapper they automatically expect bars. Because everybody always hears rapper and think they have to have bars. That’s not how it is. It should be content. There’s a different variety of rappers. Like Nas is a great story teller. Would you automatically think he has bars? I don’t want people to look at me “oh you’re a rapper? Spit something for me!” I want to show people work ethic, true talent, and the fact that I do my own stuff because a lot of people can’t do for themselves. A lot of them put work out here and get paid for it and it’s not theirs.
I don’t want to be put into an industry and be made into something.
Yiskahcee: What is your message as an artist? What are you trying to get people to understand?
Versailles: Me. For the most part. A lot of times you hear songs and you think it’s me. And it’s really not, it’s just something I have seen through someone else or another situation but I interpret things internally so it really does come out in the music and it sounds very passionate like it’s from me but for the most part 90% of the time it’s my story.
Yiskahcee: Where do you see your career going?
Versailles: I don’t know, honestly a goal of mine just to travel and have a sold out show. Go to California, I’ve never been there before, and have a sold out show. I want to go to France, and have people say "we love your music", and have a sold out show. I want people to vibe with my music on a personal level. That’s my goal
Yiskahcee: What would you tell other women trying to grind just like you?
Versailles: Don’t stop, and don’t change unless it’s for the better. If you feel like you have to step outside of your character it’s probably not going to feel right. Stay true to what you do. Build a craft, and do not give up.