Forget Who Got Next. MC Kev Got Now, the future right here, man.
Kicking Black History Month off right, here is our first 914 Spotlight of 2022. This brother is a familiar face in the streets of Mount Vernon as a member of the credible messengers, known as Operation S.N.U.G., (guns spelled backwards), which was designed to bring greater community awareness to the random gun violence resulting in people being wounded and killed. But few know him as Mount Vernon native-son Kevin Veal – better known as MC Kev or M.C. (Master Of Creativity) – a Graphite and oil painting artist who creates kaleidoscopic portraits of black beauty, seen through an assortment of paintings and pencil sketches.
Black Westchester caught up with MC at Warburton Galerie (16 Warburton Ave in Yonkers), Saturday, November 6, 2021, in the middle of a month-long exhibition displaying his work. Warburton Galerie has been committed to bringing museum quality work to the public in a gallery setting, since its inaugural exhibition on Saturday November 10, 2018.
MC shared with us his inspiring redemption story of life in the streets of the City of Mount Vernon, incarceration and how art saved and helped him turn his life around. Proving past mistakes and youthful indiscretions do not have to be the end of your story. You can re-invent yourself and write the next chapter of your story, despite your past. Sometimes when you don’t fit any anyone else’s lane you have to create your own lane.
An emcee back in the days, his work still embodies the essence of Hip-Hop from his name (MC) to the way his expresses himself with a paint brush or a pencil. Transforming from a Master of Ceremony to a Master of Creativity. As you know Graffiti is the artistic and visual expression of Hip-Hop culture. But instead of walls and trains he expresses himself on canvases and paper, but the swagger never changed.
“We come from the streets and we take things and incorporate things and make it our own, how we identify with it and then we project it to the world, to the masses, that’s Hip-Hop,” MC shared speaking of his work. ”I am Hip-Hop, that’s why I sign my signature as MC. When people say I should use my name I tell them no, because this is who I am, I’m really an MC, I have it tatted on me, everyone calls me that and I show it in my work, that I’m a Master of Creativity.”
He represents the 4 Square miles of Money-Earning Mount Vernon where he born and bred. “I believe he is the prime example of the greatness that Mount Vernon produces. Gifted and gracefully,” Outreach Worker Supervisor at Mount Vernon SNUG and Statewide Trainer, Herry Terry shared about his good friend.
He was inspired by painter and pencil artist, Kevin A. Williams better known as WAK, one of the most popular African-American artists in the nation, who did the popular Behind Every Great Man portrait. Another influence was Los Angeles native and New York based visual artist, Kehinde Wiley – who quite literally changed the face(s) of portraiture with his sensitive, vibrant, and political portrayals of black folk, ranging from teenagers he meets on the streets, to fellow contemporary artists, and even former President Barack Obama.
Financial freedom my only hope
Fuck living rich and dying broke
I bought some artwork for one million
Two years later, that shit worth two million
Few years later, that shit worth eight million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children
Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine
But I’m trying to give you a million dollars’ worth of game for $9.99
The Story of OJ by Jay Z (off the 4:44 album)
“For all the art lovers out there, it’s very important to invest in art. It’s one of the few things that appreciates with time. The older it gets the more valuable it becomes, whether the artist is known or unknown. This is what they try to keep from us, especially minorities. they try to keep that culture – that sport to themselves. Art is a rich man’s sport. I try to educate my people and all the people that come from where I come from, cause everyone can connect with art!”
For more info on MC follow him on Instagram or visit his website to view and purchase some of the incredible graphite prints and dope top quality Oil Paintings for sale. If you’re looking for an artist to commission to do a personal piece for you, MC is your man. Prices are reasonable but as Fat Joe said don’t sleep because “yesterday’s price is not tomorrow’s price.”
MC was recently commissioned by the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige herself. “This was a beautiful moment. Much Love to the Queen. The price is really up now,” Kev shared with Black Westchester.
Black Westchester salutes Mount Vernon’s native son Kevin ‘MC Kev’ Vear, a legend in the making!