V.E.R.A Clique
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V.E.R.A Clique


Band Hip Hop R&B


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This band has not uploaded any videos




V.E.R.A. Clique's Fresh Out The Box CD is available at Amoeba Music and other stores but you can also buy it on BART if you're lucky to run into one of its members selling the CD on a random BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train.

The Oakland based group, whose album track "The Movement" is featured on the recent BOMB Hip-Hop Compilation Vol. 2 (also avail at Amoeba), are a talented hard-working hip-hop crew whose pre- Oakland roots date back to 2002 to Bend, Oregon where the group's Anderson Ray and Macsen Apollo first crossed paths at a hip-hop event. Fast forward a few years and both hip-hoppers had moved south to the Bay Area where they formed the group V.E.R.A. Clique, with the name standing for Very Essence of Real Artists.

I first learned about V.E.R.A. Clique only recently and in a most unusual way -- while sitting on the Bay Point / Pittsburg to San Francisco BART, somewhere near the MacArthur stop, Mascen Apollo of the bartgroup walked by dirt hustlin his crew's CD to BART passengers, all the while keeping a watchful eye out for the BART police, who not only frown upon any business being conducted on BART, but will arrest perpetrators for doing so. Over the years I have seen Bay Area hip hop artists sell their CDs or cassettes at various public places. In bygone years, members of Hobo Junction or Mystik Journeymen and their extended Living Legends crew would often be found on Durant or Telegraph (outside Amoba) selling their cassettes. But selling on the BART train was a novel approach to hip-hop marketing or distribution that I had not witnessed before. Hence I was anxious to find out more about it so I recently caught up with the V.E.R.A. Clique member Macsen Apollo to ask him about slinging hip-hop on BART.

AMOEBLOG: What's the best BART line to sell CDs on?

MACSEN APOLLO: Yo! I call the Pittsburg/Bay Point train the money train. That's the train I always make the most money on.

AMOEBLOG: How did you first get the idea to sell your CDs on BART?

MACSEN APOLLO: Well I used to go to San Francisco's Pier 39 every day and sell CD's so one day I just decided to give it a shot on my way into San Francisco (from the East Bay) and it worked, so what I would do is on the rainy days or during the week I would hit the BART. I would jump on at the 14th Street Oakland station, ride the train all around the Bay for the whole day selling CD's and then I would get off at 19th Street Oakland station (one stop from 14th Street) when i was done. It only cost me $1.25!

AMOEBLOG: Do you have a name for selling on BART and do you sell elsewhere?

MACSEN APOLLO: I call it working (laughs) or BART grinding. But I just grind everywhere. I grind on BART, on the bus, on the street, at the games, anywhere. I will even sell in the malls until they kick me out.

AMOEBLOG: What conflict with the authorities, including the BART police, have you encountered?

MACSEN APOLLO: I really just keep it moving. What I usually do is when the BART police come up to me, I tell them Yo! this is for promo. Ask them, do you want one? That usually gets them off my back....sometimes I act real dumb and real nice at the same time and after that they don't know what to do with me.

...Although the BART police did bust me for smoking in the West Oakland station. You do gotta watch out because they're undercover, not in uniform, and they look, dress, and act like college kids.

AMOEBLOG: Do many other local rap artists sell their CD albums or mixtape CDs on BART?

MACSEN APOLLO: Not much. Mostly bootleggers selling DVD's, but there are a few from time to time.

AMOEBLOG: Do most people insist on hearing the music first before buying?

MACSEN APOLLO: No, not all the time. But it's all in my grind. I want the people to hear the CD because I know once they hear it it's a wrap.

AMOEBLOG: What kind of people buy your music on BART?

MACSEN APOLLO: All kinds of people, but mostly hip-hop heads.

AMOEBLOG: What are sales like on BART and how much do you sell CDs for?

MACSEN APOLLO: It's like this, there are some days when the BART is good and some days when it is bad. I think pay days [are the] 1st, 5th, 15th, 20th (of the month) and also every Friday -- those are the good days. Just on BART I've made up to $200 within a five hour shift grind style. As for how much I charge, this all depends cos we all in a bad time right now and I understand that. I try to sell the CD for $10.00 but if someone only got $7 I will take it. And I'm a sucker for a pretty face (laughs). There has been a number of times that I have just given the CD away to a fine lovely lil lady.

V.E.R.A Cliques on the block. We got units.
I got a black backpack with six zippers full of new shit.
CD's, records, and stickers
And if they still cant see us then I hit em with a pitcher,
A well rounded writtin scripture of me and my folks at the BART station sippin on
henny and smoky smoke, pass the blunt to my folk cause I see a cat - Amoeba.com

"Hustle in hard times"

U Don't Hustle U Don't Eat, the appropriate title of the March 2009 album by up-and-coming Menlo Park-East Palo Alto rapper A.G. Cubano, pretty much sums up the state of the once vibrantly lucrative local rap music economy. Profit-wise, it has steadily slid and deteriorated during the past decade amid an extremely tough and competitive environment, forcing artists into creative ways of generating cash.

"It's ugly out there," said Walter Zelnick of City Hall Records in San Rafael, which has distributed independent local hip-hop since its beginnings in the 1980s. "Numbers are down all around. The numbers of stores out there are down. I don't think kids even buy CDs anymore." San Francisco's Open Mind Music, which closed on Halloween, and Streetlight Records in Noe Valley, which closes Jan. 31, are just two of latest retail victims.

"Just getting in the stores is hard as fuck nowadays.

I didn't realize it had gotten so bad," said Dave Paul, whose prolific long-time local indie label just released the Bay Area artists-filled Bomb Hip-Hop Compilation, Vol. 2, a sequel to the 1994 premier volume, which sold way more than the "maybe 600 or 700 CDs" he expects to move of the new disc.

Zelnick also fondly recalls the golden 1990s when local rap compilations like D-Shot's Boss Ballin' (Shot, 1995) and Master P's West Coast Bad Boyz: Anotha Level of the Game (No Limit, 1995) would sell in numbers that now often qualify as No. 1 on Billboard's national pop albums chart. "When [E-40's group] the Click first came out, they were selling over a 100,000. But then sales for artists went down to 50,000 or 40,000," Zelnick said. Now "average CD sales are more like 2,000. And many people are lucky to sell that."

"It's not as nearly as easy as it once was out here when we could fuck around and sell 50-, 60-, 70,000 copies independently," said longtime Fillmore rapper San Quinn who just released From a Boy to a Man (SMC) and will soon follow up with the collaborative Welcome to Scokland (Ehust1.com) with Keak da Sneak. "I literally grew up in this Bay Area independent rap scene."

Known for his affiliation with JT the Bigga Figga's Get Low Playaz and more recently for his ongoing feud with his cousin rapper Messy Marv, the 30-year-old rapper is a well-established artist. But even a high-profile performer like Quinn accepts that he will be lucky if he sells the 22,000 that his last solo CD, The Rock: Pressure Makes Diamonds (SMC) tracked on SoundScan. That was in 2006, two long digital years ago. As with many veteran rappers, downloaded music has hurt San Quinn. "The majority of my fans are white boys and Latinos and Asians that have that shit mastered," he said. "And it's even harder for someone like me who is based out of the capitol of technology here in the Bay Area, home of Silicon Valley."

"Since the selling of CDs in stores has gone down, way down, everyone has had to step up their game," Cubano said. Two months before the release of U Don't Hustle U Don't Eat, the shrewd rapper will pave the way with the Feet to the Street mixtape in collaboration with Oakland's Demolition Men, the accurately self-described "Bay Area mixtape kings," whose trusted brand has helped further fuel the careers of such local rap faves as J-Stalin, the Jacka, and Shady Nate. San Quinn and the Jacka, as well as C-BO and Matt Blaque, are among the names the ever-resourceful Cubano has enlisted for his upcoming releases.

"But then there are so many different ways to make money nowadays," Cubano added. "You can get money out of ringtones. You can sell your songs one at a time for $1 a piece on iTunes or from your MySpace even now. I love MySpace. It is great in so many ways, like connecting with artists straight away and not beat around the bush, waiting for a phone call, or waiting for a nightclub to see someone."

MySpace is also San Quinn's lifeline where, the rapper said, his music's daily plays are in the thousands. San Quinn generates money beyond CD and digital music sales. "I do ringtones. I do shows. I have a San Quinn skateboard that I put out through FTC," the rapper said. "On our first pressing we just had, I sold a thousand skateboards at $50 a piece and I get $25 off every skateboard.


He also makes a tidy income doing guest appearances or "features" on other artists releases ("They pay me for a verse"). "I've done over 3,000 features," he said of the feat that earned him an inclusion in Guinness World Records for the most collaborations with other artists. Landing on television or video game soundtracks can be highly profitable but also highly competitive.

But for an up-and-coming Bay Area hip-hop artist, it is even more challenging to make a buck. On one recent evening on the Pittsburg/Bay Point-to-San Francisco BART train, Macsen Apollo of Oakland's V.E.R.A. Clique was putting a new spin on the "dirt hustlin'" sales approach pioneered in the 1 - San Francisco Bay Guardian


Q. ????????????

A. Macsen Apollo, Anderson Ray, Dan Craig
We are the V.E.R.A. Clique!

Q. "V.E.R.A CLIQUE" ????????????????

A. Very Essence of Real Artist


Q. ????????????? ??????????????????????????

-Macsen Apollo

-Anderson Ray

Q. ????????????????????

M. Dan??????????????Anderson????????????????

A. ???????????????????

-Dan Craig

Q. ????????????????????????

M. ???????????????????????????

A. ???????????????????
1989??????De La Souls? 1st album "3ft High and Rising"?

Q. ??????????????????????????????

M. ????????????????????
???????????Bob Marley, A Tribe Called Quest, 2 Pac???

A. ?????????? Prince???
??? DJ Quik, De La Soul, Tribe???


Q. ???????????????????????????????????

M. ?????????????????????????

A. ???????

Q. ?????????????????

V.C. Hennessey Influenced Sexed out Smoke Music.

Q. "Fresh Out Box" ??????????????????

V.C Good music….

Q. ?????????????????????

V.C ???????????


Q. ??????????????????????

M. ???????????

A. ????????????????????????????

Q. ??????????????????????

V.C ????????????????????

Q. ???????????????????????????????????

V.C ????????????

Q. ?????????????????????????

M. ????????????????????????????????

A. ??????????????????

Q. ??US????????????????????????

M. ???????

A. Suck?????????

Q. ????????????????????????

M. Yeah ????????????????????????????????
???????????????"TIMELESS MUSIC"????????????? ?????????????

A. ?????????????????????????????????


Q. ?????????????????????????

V.C ????????????????????????
?????????, 3RD?????“Hennessey Influenced Sexed Out Smoke Music” ???

Q. ????????????

M. Enjoy Life to the Fullest, and Treat people kind and you will always get Respect,
and with Respect you will get Love, and with Love you have it All. Have a ball.

A. Keep it music…


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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*Photobucket ??????&??????
*I-TUNES STORE (????), JUNO DOWNLOAD(????/??)???????????????
*?????? / ??????????????(???????? / Only for Digital Release)
??I-TUNES STORE?????????????

1. Intro (¥150)
2. Fresh Out The Box (¥150)Photobucket
3. Sneak Attack (¥150)
4. Boyz(2 Emcees) (¥150)Photobucket
5. Ambition (¥150)
6. Now She (¥150)
7. The Movement (¥150)Photobucket
8. V.E.R.A. Lude (¥150)Photobucket
9. Just Wanna-Feat. Dahrio Wonder (¥150)Photobucket
10.Never Change (¥150)
11.Think That You Know-Feat. Bryon Malik (¥150)Photobucket
12.Uh Huh (¥150)Photobucket
13.Still Win'n-Feat. D'wayne Wiggins of Tony Tony Tony (¥150)Photobucket
14.Just 4dal (¥150)Photobucket
15.Behold (¥150)
16.Hands Up (¥150)Photobucket
17.Representin Lovely (¥150)
18.Tanea (¥150)Photobucket
19.Yeap (¥150)Photobucket
20.Outro (¥150) - root70lounge.com


V.E.R.A Clique - self titled (Very Essence of Real Artists), 2004

V.E.R.A Clique - Fresh Out the Box, 2008



The V.E.R.A. Clique, also known as 'V.C.', 'The CLIQUE' or 'The Very Essence Of Real Artists,' began formation in 1996 in Bend, Oregon. Anderson Ray and Macsen Apollo met while MC'n for open mic night. Commence freestyle sessions.

Three years later, the two split ways geographically but maintained musical contact while honing their skills in their respective new locations. Anderson began making a name for himself as 'The Answer' on Portland, Oregon's battle circuit. Macsen perfected his craft with his friend from Bend, Dan Craig (Cubase Dan), whom he was living with in the Bay Area of California.

Naturally gifted at droppin' beats, Dan agreed to Macs idea of investing in a home studio setup. Frequent traveling, serious skill and an even more serious business hustle all filled in the blanks. Loadin' speakers ever since with heavy oral ammunition, is 'V.E.R.A. Clique' and their independent label, 'VERAUCRACY INK'.

To date they have done over two hundred shows in California and Oregon. They've appeared on collaborations, compilations and worked with fellow up-and-comings as well as name-dropper artists. They've released two albums, "Very Essence of Real Artist" (2004) and "Fresh Out The Box" (2008) along with their first video single, "Fresh Out The Box" (2007). But "this is more than music. This is a movement." They're love and respect of rap hip hop, the arts...the scene... their fans....their community….it's undeniable. So go feed your ears 'cuz this is that V.E.R.A. Clique movement - ya'll get to it!"

For Booking info contact Macsen Apollo at veraclique@gmail.com or call 510-830-8156 For Street Teaming contact Macsen Apollo, or DoubleKendeavor@gmail.com or myspace.com/doubleKendeavor

Check out http://www. myspace.com/veraclique for more info!