Var Francis isn’t your typical MC, and the better for it. The Queens native, now based upstate in Albany, the rapper recently put out his white-collar-gangsta EP “Pay To The Order Of” on his PaeDae Entertainment imprint. The six tracks on the EP span six styles of hip hop genres, with lyrical content pinpointed on specific themes the MC finds true to heart. Frustration and anger, lust, celebrity media satire, Pay To The Order Of covers immense lyrical and stylistic ground within a relatively small footprint.
“I love mixing genres!” acclaims Var when prompted to discuss the diversity of his EP, “I put a lot of thought into the order of all six tracks. No one’s mood stays the same all day and the same should apply for listening to a record. I like to switch up the mood from track to track.”
One stand out track on Var’s EP is “Less Of A Woman.” An ode to female empowerment, Var’s verses are critical of the double standard between male/female sexual expectations in modern society. “A person is a person, plain and simple,” he explains. “A woman shouldn’t be chastised because she wants to enjoy herself as much as it’s accepted for a man to. I rap about real life and this is an issue that not enough rappers address in their tracks.”
Throughout Pay To The Order Of, there is one consistent lyrical theme in Var’s verses. A former street hustler growing up in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, Var is proud to now run a legitimate operation, without fear of being arrested or getting shot. “I mean, when you grow up in a certain environment you gotta do what you need to in order to survive,” says Var, “but that shouldn’t be your entire goal in life, and you shouldn’t be proud of that. I was ashamed of a lot of what I was doing in the ghetto, and now I’ve gone to college, have a legal business operation, and that is what rappers should admire to achieve.”
Even though Var lives his life on the right side of the law, his verses are still as hardcore as anything from The Lox or Wu-Tang, especially as heard on “Why You Talking To Me?” which leads the EP. “You can be white collar and still be a gangsta,” Var details, “Being ‘gangsta’ is doing you, doing whatever you need to do to get paid and provide for you and yours. That is a real ‘gangsta’.”
Pay To The Order Of is out now on SoundCloud