Scullo rises from poverty to bring hip-hop to Ohio

Andrew Gaug

Vinnie Scullo, who will be playing at 10 p.m. Saturday at Fat Jimmy’s, is a rap artist whose biggest passion is making music. “Success, to me, I already achieved,” Scullo said. “When my music is on MTV, I’ll just think, ‘wow.’ But it’s not success.” MICH

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

There’s more to Vinnie Scullo than meets the eye.

On the surface, Scullo appears to be a pretty boy in a bandana whose look is not too far off from that of your average frat boy.

In reality, he has felt the luxury of the rich life only to end up finding himself broke and homeless.

“I don’t feel stupid because I’m from the suburbs. I’ve been on food stamps. I’ve been poor,” Scullo said.

Scullo’s father managed a line of hotels that sent the family from places such as Colorado to the rich neighborhoods of Connecticut. After his dad suddenly went bankrupt, his parents divorced. Soon after, Scullo and his mother moved to Ohio.

After attending six colleges, Scullo hooked up with an aspiring music manager in California named Joseph Nicoletti. Nicoletti owned a small label in California called Global Village Records. After hearing a few songs by Scullo, he wanted to release an album by him.

To be closer to the label, Scullo decided to move out to California. But he admits, “I never was a businessman” and the $6,000 he had spent to make the album went nowhere as Nicoletti’s record label went broke and folded before Scullo’s album could see the light of day.

This did not stop Scullo from quitting on his dream because, as he said, “any obstacle that gets in my way, I’ll kick it right the f*** over.”

Vinnie Scullo

Where? Fat Jimmy’s

When? Saturday at 10 p.m.

How much? $5

Realizing he needed a job to pay the rent in California, Scullo took a job as being an extra in shows such as “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer”, “The O.C.” and “That 70’s Show.” He admitted he had no interest in acting, but looks back on the job as exposing to him to the superficiality of Hollywood which would later fuel the anger in a few of his songs. He ended up getting fired from the job, causing him to lose his apartment and to be homeless on the streets.

He said that time in his life was probably his darkest, but was fearful of admitting defeat and going back home to Ohio. It was in Walgreen’s in California where he met Mr. T and asked him what advice he could give him about his situation.

Mr. T replied, “There is no shame in regrouping and going home.”

With barely any money, Scullo took this advice and decided to move back to Ohio.

Forming his own management group called Self-Serve Superheroes with a few friends and releasing his own album titled Deaf Leper, Scullo has put his rap career back on track.

On Monday, he obtained one of his dreams of opening for Ghostface Killa, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan – one of Scullo’s hip-hop inspirations.

He is currently in the process of creating his own mixtape titled Hollywood Menace and plans on releasing it at the end of the month.

With his music, Scullo hopes to bring hip-hop back to where it was in the ’90s.

“We know that you got chicks, we know you like money” he said, “With my music I’m hoping to erase the alienation of hip-hop. I want to hit (listeners) with something real.”

He hopes to branch out his music and inspire others at his upcoming concert at Fat Jimmy’s.

He said his shows are so energetic they’ll “make people want to run a marathon afterwards.” And there is no place he’d rather be than on stage because “it’s like heaven,” he said.

As for success, Scullo said, “I will succeed because I have nothing else. Music is not only my enjoyment. It’s my addiction.”

Contact ALL correspondent Andrew Gaug at [email protected].