It’s about damn time you show Snow Tha Product some respect. The Mexican MC has been dropping indie hits and lyrically tearing up stages for years. She isn’t a new artist; she’s just a dope artist you need to fux with right now. On June 17, she’s dropping her Halfway There Pt. 1 EP on Atlantic, which happens to be the first EP released by a Latina rapper…ever. Here, the San Jose native discusses her journey in the music biz, how the perception of Chicano rap negatively affected her career, and that time Latina’s Twitter page ticked her off. No worries, we’re all good now. Real recognize real.
What can you tell me about your new songs “Nights” and “Get Down Low?"
I would say it’s a revisiting a song like [2010’s] “Drunk Love;” it’s kind of that vibe but the 2016 version and upgraded. It’s pretty much a basic song about a girl being in her feelings and just wanting to not be judged for being emotional for once. I feel like at this point I’ve rapped a particular way for so long to make my core audience happy and I’m kind of bored of the same stuff so I want just try new stuff.
What about the upcoming EP, Halfway There Pt. 1? Can we expect more of the same like “Nights?”
Yeah it’s about seven songs. I mostly tried to give them everything that I do’ kind of like layers of my talent to show a lot of new people because I feel like new people are going to be hearing this. So I tried to show different things so it’s not all the same stuff. I have a track called “Anxiety,” which is very stripped down and just me talking about an issue that I’ve had for a long time. Plus, a couple more songs that are more aggressive and lyrical; then there’s some sing-songy stuff. I’m pretty excited to show people. It’s definitely a project without the fluff tracks and really showcasing my skills.
Right, so you’ve been doing this for a minute now. Do you feel like this is your time to truly pop: you got the music, you got a big label (Atlantic) behind you, and you have the Latino demographic behind you. How do you feel at this moment?
I feel like at this point I’ve been friend zoned to the game. I don’t really go many places where people don’t know my name, like people know who I am but are not necessarily a fan. So it is definitely a chance to re-introduce myself or maybe you needed me to have the label behind me for you to fuck with me. Hopefully, it is a good thing I have my core fan base I’m very happy, I’ve always toured that’s my favorite thing. At a certain point especially for hip-hop artists, it doesn’t even matter if you go major because people like Tech Nine, Immortal Technique have their own fan base and they’re eating really well.
Why do you think it’s easier for a white female mc to make it big as opposed to a Latina one, even though Black and brown people created hip-hop?
When it comes to someone like me, I think it’s a little bit more difficult because I have stuck to my guns. I think if I would have from the beginning just gone along with everything I think it would have been a lot easier. In my particular case it’s been because I didn’t want to do certain things.
Did they try to over-sexualize you?
No. Early on, people had pop ideas that they thought might work like sample mariachi or very corny typical shit. They might be like, “You’re Latina. Lets do this with you.” I’ve never wanted to corny up my people. I want Latinos to be seen as very cool in the industry and not play by the book and not do the corny typical things. I’m not going to have a bunch of flamingos and Mexican flags in my video to prove I’m Mexican. I’m very cultural without having to put something on blast. I’ve been doing and this is the moment to finally show me in a different light and still stay true to what I set out to do.
Mexican artists have long been a part of hip-hop. But a lot has been in the form of Chicano rap and, no offense, for most hip-hop heads, it’s not lyrically or sonically inviting. Do you think Chicano rap has been detrimental to your advancement?
Yeah, that’s been an issue since I used to sell CDs on the street. I used to walk up to people back when I first started and I’d be like I’m selling my CD blah blah blah and I’d explain what I do and they’d be like, “Nah, you look like a Mexican chick. I already know what you do I don’t like that.” I’m was like, “Wait no, no, no. Let me rap for you. If I rap for you for and you like it then you buy it right?” I literally have gone out there and rapped like 50 verses a day to sell CDs and stuff and I would surprise people. That’s when I knew I wasn’t doing what people expected a Mexican to be doing. It’s been an uphill battle with people’s perception of what Mexican rappers do. It’s been almost a disservice to us, the fact that only Chicano rap has gotten shine because at this point we’re in 2016 and everyone’s different now but still that Chicano thing stays with us.
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