I spotted her months ago performing in NYC and knew one day she's be a super star. So it was no surprise to me to find out that LA (Latasha Alcindor) has just been featured in the new "That's Rocawear" campaign.
In a little over a year she has accomplished a lot, luckily, I was able to snag some time with her and ask her a few questions. She's a spit ball of a young women, very intelligent, and a fellow Greenie.
She's bringing something fans of lyricism can really appreciate; not only is she a dope artist (unsigned for now), she's also a playwright, a spoken word artist, and....well, you'll see.
TRJ: What came first the poet or the rapper?
TRJ: Are you a rapper or are you an artist? Why and what’s the difference between the two?
LA: Ugh, my rap friends aren’t gonna like me for this, but (haha) I believe I am an artist who raps, and does a million other things along with rapping, such as writing poetry and plays and articles and dances and etc. And I want to continue to do that and utilize my skills in other realms of art. Rap is an artform so I don’t know if there is a difference but I call myself an artist theoretically cause I can place myself in difference realms of performance art like theater and film.
TRJ: How old were you when you first began to write?
LA: My first poem was when I was 6. It was dumb love haiku that I didn’t understand. I hated any form of poetry that was controlled so I ventured off into my own world of freeverse and continued on til now.
LA: Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni, Edgar Allen Poe, Stacy Ann Chin, Gill Scott Heron, Nas and Plato.
LA: “Oh, thats nice” or “Nicki!!” or “Latasha, I put you in college, so you can rap?” yea...thats was pretty much it. No one really believed in it. My mom knew I was really good at performance arts and poetry but she still til now really does not understand how this happened. And I guess I can’t blame her cause neither do I.
TRJ: Does the lack of females MC in hip hop hurt or help you?
LA: Some chicks are just taking their clothes off. - I don’t really think of it like that. I feel like I’m a different breed of female rapper since I don’t look at competition in the same sense. I know a lot of artists say they see themselves as their competition, but to me I don’t have competition cause I am on a different lane. I’m on a “trying to be myself and making some real become reality” lane.
TRJ: Do you ever feel pressure to get fake boobs and a pink wig?
LA: LMAO all the time!! UGH!!! lol. nah. not really my thing.
TRJ: What would you tell little girl LA if you could go back in time?
LA: Take your time. You’re growing up to fast. Play.
LA: Eyeliner, a notepad, an empty box of djarums blacks.
TRJ: Your lyrics aren’t standard popcorn rhymes. What drives you to use such sensitive subject matter?
LA: I really believe in the power of words and music being relative to the people. I feel like my experiences that I discuss literally or metaphorically really can impact lives and that why I guess I do it. I miss when music told stories and made you see pictures and I want to create that again. So I go hard as I possibly can to do so. Some people say I don’t have bars because they are so use to that punchline rap and its unfortunate because they minds will be left behind when the evolution of hip hop comes to play and I believe it’s coming soon.
TRJ: Does the subject matter come from real life or are you pulling from the world around you?
LA: A lot of it is real life experiences as you will see in my next project “The L.A. Riots: Mental Fatality”, some of it surroundings but I don’t really like to discuss about other people because I rather judge myself first, unless these people are full of shit.
LA: I have three people, Kanye West, because he is the most misunderstood genius of our time. Janet Jackson, but old school Janet, because we are twins and because her voice is everything. Tina Turner...because damn it! Imagine L.A and Tina Turner on an album together, like what?!!! lol.
LA: I don’t believe hip hop is dead. I believe people have died, metaphorically. The mental shift is far from what it use to be and thus the thought provoking ideas that once were transcribed into hip hop and the social theory that came along with it, have now been washed over and has become implicit to the regular listener. But that isn’t the people fault, its the systematics of world, making us dumber.
TRJ: In your opinion what’s the cause of disconnect between the older hip hop generation versus the younger crowd?
LA: The lack of mentorship in my eyes has caused a dramatic gap between the generations. Everybody just wants to get on or stay on and no one wants to teach through teaching. The older generations think they are the elite, the younger generations are the liberals. This is the revolutionary war all over again in a sense.