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[RTD Interview]: L.A.

Over the last few years, the mainstream has questioned why there's a lack of females on the mic, while only pushing chicks like Nicki Minaj. On the underground, there's a growing crop of fierce ladies who do the damn thing, and one who's fallen onto my radar is L.A.. She recently dropped her The L.A. Riots project, which blew me away, and she's been building steam on these here Internets over her short time as an MC. Figured it made sense to get to know homegirl, how she got into this game and what prompted her to bring it back to 1992 with her latest release...

khal: You’re a female who emcees. Do you fuck with the term “femcee”?

L.A.: No. Hate it. Always have. Always will. Just another binding formula in the perceived realities of being a female emcee. I don’t wanna black on this question, but is there a term malecee? No. So politely I ask for you to never ever call me that. lol.

khal: How’d you get started as an MC? Who were some of the cats you looked up to when you first got into this?

L.A.: I actually wasn’t even an emcee. I was a poet. Still am to some extent. However a fellow rapper friend of mine named Tony Polo asked me to do this cipher called “We Got Bars” ‘cause he needed some female representation, and apparently I went off at the cipher and people kept questioning my capabilities to do it. I always had a passion for Hip-Hop anyway. In college, I was writing straight Hip-Hop theses and everything related by to it in my life, so things just came full circle when I started rapping. And I haven’t looked back sense except for inspiration of course.

khal: Do you feel like you occupy a certain lane in terms of your style/subject matter?

L.A.: I don’t know. I’ve only been rapping for a year and half now, so I don’t know what lane of Hip-Hop I am in, or if I am even on any lane. I kinda picture myself on my own lane, especially since my musicality is purposefully and subconsciously different from what everyone else is doing. But if I had to make a lane I’d call it “Poetic Justice”. lol.

khal: You recently put out The L.A. Riots: Mental Fatality. What made you reference the 1992 Los Angeles riots with that title?

L.A.: Well, obviously, my name is L.A. However, the reason why I decided to reference that mark in time was because metaphorically it depicted the message I wanted to have throughout the project. Chaos, reality in the hopes for reconciliation. During the time I was writing the L.A. Riots, something was coming over me that was revolutionary in finding myself as an artist in this system of control, depression and oppression, and that is parallel to the 1992 incident, in which revolution went amuck against the system of control, depression and oppression.

khal: The line in the intro about “this is my heart speaking while my mind beats the shit out of it” – that hit me like a sledgehammer. What brought about that particular imagery in describing this project?

L.A.: Ok. So this kinda goes back to the L.A. Riots metaphor, to me my heart was Rodney King. My mind was the police, as it attempts to control my heart. And my mic was my riot.

khal: On that project, you spit over nothing but beats from Hippie Sabotage. I personally felt like that was a great marriage – your flow and voice fit so well with the shit Hippie was putting down. Was that a conscious decision, to use one producer on this project?

L.A.: I’m big on focused and conceptual music. I probably won’t do this all the time but for The L.A. Riots, the feeling I wished to interpret was met by Hippie Sabotage. A raw but sophisticated storyline came out through there beats and I guess as I kept writing it become more evident that I didn't want to leave this sound they provided for me. So I said fuck it, lol, and kept working with them.

khal: Do you have any personal favs from The L.A. Riots?

L.A.: Dang. I don’t know. I think for rappity bragger purposes I really love "Frequency" and "I’m Alive", but I really told my stories through "New Life", "Rainy Season" and "Sinner’s Blues". But overall I personally love The L.A. Riots because it is about my self-reconstruction and deconstruction.

khal: What are you trying to do with your music? You comfortable releasing jawns for the people for free? You trying to get signed to a major?

L.A.: I wanna grow as an artist. I’m trying to be iconic, but human. For now I’ll say I want to tell a message to the people through my music and I don’t give a fuck if repeats, because if people don’t get it, I’m going to say it again until they understand. The L.A. Riots : Mental Fatality was free but we are developing deluxe version which won’t be free, but I don’t mind free stuff (sometimes) because it allows my fans to grow with me and want to come to shows, etc. I don’t feel like anybody that crazy to be asking you to pay. I’m just hoping you listen.

khal: What’s next for you? You have any more projects on deck? Trying to do some freestyles for rockthedub? #nudge LOL.

L.A.: Yea I have a few projects on deck coming up. One with a dope producer named Freshnerd from 100 Akres in England and then Revelations of a Life Addict coming out in the Spring with some amazing producers like Vakseen, Lord Quest, Dr. Khil, Hippie Sabotage and plenty more. And lol if you want one you should ask!

khal: When you’re not fucking with this music, what can we find L.A. getting into?

L.A.: If I’m not at my boring ass human job, I am writing, acting, dancing or finding time for me. but mostly writing. I’m currently re-writing my play “The Memoirs Hip-Hop”, which I want to debut for next year. So yea, I’m doing a lot. Trying make something happen. I hate the idea of being dormant.

khal: You’re from the East Coast, right? How’d the name “L.A.” come about?

L.A.: It’s my initials and I got lucky with ‘em. haha.

: Any shouts or final thoughts before we dip out of here?

L.A.: Yes hugeeeeee shout out to my management Legendfactory, my PR LJG and the sponsors of The L.A. Riots: Mental Fatality: DealWithNoDeal and BarrelhouseBKLYN, hi Lyriciss, and my mom and pops! LOL acting like I just won an award. And yo thanks so much for supporting the project; I’m humbled by all the love it’s gotten thus far and grateful to God that it’s getting out there. And for anyone whose reading this, you are appreciated. Bless.