July 8, 2013

Latasha Alcindor

L.atasha A.lcindor

It’s L.atasha A.lcindor, but you can call her L.A., L.A. from BK, Chun Li works too. This Brooklyn native is an MC with a wide palette of styles, a genuine lover of Hip Hop, and a must-see live act. Google the track “I’m Alive.” I met Latasha at this farewell show to the legendary Southpaw last year. I was wearing this furry hat and she was wearing this furry vest, I joked that we came matching, it wasn’t bear-y funny. R.I.P. Southpaw.

What inspired your latest EP release Spark?

Fueled by the lack of f*cks I wanted to give during the time, SPARK was dedicated to the creativity and randomness of my life. I was just releasing a bunch of freebie tracks that didn’t have a home and when I started putting them together, they somehow made a fireball of sound, story and premise , which is where the title comes from. It is also some what of a prequel to my upcoming album projects The Minimalist and LALytes. A snack for the people. I truly love this project because it’s my current evolution as an artist and my embodiment in sound. It has its really beautiful parts and its really ugly parts. It’s perfecting what is perfect.

How many styles are you coming with?

Pretty much my whole life style lol. I come from a Latina and West Indian background so a lot of the beats incorporate samples from Reggae/ Dancehall. The project also shows my attraction to Electronica, Soul, Funk and of course boom bap hip hop. As for the lyrics and cadence, I wanted to really include my spoken word style, singing and rap in variation and experimentation. I use to hate to sing but then I just started to play with my vocals more and this is me, getting use to all my voices.

Who are some of your biggest Jamaican influences?

My biggest Jamaican influences are Bob Marley (of course), Shabba Ranks, SuperCat, Patra, Lady Saw, Beenie Man, Capleton, Little Vicious, Assassin, Spragga Benz, Sizzla and Bounty Killer. I was a big dancehall head as a growing up so its probably takes up more than a quarter of my musical brain.

I see you and Hip Hop are dating now.

We’ve been dating for a while now. Always some drama, as you can see in my new video “Down To Earth Thoughts”. He is pretty controlling and gets conniving when he doesn’t get his way. Recently we have been having a lot of issues with him listening to me and understanding my non-luxorious lifestyle. But hopefully he will soon and hopefully I won’t be living like this forever. “Down to Earth Thoughts” is on commentary on my relationship with hip hop and dealing with micro issues that deal with the macro upside down world we live in.

Don’t you just hate Canal Street?

LOL. man do I. The song Canal Street actually came about from the thought of the industry being much like the bootleg bagged filled streets in the Manhattan. As I grew as an artist, I am finding more and more people are just like those bags, made out of fake material looking fancy. So the song kinda started out like that. I told Ryshon Jones about the idea and it kinda stuck. So now whenever we see fake people, or fake happenings, we call it Canal Street.

L.atasha A.lcindor

What’s your favorite track off the EP?

My favorite track off of SPARK is M.E….no one else really speaks about M.E. but that’s ok cause its like my little gem. I really like it because of the obscure sound alongside my flow. And I said some spiritual lines in there like aligning oneself and how important it is to just be yourself no matter how weird it may seem. And whenever it comes on I get back to my illuminati twerk days. lol. Nah. But I really love it encompasses M.E. and how people who hate usually are just mad with my comforbility (sp?) with myself.

Why the switch from LA to L.atasha A.lcindor?

Currently, I am undergoing this transitional stage or rebirth in my artistry and I decided to make my artist 100% connected to who I am as person. So I decided to go with my real name L.atasha A.lcindor because of that reason. I still use the periods so people can still call me L.A., and remember that I have a city of angels guiding me through this journey. But as I grow as an artist and as people get to know me better, I don’t want them to know me as the girl whose name is that city opposite from her coast. I want them to know me for who I am in totality.

How did your collaboration with Camille Safiya come about?

Camille has been family for a while, I especially love her because we have this artistic/spiritual connection, cause she is also a painter and an devotional individual. So when she graduated from college, she got into music and I absolutely fell in love with her voice. So I asked her if she wanted to tour with me for a little and from then we began making music together. I am super proud of her and everything she is doing now. Recently, I was featured on first single “Immortal Souls” which is making crazy strides. Sooo proud of her and can’t wait to see what else she gives the world.

What’s it like being a female MC in 2013?

I think…. its like being a male. lol. Like its obvious there is a stigma to being a female in this industry because so many before us kind of set a certain bar that made the audience expect the female rapper to be sexually explicit, or completely bubbly or way too hard. But I think male rappers have to deal with their own issues just like being a female means I have to deal with mine. So I don’t really take my gender into account anymore. I just go. Additionally, when I was dealing with “OMG It’s so hard to be a female artist in Hip Hop” I was reminded that it really is just as hard as you make it. I try to not add the extra pressure cause honestly, there is enough with life colliding with my dreams. And honestly, I decided, fuck the lanes…I’mma make a bridge for myself. Set my own bar. and see what happens.

What makes a great live rap performance?

I believe spirit, energy, comfortability and a story on stage is what makes great live performances. The audience wants a show, not someone just speaking to them, but someone who connects to their soul when they see and hear them. People want presence and people want to see you are having fun, so they can have fun too.

What makes a shit live rap performance?

I think a shitty live performance comes when you just think you are too much of the shit to connect with the audience and decide you want to have 3 million of your entourage on stage with you to distract from the point that you can’t rock dolo. I hate that shit. No offense to all the rappers who do that but man…I don’t care about your yesmen friends. I came to see you.

Lemme get a blurb for this video.

St. Michael is about my transition into understanding myself as I connect to the higher beings, i.e. angels, God, whatever floats your boat. It was shot at my Grandma’s botanical store in Florida kind of out of nowhere. And it came out really beautiful for being unexpected. The guys who shot it actually helped with Lupe Fiasco’s Bitch Bad video so I was sure it would come out dope. And it did. Really happy its moving the way it is and people are getting the purpose of the song and appreciating my fake dance moves in it. lol. Some people are asking why she is in a voodoo store. One. I don’t do voodoo but my family is very spiritual and we believe that the Spirits and God truly guide us in everything we do. Two. I think its funny how the world associates Voodoo or black spirituality with negativity automatically and its something to being discussed. Why is black always something evil? That’s a song for another day.


Um. I’m not sure if you are asking me. But if you are no. I just really respect TDE and appreciate the message they are bringing to the world. Hiiipower to me means understanding your higher self as a body on this earth. S/O to Ab-Soul who really is getting that message out there.

What can we expect on LALytes?

LALytes: Revelations of a L.ife A.ddict will be telling you a bunch of stories about myself in developing into my higher being on this earth. It will be a grouping of moments where I realized something about life or was hit with something that helped me in becoming more aware of my world and of being. Sonically, the stories will match the beats, so expect calmness to chaos. I’m really excited for it. But before that is The Minimalist which should come out some time near the end of summer. The Minimalist is a musical painting of myself.

It’s 12:34 you…

Thinking about why I always see the time 12:34, and remembering that its about progression and getting back to the boogie.