For this edition of #NewRules we sit down with Brooklyn emcee L.atasha A.lcindor to talk about her come up in the rap game as well as find out what DIY tips she has to offer all of you young bucks that are trying to get into the music world.
Mass Appeal: Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
L.atasha A.lcindor: I am from the problematic blocks of Flatbush, Brooklyn. I’m currently hiding from Sallie Mae so like yeah can’t say that [Laughs].
MA: How did you start off?
LA: I started as a fake poet, writing poetry with my little cousin because we thought it was cool to get out our puberty and hormones on paper. Then, I met a guy that I ended up falling in love with who wanted to be a rapper. He subconsciously must have made me want to start writing and performing spoken word. Also, Def Poetry Jam, because that’s what I was exposed to. That guy unfortunately passed away, it broke me apart. So, I was just writing a lot more and started focusing on hip hop as a culture. I went to college at Wesleyan University and had the chance to really dive deep into hip hop. In college is where I started doing a lot of spoken word and was able to contribute to my school’s understanding of hip hop by creating a play called “Memoirs of Hip Hop.” At the time, I was going back and forth between Connecticut and New York, hanging with the scene kids, and I met this one kid who asked if I wanted to get in a cypher, he had seen my spoken word poetry somehow, so I did my first cypher called “We Got Bars,” and then it was like ‘Oh, I found my key.’
MA: How did you come up with your name?
LA: Well, my name is Latasha Alcindor, but I stylize it “L.atasha A.lcindor.” My alias L.A. is my initials. It symbolizes the city of angels in my mind. Like how angels were just human beings, all fucked up trying get their shit together so that they can keep their wings. It’s a metaphor to my life, man.
MA: In the beginning how were you able to make music videos and get studio time?
LA: I had this Illuminati-ass job making decent money, so I was investing most of it in to my music. I quit that. But in the really early beginnings, the homie ScienZe would allow me to work out of his studio and then people really liked what I was making so they wanted to help with videos. Then, I got a manager and we worked for a while but things got crazy and so I started managing myself and getting things done solo. Now, I record a lot at home.
MA: How did you book your first few shows?
LA: I didn’t really look for them, people would just hear about my music and ask if I wanted to rock. I mean, it’s been a hell of a blessing because I got to rock in some really amazing showcases.
MA: How were you able to get on your first tour?
LA: We planned it ourselves. Sometimes as an indie artist, you have to do this to get yourself out there.
MA: What kind of shows do you give? How do you perform?
LA: I give an exploration into who I am. I have a lot of energy and run around and talk to the crowd and just try to make it more personal. I am going to start incorporating some other theatrics, but for now I make it a spiritual, fun, and honest experience. It’s always an experience.
MA: Do you have a clothing line or merchandise?
LA: I’ve got t-shirts and stickies! Right now, they are just sold on my Instagram but I have a new site coming out this summer where people can support everything through the page.
MA: What do you want your fans or anyone in general to know about you?
LA: That “she’s” out here. And that I can’t wait to meet ’em.
MA: What do you feel is holding you back from getting to where you want to be?
LA: In reality time and money are always a problem. But in the real reality, I’ll be fine as soon as alignment allows.
MA: What advice would you give others who are trying to come up in the game?
LA: Keep God first. Meditate as much as you can. Speak honestly, and give it to the universe, it will give it to you back.