SoCal Pop Rapper Is Proving Her Doubters Wrong
10:00AM ET September 16th, 2010
Contributor : Jecquea Howsie
A Rocky Williform Company
Hazel-E doesn’t care what you think about her style. She’s determined to prove the haters wrong and introduce “Valley Girl” rap to the masses. Coming straight from the not-so-hard streets of California, the self-proclaimed military brat had a atypical-for-hip-hop upbringing and that has made her transition from public relations to rapping a difficult feat. But Hazel-E disregards the doubters and embraces being a “tabloid chick”.
Why/how did you transition from publicity to becoming an artist?
I started off in acting--I was doubling for Raven Symone on the Disney Channel for a little bit--and after I graduated from college I transitioned into public relations, [and] started working for Echo Hattix for EchoingSoundz.Then about a year-and-a-half ago, around the end of 2008, I decided to go ahead and pursue my musical ambition [which] is to become the next badass pop female MC rapper.
Was this something you always had aspirations toward?
Definitely! I always had a love for music--more than just loving listening to it. I can remember when I was in college, at [the] University of Texas, at San Marcos, I just remember my girls taking our road trips bumping Lil Kim's Notorious K.I.M [and] I always loved Gwen Stefani. I’ve always loved pop music and I’ve always loved rap, though I just didn’t think at that time there was a place in the industry for an artist like me.
What made you think there wasn't place for an 'artist like you?'
I’m not a hardcore rapper. I don’t talk about sex and drugs and living on the streets and slanging.' At that time, it was just like 'What am I going to talk about--my great upbringing, being in private school?' [laughs] As the music industry progressed with artists like LMFAO and Gym Class Heroes and definitely Fergie and stuff, I found that I could do music and talk about my life and it wouldn’t be frowned upon. I wasn’t coming from the streets, so…that’s when I came up with my song “Valley Girl” and that’s what we started.
For you, what’s been some of the more eye opening aspects of just being in the industry?
You get a lot of 'no’s.' (Laughing) For me, making people believers, especially coming from being on one side of music and doing public relations and just getting people to view me credibly as an artist has been one of my toughest challenges. I’ve had a lot of the blog writers that post on me [write things like], “oh she used to be a publicist first, now she wants to be a rapper, everybody just wants to be an artist these days…” So for me it was just getting people to believe that I could do this that I wanted to do it and it wasn’t just a phase.
At the end of the day what have you enjoyed the most about this journey?
I love the fact that the ideas that are in my head--things that I want to talk about--come to life. Being that I was in PR and stuff, the creative aspect is just in my genes. I love listening to my own music, which I’m sure most artists do, but I’m a real pop junkie so when I hear my songs, “Bet You Can’t Get These Shoes” or “Valley Girl” or “Tabloid Chick” if they weren’t me I still feel like I’d still love it just because that’s the kind of music I listen to. I’ll go further and have more credits under my belt as time goes on, [but] it’s the initial response--the buzz, the fans--that’s what you do it for. That’s the reward right there. And I’m a Twitter head so check me out at Twitter.com/hazelebaby--and myspace.com/hazelebaby.