Rappers are quick to acknowledge their adversity as a means for motivation to succeed in an industry that today is otherwise built for failure and letdown. If that’s the case, then consider Snow Tha Product’s journey thus far a fairy tale story.
Born to illegal immigrants but a few shades paler than her ancestral peers, the Ft. Worth, Texas by-way-of California rapper has been dealing with adversity ever since she started taking her craft seriously at the age of 18. However, despite the conventional dismissal she has received through her travels, Snow Tha Product has time and again proven her skills far outweigh any critics’ external assessment.
2011 saw her turn that adversity into versatility with the release of Unorthodox 1.0, an impressive project that subsequently brought Atlantic Records to her doorstep. Alongside her grassroots movement of fans (who have appropriately been coined Product Pushas) and focused on her mixtape Good Nights & Bad Mornings, Snow (who initially went by the stage name "Snow White Tha Product" before Disney put the kibosh on it) is poised for a breakout year in 2013. If the fairy tale goes as written, this won’t be a surprise ending either.
Recently chopping it up with HipHopDX, Snow Tha Product explained the varietal approach she took with Good Nights & Bad Mornings, as well as her motivation behind narrowing the guest list on the mixtape. A fan and admirer of Strange Music, she also details her work with Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko and why she sees her own reflection in their movement.
HipHopDX: I want to start off by saying Disney definitely messed up when they didn't give you the rights to the name "Snow White Tha Product." I'm sure at this point they have to be kicking themselves for missing out on that. [Laughs]
Snow Tha Product: [Laughs] Thank you. Yeah, considering that they make kids movies they sure got some rough and tough fucking lawyers.
DX: Along with the captivating and entertaining visuals, you're making a very strong statement with the record "Cookie Cutter Bitches." Why do you think it was necessary to make that kind of record?
Snow Tha Product: I feel like there are a lot of people who don't have their own identity. They just want to go with what they think is tight. They're very judgmental of anything that's different, and I feel like, why not? Especially because I have a lot of cousins. I'm Mexican, I got a lot of cousins, and my little cousins are always like, "Oh, that's not cool. Why are you doing that?" I need to teach you kids a lesson. You need to not be worried about that, you need to be yourself. I just felt like it was something that needed to be said.
Even in the music industry. Everybody wants to get the female rapper and do exactly what happens with Nicki Minaj or Lil' Kim. And it's like, how about looking for somebody that's different? Maybe that's not all what everybody wants. Leave those girls' lane alone and try something different.
DX: Do you see other female artists within the industry that are doing that as well, that you respect?
Snow Tha Product: Look, I respect originality. If you're doing something and it's your own shit I'm not ever going to be like, "Don't be too sexy." I just feel like considering how kids nowadays are looking up to all of these rappers, sometimes it's just easy and kind of a cop-out to go with the whole sex [theme] and talk about sex and doing all this shit. Try to rely on your talent, not that. You get paid to rap; that's what we do, so do that.
DX: "Cookie Cutter Bitches" is a song that's a part of your upcoming mixtape Good Nights & Bad Mornings which comes out today (December 12). Along with this track you've also treated us to records like "Damn It" and "Lord Be With You," which is a hazy party track that definitely needs sunglasses and Advil the next morning. How would you describe the rest of the mixtape?
Snow Tha Product: The party tracks, obviously those are coming out right now. I have other tracks like "Moving" and "Fuck Your Phone." I have a lot more mellow tracks, and those are kind of the polar opposite to what these tracks are. "Moving" is talking about me and my friends and how we're doing this whole thing and we're just going to keep it moving. And if the haters want to keep on doing their thing then that's cool, but we're not going to steer away from what we originally wanted to do, which is succeed.
I have another song called "Doing Fine" where I'm really just saying I may be fucking up and I may be partying and doing all this other stuff, and my mom thinks my Rap career is a joke, but I'm doing fine. I'm paying the bills with music money and I'm being a responsible adult as much as I can be. I'm doing fine. [Laughs]
DX: You just mentioned the track title "Fuck Your Phone," I'm sure that has an interesting backstory. Tell me about that record.
Snow Tha Product: I just feel like everybody stays on their phone nowadays. People will go to a party and everybody is on their phone, and you see the glare on people's faces from the little light reflecting off their face. Then you see their tweets, "This party is so fun," but nobody is doing shit. Everybody's just on their phones. Or even in our relationships. If the other person is just on their phone, it's like okay, were we talking right now or are you on your fucking phone? Throw your phone away right now. [Laughs]
DX: [Laughs] Sounds very straight-forward. Do you have a favorite record on Good Nights & Bad Mornings, or is there one record on there where you say, "This is what my Product Pushas are definitely going to be looking for"?
Snow Tha Product: I have a couple. I really like "Doing Fine" because I'm singing on it, but it's not something that's irritating. I'm not doing auto-tune or nothing, I'm just doing a melody and I'm talking about how my life really is right now. I'm talking about rap, and how sometimes we feel like we don't know where we're going in life, but we’ll be fine. And then I have "Gettin' It." I really like that one because it's got this weird booty bass type of feel to it, and I really used to like that kind of music. "I put my hand up on your hip," that type of stuff. It's fun.
My Product Pushas are real supportive, and I love them especially because they appreciate any music that I put out because they know I'm honest with it. So even if I try something different, they know that particular day in the studio, that's how I felt. I really love them for just loving what I do and respecting that creativity. I'm sure they'll love the mixtape.
DX: Earlier this year there were discussions in interviews from you that you were coming out with a project called Beauty and the Beast. Is that the album, or a mixtape that no longer may be coming out?
Snow Tha Product: That's Good Nights & Bad Mornings.
DX: Okay, so it was a title change.
Snow Tha Product: Yeah, there was a title change in the process of making Beauty and the Beast because I made a song called "Good Nights & Bad Mornings" and everyone was like, "That's a really dope title. That should be the title of the mixtape." And the more I thought about it, especially with there being more references of being a "beauty and a beast" with female rappers, I said yes, let's stay away from that whole fad. Not to mention it was another Disney reference, but it really does explain what I'm going through right now. The good and the bad.
DX: You're an artist that's adamant about having versatility, and that’s evident not only in your content but also in the fact that you're bilingual and you rap in Spanish from time to time. Is that something you'll be continuing in the future as well?
Snow Tha Product: Yeah, definitely. I always want to rap in Spanish. At least on every mixtape, there would be one song where I would rap in Spanish. I'm very proud of where I'm from. And that's why it really irks me when people say she's white or she's trying not to be Hispanic or represent it. I've always represented. That's who I am and it's never going away. I don't need to wear a fucking sombrero to represent. Plus, I don't feel like limiting myself. I feel like if I'm one of those artists that wants to creatively change, everyone is going to give me flack for it. I want to be able to do what I love and do it the way that I want to.
DX: You've recently found a lot of camaraderie with the Strange Music camp, with your first collaboration being "Damage" alongside Krizz Kaliko. There's also talks about you possibly doing work with Tech N9ne as well. What is it about that camp that got you into them? Were you listening to them before the collaboration?
Snow Tha Product: Yeah, I always enjoyed the stuff that Tech N9ne and Brotha Lynch Hung did. And because they go hard and they're choppers, I respected their talent. Plus their independent grind is crazy. I've always ran myself kind of similar, and when I saw all those similarities it was crazy.
Tech actually called me like, "You're dope. I want to rap with you." We’ve actually already made a song, it's coming out on the Good Nights & Bad Mornings re-release because that's where I put a lot of features. We really clicked because we all focus on talent and we really focus on the fans. We have this independent grind type of mentality where we're really on the touring and merchandising thing. It's really cool to see what my little hustle can one day become. I'm learning a lot from them. They're really dope people.
DX: With you working with Krizz Kaliko, does that mean you two also have another track in the works as well?
Snow Tha Product: Yeah. Krizz [Kaliko] is awesome. He sings, he's got these crazy harmonies. He's got this real big voice and I definitely want to do something with him, like the end of the world is coming-type shit. We just shot the video for "Damage," and we're definitely talking about doing more stuff.
DX: You mentioned a re-release of Good Nights & Bad Mornings which includes features. Was that something that occurred because you were rushed to put out the project and you weren't able to get those in time?
Snow Tha Product: No. I feel like my issue right now is a lot of people are relying on features or collaborations or co-signs to give a girl credibility. It's like, "Let's do this and that and this. Let's put it all together because this is what is going to make her credible." I feel like I have to stand alone. I've been representing myself and my camp. I haven't been "the girl" in my camp, I've been at forefront of my camp, so I want to make sure that that's always evident to people, that I'm not relying on anyone else.
So I wanted Good Nights & Bad Mornings to be clear cut, just me. Later on when we re-release it you can hear all the people that support me and got my back. But I wanted to make sure that this mixtape, because I feel it's one of my biggest mixtapes, really explains what I'm doing. I wanted it to be just me, I wanted a chance to show what I do.
DX: That's dope. You're currently on Atlantic Records, and despite the flack that major labels get these days, there's also clear advantages. With that, have they made any calls and hooked you up with artists on their roster?
Snow Tha Product: Really, with Atlantic, right now we're focusing on the mixtape. When I first went in there, they knew what I wanted to do and they're really letting me make sure that my vision is good.
I think in 2013 there's going to be some real big stuff in the works. I definitely hear all the talks about what's going to happen. But as of right now, they're just letting my camp be my camp and letting me be very independent about it. They're really not getting in the way. As I grow as an artist and as a business person, I really want to make sure that I hone my own craft, and they're being very understanding about that and not doing the whole major label thing of trying to take over and get involved in everything. They're being real cool about it. But in 2013, there's going to be some things that hit people in the head with what we got going
DX: I think it's awesome they’re giving you the opportunity that allows you to show your product to them, and then once they see something they feel they can jump on then they can go from there. Instead of saying, "This is what we want you to do, this is the type of record that's going to make you big, this is the artist that's going to get you shine."
Snow Tha Product: Yeah. They didn't just find me, put me in a miniskirt and say, "Here you go, this is your first video. Sell sex." They were like, “We understand what you're doing. You like the indie shit, you like touring, and you want to do it like a rock band, alright.” Hopefully they'll be able to see it. A lot of times people get turned off by the fact that I'm a ‘White female rapper.’ They really need to see beyond that and all the stuff that we really got going on, and the grind we're putting into this.
DX: With you focusing on the mixtape right now, and I'm not sure what the plans are for the debut album thus far, but are there records that you've made during the recording process for the mixtape that had you thinking, "you know what, I'm going to save that for the album"?
Snow Tha Product: Yeah, we got a couple tracks that we're going to hold off on because they're really big records and I want to make sure we get to focus on them. Right now though I feel like the mixtape is a re-introduction and for some people an introduction because although I've been working really hard, there's a lot of people that don't know about me. I am not anywhere close to where I want to be, so I'm taking this mixtape to introduce myself and what I'm all about, and hopefully they like it. And later on, when we decide to release some of these bigger tracks, then hopefully they’ll like those too.