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Glizzy gabs about positivity, female rappers, and her new mixtape

Enter West Carolina



Rapper-singer Glizzy's career up until this point has been a slow burn. What started as a way to vent through poetry and music turned into a series of tracks released on Facebook in 2015. For the budding hip-hop artist, the small viral hits she accumulated over the course of a year were the signals she needed to push further. And through 2018's Glizzel da Don, Glizzy began to garner more mainstream success in the city. At times, it's been an uphill battle for her, but Glizzy is set to make another big move with her new mixtape Welcome to West Carolina, out last week.

City Paper: Can you give us an overview of Welcome to West Carolina?

Glizzy: Welcome to West Carolina is my newest mixtape. It's basically me taking my West Coast roots and bringing them to South Carolina. I've been here since 2009, so almost 10 years, and I've kind of conformed to their style a little bit, but I still have my West Coast roots. Mixed together, it just sounds so good. It just sounds like me.

CP: What's the difference between the West Coast and Charleston?

G: The West Coast is kind of like a bop. It has that upbeat bop movement to it, and down South it's more bass; it's more trap. When you put those two together, it's magical. It just sounds so different. With the right people, the right producers, and the right artists, I think we did a hell of a job.

CP: Who did you collaborate with on this album?

G: Lil' Block, Killaskip, Backboy Sav, and Kthugga, which is actually my baby's father. We did one and that's probably one of my favorite songs on my tape. It's really dope.


CP: What were the most prominent themes on Welcome to West Carolina?

G: I think me being in a different space. You can hear it. From Glizzel da Don until now, I think that me being happy, me coming up, me not letting anybody stop me, keep pressing on, going against everything, and trying to just beat the odds. I think that's the main focus and that's what it's all about.

CP: You've really grown a lot as a person in the last couple of years, from what I understand.

G: Yes! It's been a hell of journey, but I love the space that I'm in. You can hear it in my music. I think that I'm just working on being a better woman, a better mother, and a better artist. You can hear it and it shows in me, in my energy, and my music.

CP: What song do you think shows that the most?

G: I have a song called "Broke Niggas," on my mixtape [laughs]. It has a New Orleans sound to it and it's upbeat. My second song, actually, after my intro on my mixtape is basically, like 'I took some Ls, but it's OK,' because I got up and I powered up and I'm good now. And y'all can't take me out of the game. No matter what you try to do, you can't knock me. I'm going to get up every time. I might bend, but I won't break.

CP: Prior to Glizzel, you didn't release much music. Two mixtapes in two years is rapid fire, comparatively.

G: Before, I just was trying to go viral on the internet. But, after I had my baby, I started to take the music more seriously. It's either now or never for me. I don't have time to play around anymore. It's nonstop. I have so much in me right now. I'm so energetic and I have so much music going on. I think I did about maybe 35 or 40 features in 2018.

CP: You said that you've been seeing both hype and hate surrounding Welcome to West Carolina. What's been going on around the release of the album?

G: I cannot believe it. I know that something so good is going to come from this release date because I've had so much trouble, from getting my release date correct, from people coming at me, saying hateful things, doing hateful things to me. I have so much on the line, that if this was old Glizzy, I would retaliate. But, I have so much on the line, I can't do anything but be positive. With the hate that they give me, I can't do nothing but turn that into positivity and wish them well. I have so much good stuff going on. I can't tell you why, but after the mixtape drops, I think we'll find out why there's so much hate behind it. [laughs]

CP: What, are you throwing shots in it?

G: I'm not throwing shots, but people get a little bit threatened by the music because I'm a female and I get a lot of love. Let's be real: this is Charleston. This a small city — this is a family-oriented city, and people don't like for other people to elevate and go to the next level. So, when they see me like that, I'm talking my shit, and I'm saying 'I'm that bitch,' I've got it and I believe in myself, they take that as I'm being cocky. But, this is for me. This is a personal thing. It has nothing to do with you. I'm not trying to shit on you. I'm trying to show myself that this is what the fuck I do, and I'm good at it. This is for my son. I have to show my son, like no matter what anybody says, do it and do it for yourself. Because you have to do what makes you happy. If it makes them mad, it makes them mad.

CP: Do you hope that your new mixtape will elevate the representation for female rappers in Charleston?

G: I think that all the female rappers in Charleston are really dope, but I think that they sleep on us so much. And I hope that when they hear this that they understand, 'Don't sleep on us.' Just as well as these men can do it, we're doing it. I'm not even going to lie, a lot of females put in more work than the men, but we have to. They can put in a little bit of work and it just goes so far. We have to put in 10 times as much work as they do, and it still doesn't go as far as they do. I hope that when they hear this, they're like, 'These females are nothing to be played with.'

CP: That mindset has probably been inspiring.

G: I have a lot on the line. I can't do the things that I used to do and I can't be the person that I used to be because I want music, badly. I want to make it, badly, for myself, for my family. I want this so bad that I have to be professional, I have to be positive, I have to be a good role model, because I have people looking up to me. I have to watch the messages that I'm sending out and I just have to be so conscious of what I'm doing. I think it makes me a better person in general. Once you start to get in the habit of being positive, it sticks with you. And it's better to be positive than it is to be negative.

CP: During your interview with Kris Kaylin on Next Up Charleston, you said that Glizzy is a vibe. Can you describe that vibe?

G: She's fun. She's transparent. She's out there and she's like, 'Here I am. Take me or leave me.' You either love me or you hate me, but nine times out of 10, you're going to love me. I don't give people a reason to hate me. She's fun, she's energetic, and she's relatable. I think that a lot of people can relate to me because I'm really normal. Aside from me being this big Glizzy person, whoever she is, performing and stuff, I'm so normal. I'm a normal mom and I'm a normal woman. I'm weird [laughs] and I have my little things about me. And that's just it. And it shows.

CP: Do you have any idea what you're going to do after the mixtape drops on Jan. 10?

G: I'm leaving. I just want to go and share my music with the world. I feel like when you're in Charleston, you hit a ceiling. After that, once you have their attention, you have to go elsewhere; you have to gain new fans in new cities and make new cities fall in love with you. I have two good bodies of music and I feel like it's my time to let everybody hear it, go from city to city, and not even think about it.

CP: Are you leaving permanently?

G: No! No, no, no, no. I love this city. We're just going, trying to make new fans, trying to make new connections, and new music, too. I might leave, but I'm going to be linking up with other artists and linking up with other producers, and we're still going to be making a lot of good music.

CP: Is there anything that you would like to add?

G: I want people to have fun with this one. We're not heartbroken anymore. I mean, we still go through things, but we're not heartbroken anymore. We're getting up and we're just going on about life. We're living our best life in 2019.

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