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The Vixen Q&A: Jasmine Solano Lets Loose About Her Favorite Elements Of Hip-Hop And Growing Up On Soul Music

She's undoubtedly the definition and balance of a sweet, sour and spicy chick craving human interaction, the rawness of lyricism and the energy of electric punanny. Not intriqued yet?

Well, my Jasmine Solano experience began at the Machine Gun Kelly show at NYC's Gramercy Theatre on a recent Sunday. The Brooklyn-based artist began her DJ set spinning off major club anthems by Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Waka and Travis Porter then proceeded to hype the crowd and kickoff the performances with her new single "Turn It Up" followed by fan-favorite "That's Not It," a humorous  Salt-N-Pepa-inspired shot at men who believe material things and weak lines wow women. She's spunky, fun and full of this energy I can't quite put my finger on. I just know that she's someone to know and be around.

An even better chance of figuring out why I was so captivated by this long-haired female rocker came in the form of her "Turn It Up" video release party. Hundreds of fans, friends and those she'd consider family came to support this 5-foot-something raptress who has the ability to create an equally innocent and boisterous presence. But even with the intimate setting of the Red Bull Space crowded with The Colors Of Benetton (as she says), there was much more to be learned. How does she reach all these different types of peope? Why do people love her this intensely? Where does lie on the spectrum of feminity? Has she always been a rapper?

VIBE Vixen grabbed a late lunch with Miss Solano to really find out who the lady was behind the 1's and 2's. Her childhood, her journey from textbooks to worldwide countries and Beyoncé were all topics served (no pun intended). The bottom line: Cool peoples run with cool peoples! Without further ado, get to know this Vixen running wild in a male-dominated kingdom. -Niki McGloster


VIXEN: Who is Jasmine Solano?
JASMINE: I’m a workaholic who likes to eat a lot [laughs]. Jasmine Solano is a multi-tasker and a humanitarian. I like to control a lot of the aspects of my brand and of my artistic expression, so that means I like to direct my own videos when I can, I like to be hands-on with the artwork, I like to DJ my own sets when I rap and I love putting together the entire package from top to bottom. And so I’m always multitasking, and I’m also always thinking about my interactions with people whether that’s the crowd, whether that’s relationships in general, whether that’s industry folk or whether that’s the fans. My personal relationships [and] my interaction with people is pretty much the most important thing to me.

When you speak about your relations with people, it’s clear that it’s important to you from the way you interact with people. You had people come out and support you and kick it with you from several different backgrounds.
The Colors of Benetton [laughs]!

[Laughs] Your fan base spans crazy. My question is: What’s your nationality?
My racial ambiguity really is a testament to how I’m a chameleon in a lot of different environments, so I try to keep that ambiguity from a marketing standpoint. But I will say this, though: I am mixed. My parents come from two totally different cultures, and I’ve traveled around the world studying cultures and music. I think that has a lot to do with why I have friends from all walks of life. I also find a lot of beauty in people, and it really doesn’t matter where they come from, how much material objects they have [or] how they were brought up. I, normally, try to see the good in everyone, so it’s just in my blood. Like, my dad comes from a very hot island [laughs], and my mom is straight northeast.

When did your love for music start?
Five years old. My mom recorded me singing James Brown into my Fisher Price recording machine. She’s like a classic soul Nazi; She made sure that I grew up to Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Sam and Dave… all her. Then my dad, he used to play a couple instruments, he’s an incredible dancer, so it’s in the blood. From a young age I was always dancing and singing, then when I got to my young teenage years, that’s when it really hit. Especially in Philly, I was really obsessed with the Okayplayer movement, and I was 14 or 15 sneaking into the shows and the clubs! I started doing open mics and spoken word. I was a really big hip-hop activist in my latter high school years, so I would get my one friend who played drums and another friend who beatboxed and we would just have cyphers for hours. Then I started putting on hip-hop political events at like 15 and 16 [laughs]. I had this one guy who was really like my hip-hop mentor. He showed me how to work turntable, I was a little backpacker, and just a little hip-hop nerd.

That was your addiction.
Hell yeah. My addiction! Then, I went to school in Boston, and I wanted to major in music activism [laughs], so I designed my own major. The title of it was like The Hip-Hop Activism Quest; that was the title of my major at 17! I started deejaying on the radio.This was at Emerson in Boston. For three years, I deejayed underground hip-hop and then I traveled the world, grew up a little bit and made my major a little more professional. It became music production and social marketing. Then, my final year that I deejayed, I started an R&B and Soul show called “The Secret Spot,” and that show won a bunch of awards. That was a big deal.

I’m sure it was. You’ve done so much and been to many places. What place has influenced you the most or feels the most apart of you?
New York. I can’t remember the very first time I had been to New York, but it was always about New York. I love Philly, but I was always trying to be in the center of the city. I like to find new things all the time, constantly stimulated, and New York is just it. I thought I would move to New York after high school, but I went to Emerson. Even after Boston, I already knew it would be New York.

Now, what came first? Rapping or deejaying?
Rapping, actually. Hands down.

So your love for music, sparked your love for rhyming and it developed into deejaying, but what made you take the professional DJ avenue first?
It kind of took me because I started deejaying first before I told anyone that I made music. No one knew. At the time, I was managing a small production company and a small record label. That’s where I met my managers, so they knew about my work ethic. They didn’t even know I made music, and then I had a revelation. I was like, all the effort I put into these two companies, what if I put it into myself. So in late 2008, I just made the decision to go ham, to go all the way in. I had already been known as a DJ, then the rapping started. Really it was Ninjasonik, who are like my brothers, who have been supporting me since the jump. They didn’t need me to be cosigned by anyone or anything.

And in late 2008 is when you dropped “That’s Not It?”

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Senate To Propose Two Bills That Might End Government Shutdown

Since Dec. 22, more than a handful of federal workers have yet to clock in. Under Donald Trump's order, agencies that fall within the federal government's banner were closed until a resolve concerning immigration and a border wall between Mexico and the United States was agreed upon by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.

While on the latter's end a proposal of $5.7 billion to fund the wall was met with contention by the Democrats, both parties plan to meet on Thursday (Jan. 24) to propose two bills that might speed up the end of the shutdown. According to TIME, the Republican's proposal still includes the multi-billion dollar request for the wall, but they would agree to give Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients a "three-year reprieve" from being deported. The Democrats want to re-open the government until Feb. 8 as a means of gathering more time to reach a resolution.

TIME also notes that the Democrats might not agree to the GOP's plan because, on the subject of DACA and TPS recipients, a formidable plan of action to protect them has yet to be implemented. "The President's proposal is one-sided, harshly partisan, and was made in bad faith. It's like bargaining for stolen goods," Senator Chuck Schumer said.

Per ABC News, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stressed the dire position the country is in under Trump's position. "We can't have a president, every time he has an objection, to say I'll shut down government until you come to my way of thinking," Pelosi said. "Understand, that is part of the point of this. If we hold the employees hostage now, they're hostage forever."

The proposals both need 60 votes, which would possibly lead to ending the shutdown.

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Future Confronted Jay-Z Over '4:44' Diss: "You Supposed To Be Biggin’ Me Up"

Many suspected that there was beef between Future and Jay-Z after Hov appeared to take a jab at Future's current family situation on his 2017 album, 4:44. While Hendrix has remained rather silent about the subliminal line in the past, the rapper revealed during an interview on Hot 107.9 ATL's "The Durty Boyz Show" that he actually confronted Jay about the line.

The lyric in question appeared on Jay-Z's single "Kill Jay-Z." "In the future, other n***as playin' football with your son/You had lost it, 13 bottles of Ace of Spade what it did to Boston," Jigga raps. The lyrical wordplay appears to reference Future and Ciara's intense custody battle and also commented on Russell Wilson filling in as a father figure for Future's son.

While he admittedly thought it was a diss, he says Jay was singing a different tune. "When I talked to him, ‘I didn’t really say that. Look man, I didn’t mean it like that.'" He said of his conversation with the Brooklyn artist. "And I was just like, you supposed to be biggin’ up the rap community. NFL deal with NFL. You supposed to be biggin’ me up if anything."

The "Rocket Ship" rapper also stated that rappers shouldn't attack other rappers for the sake of Instagram captions or memes. "We come from the trenches. I come from the streets. You come from the streets," he continued. "You supposed to be biggin’ me up. You supposed to be giving that no negative attention for a hot line, something that’s going to always be out…"

Despite the past drama however, Future says he's moved on and is focusing his attention on bigger things.  "[The song is] out now… It is what it is. I ain’t even trippin’ off him. I’m trying to get to where I’m going, and ain’t nobody going to stop me or whatever going on, the talking, the captions, or whatever the memes – it can’t stop me because it’s a vision that I have and it’s goals that I have, that I set out for myself that I got to get that no matter what."

Future is currently promoting his latest album, The Wzrd, which was released on Jan. 18. Check out the clip from his recent interview below.

 

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#PressPlay: #Future talks about speaking with #JayZ about his lyrics on his 4:44 album 👀 (📹: @durttyboyz/ @hot1079atl)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Jan 23, 2019 at 5:00am PST

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112 Hints At A Christian Music Collaboration With Kanye West

Kanye West's highly-anticipated album, Yandhi is nowhere to be found, but that doesn't mean the rapper hasn't been working on new music. In fact, Ye is looking into creating new tunes in the Christian music genre. According to 112's Slim, the R&B group is teaming up with Kanye to produce new music that will draw the new generation to church.

Slim made the revelation during an interview with TMZ on Monday (Jan. 21). Unfortunately, Slim wouldn't drop too many details about the project, but hinted that the collaboration could or could not happen.

"Kanye being a musical genius, he’ll do an album and then scrap it," he said. "Whatever happens, it’s something that God wanted to happen."

Slim's latest comments come shortly after a video surfaced online of 112 serenading Kim Kardashian with a rendition of their single "Cupid" on FaceTime. The clip went viral, prompting suspicion of a possible collaboration.

Aside from music, Slim said he also talked to Kanye to see where he was mentally. "Kanye is in a real good place," he revealed. "We were talking about things that were more spiritual and he’s in a real good place right now."

Stay tuned to see if the Kanye West and 112 Christian collaboration actually happens.

Check out the full interview above.

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