Mainstream Hip Hop has shown that you might just need a catchy hook and some extra reverb or autotune to "make it." But the underground offers a whole other perspective, one that the internet helped to democratize by bringing the artist directly to its listeners, still there is a struggle. With all the social media and technology, many independent artists seem to forget that you still need talent and strong work ethic to gain respect and an organic following in the underground. More importantly, you need that “wow” or “x factor” and for a lot of female rappers, sadly that means sex appeal. As a fellow artist, I like to see rappers that have that raw passion that simply cannot be faked. You need that drive, that fire, and if you’re good enough, you’ll rain ashes as well. As some of you know, I participated in Team Backpack’s Live Cypher Draft at Mission Underground in Los Angeles earlier this summer. I’ve already featured some of the dope female artists I met at the event including 3XTK and Ashley Banks. But today I introduce yall to one of the most unique female MC’s I know- Ashe Blanco.
Ashe Blanco means “white ash” in Spanish and her name already shows her unique skill with word play. She grew up in a musically inclined family and began writing and recording raps in 2009, notably following the birth of her son. “I really started pushing to pursue music as a career. Something just catapulted me to spend all of my free time networking, making new music, and talking business in terms of what my next move was going to be,” says Ashe. When I met this young woman in person, I was taken back by her assertive persona and her confidence when talking to other artists and various media personnel, and rapping not only on TBP but on the many other cyphers that took place as well. We exchanged business handles and I knew she was someone I wanted to work with in the near future.
In 2014, Ashe entered in Funk Volume’s “Don’t Fu[$]k Up Our Beats” Season 6, an online rapping contest where rappers can upload videos of themselves rapping to beats produced by Funk Volume. She gained a decent buzz from that entry and went on to perform in more than 40 shows last year, all while building her own promotion company “Stay Hydrated.” Due to her relentless grind efforts, she was noticed and picked up by a group of talented artists called "Lab Life," and since then they’ve been putting ideas together for music, media, and promotions. Check out the “ASHE BLANCO Presents: The 2K14 LIVE Cypher” video on Youtube and you’ll see that they mean business, with Ashe as the group’s Alpha-Female.
Currently, Ashe and her team at Lab Life are putting together an acapella-styled cypher, which will drop in the next week or so. She has many videos for you watch on her Youtube channel. Take a look at her “Destined” music video and be on the look out for more of her projects.
“Where there’s fire, there’s ashe…”
OTDHipHop is an independent music blog and network, curated by Rapper/Blogger Jehzan Exclusive.