Welcome to the second installment of #WomanCrushWednesday here on #OTDHipHop blog. As I mentioned in last week’s article, I started this segment to help share the stories of all the inspiring women in my life. This week, I had a great time chatting with my friend Lanimie “LaLa” Datulayta. She is a 22-year old Barbizon graduate and aspiring music manager from Hawaii, who recently moved to Georgia. We discussed her upbringing as a local girl of Filipino descent, her longtime involvement in music and writing, and life as an ambitious single mother.
LaLa has been singing, writing songs, and dancing since she was a little girl. While her passion is in music itself, she is now focused on her career in Artist Management. Throughout the course of 2016, LaLa developed her professional network in Hawaii by attending shows and meeting various people in the local music scene, but she particularly grew towards hip hop artists and rappers. To date, she has managed Hawaii-based artists Nino Black and Czah V; and along with her friend and fellow Artist Manager Kayla Ferrell, supervised Astro Guillotine.
Jehzan: Hawaii’s music market are primarily reggae listeners, with the younger audiences geared more towards EDM. Why did you choose to link up more with hip hop artists & rappers versus other genres?
LaLa: That is a big question for me because it is why I chose to move to Georgia. Growing up in Hawaii and navigating through the local music scene, I have found nothing but a melting pot of talent. Hawaii is already known for its reggae and hawaiian music, but there is more to Hawaii’s narrative than just love songs and ukuleles. Personally, I felt compelled towards the music and stories of the hip hop artists and rappers I’ve met because they speak on other sides of living in Hawaii. There is huge talent in the local scene as well as the artists who come from the mainland for military or other purposes. I feel like now more than ever, Hawaii is closest to becoming known for its hip hop and rap music on a grander scale. We just need that “break out” artist, and I’m rooting for every local hip hop artist in the scene right now.
Jehzan: Do you have anything you'd like to share regarding your family and/or other strong people in your life?
LaLa: I want to include the fact that I wouldn't have been able to successfully have pursued my dreams in the music business without the BIGGEST help & support from my sons Grandma Trixy Tambaoan. Through my endeavors, she has taken on the roll of becoming my sons guardian as I continue to pursue this career path of mine.
Jehzan: You mention a lot of females in your life that helped shape you. Did you grow up around a lot of women?
LaLa: My sisters played a big role as well when it came to my upbringing. They helped form the responsible & strong headed female I am today. They showed me how to be a woman & the definition of strong female figures in my life.
Shouts out to this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday, “LaLa!”
Personally, I really relate to LaLa’s story especially how she is choosing to pursue her dreams despite what anyone thinks of her as being a “young single mom.” I’m sure that as LaLa gets more settled into her new home in Georgia, she will definitely be making strides for more ambitious young artists and professionals like herself to take their careers to the next level. I was raised by my single mother who has also faced similar backlash, but there is something about a woman’s ambition and relentlessness to achieve what she wants that attracts me and inspires me every day.
If you’re an artist interested in management or consultation,
please contact LaLa via email firstname.lastname@example.org
and/or follow her Instagram @LaLanimie.
Aloha #OTDHipHop fam! Welcome to another #TrackTuesday. Today I’ll be reviewing a new song by Dopeless. I’ve featured him on here about a year ago, and it was cool to catch up real quick with this remarkable young man. Dopeless is an artist from San Jose, CA who continues to gain a strong underground audience, having performed at numerous venues around his area. Having overcome alcoholism and abuse for many years, he started sharing his story through music and is now 5 years sober. For that reason, he is proudly “Dopeless.”
“Proud of Me” is one of the newest tracks on Dopeless’ Soundcloud catalog. Produced by Heart-Tricks, the instrumental has a smooth melody with a boom-bap sound throughout the song. Dopeless’ lyrics start off with “You’re the reason that the sun shines” before he goes into the first verse. He opens up about the wrong he has done especially due to his battle with addiction and expresses his feelings for his mother. You can hear remorse and sadness in the stories he tells, but through it all the message is about triumph and how he’s going to make his mom proud of him. The hook states “I’m sorry if you ever doubted me. I swear mom, Ima make you proud of me.” The rest of the song really focuses moreso on his mother and how she loved him unconditionally through everything he and the family put her through.
Aloha #OTDHipHop fans!
It’s time for the most popular segment on this blog, Friday Features! I recently linked up with Pyramis, an aspiring hip hop artist and producer from West Covina, CA. He actually mixed/mastered two of my newest tracks “Relax” (Prod. by SVMSON) and “Bubba Kush & Iced Tea” (Prod. by CashMoneyAP). Pyramis has been involved in music for a number of years and he was very open with sharing about his background, inspirations, and future aspirations.
Pronounced Pi- Ruh (RA)- Mees, Pyramis stated that he has always been interested in ancient cultures like the Greeks and Egyptians. He chose Pyramis as his name due to various ancient and mathematical principles such as pi (3.14) and the 3 point pyramid, of which both represent infinite power. “The RA is for the sun god amen-ra. The ‘me’ sound in the ‘mis’ refers to a sacred god within me...I’m a firm believer that although there is a design to the universe, we create our reality and a god by definition is a creator. Mis is the plural word for ‘mi’ in Greek and Spanish culture,” said Pyramis.
Pyramis was obsessed with music ever since he was a child. Initially, he started singing at about 10 years old. In middle school, he began writing his own poems as a means to cope with anger and confused emotions following a death in the family. “It started as poetry, which gradually turned to very laughable raps,” said Pyramis. Pyramis was born and raised in West Covina, CA in the San Gabriel Valley roughly 30 minutes from LA. “I grew up in a gang infested neighborhood that definitely toughened me up and prepared me for a lot of challenges in life by being able to attack them with a warrior mindset. Where I’m from has a lot to do with my music because the pain my hometown brought me still translates into my music to this day,” stated Pyramis.
As a teenager, Pyramis joined the choir and even made a run as a metal singer but nothing materialized. In fact, he learned how to really freestyle and rap in a stint in the county jail for running with some neighborhood knuckleheads, as he mentioned. “There was no music in there except what you could create. Banged on some tables and freestyled. Wrote my first verses as an adult in there,” expressed the artist. Upon being released from jail, music never stopped for Pyramis. He started producing in 2014, and became aware of the costs of his hobby. From there, he decided to make music more legitly and started a company and ran with it. Now, he has his own personal artist career, his record label Conscious Minds Collective Music Group, and the House of Wolves Productions.
At this point, Pyramis has no plans of slowing down as he continues to rap, record, produce, and work on his sound engineering skills. He remains busy and vigilant with his craft and business. He recently released his debut EP PYRAM1DSCH3ME, which features two of his main tracks “Business” and “Temptations.” The EP is available on all digital music platforms including Youtube and Bandcamp. For more on Pyramis, subscribe to his Youtube channel.
OTDHipHop is an independent music network & blog, curated by Rapper/Blogger Jehzan Exclusive.