Let us be forthcoming about 22-year-old, San Jose, Calif., native Claudia A. Feliciano. We'd put her up against any female MC in the game, and we're confident she'd give anyone of them a run for their money... or take their money. She's a versatile, bilingual lyricist who can fluently chop you up in English or Spanish, so take your pick. She has the swagger, attitude, fine-ass looks and in-your-face rhyming abilities to be a hip-hop sensation in the U.S. or Latin America, if only major labels could get their shit together.
For now, Feliciano, better known to the streets as Snow Tha Product, is going to have to settle for being an international underground buzz-maker. We're not exaggerating. You can find her on anything from videos with major-label Spanish-pop sensations like Jaime Kohen, to hit rap videos in Latin America to underground Mic Passes in Texas.
Initially, we didn't approach Snow for The Hot Seat because we thought she was a talented artist, although we had been jamming a track she did with Houston's Stunta, called "The Future" and we were scoping her out multiple times on the Murdaworth Mic Pass. In reality, we wanted Snow because we stumbled upon her weekly live web show she does on Wednesdays.
On it, she was speaking passionately about the new Arizona law targeting undocumented immigrants that has Latinos across America up in arms. She was educating her fan base about the situation and trying to ignite their political sensibilities, and leveraging her underground hip-hop influence to inspire political movement amongst a community traditionally disengaged and disinterested in issues that directly impact them and their families. Everything we want in a Latino - excuse us - Latina, hip-hop artist.
But in the process we got a close-up look at Snow as a rapper and found, well, we'll let you read and see for yourself. Meet Snow Tha Product, la reyna del hip-hop Latino.
Rocks Off: You have an interesting name. How did you come up with "Snow Tha Product"?
Snow Tha Product: It used to be Snow White. Yes, like the princess. Somewhere along, "the product" was added by a former manager, who insisted my job was to be the product she was going to sell to this music industry, so, all I had to have was music. She would worry about the rest.
Out of the blue, my name turned into Snow White Tha Product, which could also be seen as me being "dope." I guess it stuck, until trademarks came into play, and Disney was not too happy with me about the name. Since most people called me "Snow," we shortened it to Snow Tha Product.
RO: You strike us as that girl who is "one of the guys," but all the guys think you're hot and want to get with you, but they keep quiet.
STP: I've always been one of the guys. Over the years, I guess I grew up and a lot of guys took notice. I don't see myself as super hot, but as long as I keep my self-respect, I guess guys will find my confidence kind of attractive. I sure don't want to overwork for the attention.
RO: What part of California are you from? And why do you call Fort Worth home?
STP: I'm originally from San Jose. I was born and raised there until I was about 10. I moved to Southern Cali and moved back and forth throughout my teen years. So I guess due to my inability to stay still, I've lived all over Cali. About a year and a half ago, I moved to Fort Worth for family reasons, and I guess it turned out to be the best career move I could have ever made. I'm proud to call Texas home.
RO: You said on your live web show that the Arizona law isn't an attack on illegal immigrants but on Hispanics in general. We agree, but what are your reasons for thinking that?
STP: I use my Web show every Wednesday night as a way to reach as many people as I can with my music. It's also a way to express my political viewpoints and do more than just music. Ultimately, I want to help change a lot in this world and I guess will start with this law.
What does an "illegal" look like? Sure, when they asked [Arizona Governor Jan] Brewer, she chose to give the politically correct answer and say "I don't know" but I'm guessing if she was honest, she would say "brown." So I could be walking down the street speaking Spanish with a friend and be harassed?
They did something like this before ... to Jewish people. They were forced to always carry identification. That didn't turn out so well. I refuse to see this continue without fighting it and I will continue to use any opportunity I get to speak on anything that effects my people.