Snow Tha Product Keeps Pushing Her Way to the Top With ‘Half Way There…Pt. 1′
For California rapper Snow Tha Product, perseverance is the name of her rap game. The San Jose native has been bubbling regionally for years thanks to unrelenting bars, rigorous touring and industry cosigns from Tech N9Ne, Trae Tha Truth and Ty Dolla Sign, to name a few. And although Snow has come to be known for her rapid-fire flow, she's been switching up her style lately. After years of cultivating a solid fan base, the talented 29-year-old is starting to show off her crooning skills. Soulful songs like "Alright" featuring PnB Rock and "Nights" featuring W. Darling are prime examples of why you can't simply write Snow off as another angst-ridden female MC. And that's just what she wants.
After a slew of mixtapes, the Atlantic Records signee is showing more versatility than ever on her newest EP, Half Way There...Pt. 1. The eight-track offering, which dropped last month while Snow was on tour, showcases her rapping and singing chops in both Spanish and English. This mix was a deliberate move by Snow to show her growth as an artist before dropping her major label debut.
XXL caught up with the ever-evolving rapper while she was on tour -- horse voice and all --to talk about the new music, her loyal fans and when she expects all this grinding to finally pay off.
XXL: Congrats on the new EP. How long did it take to put together?
Snow: It didn’t take very long once we got into the swing of things. I think setting up and sort of preparing for it is what took a little longer, but actually a lot of the songs were just ideas that I had and I think I just went through a bunch of ideas. And then we went in and laid down a couple of the older ones which turned out to be people’s favorites, so I’m happy about.
Cool. After listening to the EP a lot over the past couple days, it’s short but there are a lot of messages in it. What would you say is the overall message of the project?
I mean overall, it’s just good music. It’s more for the fans that’ve already been here with me to know that I’m still the same me. But also, I’m letting myself kind of do things that I like to do, which is more singing and stuff. I’ve been doing that since “Drunk Love” and songs like that, but every time I try to do it, my fans are like, “Oh no! She’s selling out” and it’s like, No, I’m not. That’s just what I like to do sometimes. So, I think now I finally am just like, Screw it, I’m going to do what I want to do, and the real fans will understand. And I think also, new fans will get to see me in a different way.
What’s the story behind the title, Halfway There…Part 1?
Well ‘cause at first, the project was supposed to be called Halfway There To Anywhere, but because I have a lot of really good songs I guess, they split it up into two. So it’s Halfway There and then the second one will be Halfway There To Anywhere.
Ok, cool, and when is the second part dropping?
I don’t know honestly. I’m on tour right now, but God willing as soon as I come back I think I’m going to be working on releasing the other part of it.
Let’s say someone is a first time listener of you. What’s one song off the EP that you could give them that represents you and your sound the most?
Aw man, that’s where it gets a little bit hard because there are two lanes that I’m in, you know? I have the soft, singing stuff and I have the more aggressive stuff so it’s about what you as a listener like. I would either give you “Down Low” or “Night.” That’s why we put those together. They’re so different but they still are very honest to who I am. But then again, if you’re a Spanish speaker, I might show you “Cancion.”
Right, so you can show all your sides. What’s your favorite song off the project?
I really like…I think my favorite one is “All Right” with PnB Rock because I made that song and then I kind of forgot about it. And then I was like, “This song’s dope.” Everybody was like “Yeah, it’s cool” and I kind of forgot about it and all of a sudden it comes back and then becomes my favorite again, like that whole cycle through a song.
When did you first write it?
Oh my God, like, a year ago. And it just ended up sitting there, until now.
So it must’ve evolved a lot.
How do you think you’ve evolved as an artist since signing to Atlantic?
I think I’ve been weathered a little more. I had to go through a lot and learn, you know, that it isn’t just about skill, it isn’t just about being good, it’s not just about having fans, to be honest. We’re in an industry that’s changing all the time so you gotta just play the game.
On "No Cut," you used a sample of The Breakfast Club Freshman interview where your name was mentioned. That's a big theme of the song, how the industry can be weathering like you said, there's a lot of hypocrisy. Why do you still deal with the industry if you seem over it?
Because I didn't get it in for the industry, I got in it for the music and for the fans. If I wanted to just give up on that because of the industry, then the industry wins and the shit that we go through is for nothing. And at the end of the day, I don't think the whole industry is fucked and I don't think everyone is bad just because they don't necessarily fuck with my music.
I don't think that at all. I just feel like sometimes certain things are politics or purchased or done in a way that's very like, "Well..." And I don't know what to tell my fans when things turn out sometimes. Sometimes I have to go back to my fans and they get disheartened for me, you know? Because they've been with me through this for so long that sometimes when they get their hopes up and then shit just keeps on happening where it's like, Damn, for real? They either lose interest or they get disheartened and it's sad. I don't want to always keep telling them, "Vote for me on this, comment on this" and I'm not moving forward. I really feel like I have a responsibility to them to fucking make it. I told them I was going to make it and I want to do something with this and not quit. For them I just can't. I'm not going to quit.
Yeah, it's not just for you. It's for everyone who believes in you. And you’re really big on touring and connecting with fans. You’re on tour now while you’re dropping this tape. What have you learned about yourself from touring so much?
Honestly, everything. Surprisingly, [when you’re] touring, you spend a lot of time alone and you meet different people from all over the country. I’ve just really learned to expand and not think so small-minded. I’ve really been effected by all the other regions in the country, you know? I’ve lived in Texas, I’ve lived in Cali but then I was obviously effected by East Coast rap by Big Pun and Biggie and everything. I think that traveling helps you not stick to one kind of thing. It's just helped me expand my perspective.
What do you do during down time when you're alone?
On this tour specifically, I've tried to not talk because my voice is really going through it right now. I watch movies. Right now I'm probably going to binge watch Orange Is the New Black.
What are some other artists that you want to work with? Or some producers?
I mean, I’d like to work with everybody but my dream, as far as a producer would be Timbaland.
Nice! What about rappers?
You know who I really want to work with that I think is actually going to happen? Cardi B. I used to follow her since before she was on TV and I always thought she was so funny, and then when she started rapping and she was actually good, I was like, “What?!” So yeah, her.
And why do you think there's been such a delay on getting out your debut album?
I think because I know that it's taken forever for the label or anyone to get behind me, so I've just been like, we'll just do it ourselves and then when it gets time to do it right, we'll do it right. But I've never wanted to get ahead of myself. First I wanted to prove that I could do it myself. I've never really asked for handouts.
I've never really been like, Oh, lemme put this big artist on my song and I'mma pop off! People want to fuck with me, they can and if they don't they definitely don't have to. I think now is the time that fans who've grown with me are ready for it. They want to be able to support something, so we're going to try, we're going to do it.
What can the fans expect from your debut? Will it be more rapping or singing or a mix of both?
Honestly, [my fans] make the calls. I message with them, I reply to everybody. I have free meet and greets. I really ask them and have conversations with them about this. I love making all kinds of music, but at the end of the day, what music comes out, it'll be up to the fans, but I'll just make it all and we're gonna narrow it down from there but I'm excited. I'm just going to keep making music in all the lanes I like, Spanish, English, underground, R&B, singing, whatever.
And you've got all these lanes you can play into like you said. How do you use everything to your advantage?
I always tell people, like, being in this as a woman, everything is going to be held against me until it's not. Being a female and Latina in this industry is really bad for you until it's not. And then the switch is flipped, and it's a super benefit because there's just so much good shit that comes with it. I'm at the point where it's still difficult for me, but I feel like the day that people get it, they'll see the value in everything I have. But until then, they'll be like "I don't get it, I don't know what box to put her in." So, it's a blessing and a curse, but I think it'll work out.
Yeah. How far away do you think that day is when everything clicks?
I don't know, soon. I'm just going to keep pushing.
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