Since the release of her latest album Enough, upcoming femcee Rochelle Hot 16 has been an unstoppable force on a journey that many artists of her craft, both male and female alike, have admitted to be a grueling path to follow. I recently had the chance to talk to her one-on-one about her beginnings as an artist, what fuels her drive in the industry, and her latest and upcoming projects.
UD: Now let me first ask you about the name, of course. How’d you come up with that?
Rochelle Hotsixteen (RH16): Back when I was in college, I used to be featured on a lot of other rappers’ records. When my 16 bars would come, I would kill my verse. So, people just started calling me “Hot 16”. Then I became Rochelle “Hot 16”.UD: Is that when you first started rapping? In college?RH16: Nope. I actually started rapping when I was in 5th grade. But back then I was only going by my government name.UD: Of course. How exactly did you get into doing music? Is that something you always knew you wanted to do?RH16: Music has always been in me to do. In elementary school we used to sing and rap songs we heard on the radio, and one day in gym class I started rapping this song and people began to circle around me just to listen and watch me perform it. That’s how I knew for sure that being rapper is something I was supposed to be doing.UD: Who exactly were those people you used to listen to growing up? In other words, who were your influences?RH16: Honestly, I was big fan of female rappers because I felt like that was my voice. I used to listen to a lot of Eve, Remy Martin, Shawna. They were really dope rappers to me.UD: Let’s talk about your newest album Enough. It’s officially been a month since its release. Talk about that experience. Were the process and the outcome what you expected them to be?RH16: You know what? With my new project Enough I didn’t think it would turn out as good as it did as a whole consecutive body of work. Because the songs were written at different times, and I was just originally planning to release them as singles but, I ended up putting them together. The way that I glued them together was with the interludes that I had throughout the project. I was nervous about that because I never liked interludes and these were the first interludes I ever put together. So, it was definitely a new experience for me. Everybody has been telling me it’s a great body of work so I’m excited about that!UD: In addition to your own music, you also have your remixes that have gotten you some buzz. A lot of artists like to do one or two remixes to songs they like, but what fuels you to have released them as often as you do?RH16: Just to stay current and relevant in an ever-changing market. Also, just to give people a taste of the various styles that I can do and the type of artist I feel that I could make great records with in the future.UD: Anybody in particular that you would really like to work with?RH16: I just want to work with people outside of my genre. I would like to work with Lana Del Rey, Jhene Aiko, Lorde, you know, artists who deliver real music.UD: You have a fan base that is very familiar with your style, flow, and consistency. How would you describe your music to people who are listening to you for the first time?RH16: Well, if MC Lyte was to have Lauryn Hill’s content over a dark kind of production, that would be me.UD: I get it. Now of course I have to ask you this: what are some of the biggest things that you feel have been in your way as a female emcee especially?RH16: Having to work a job to live [laughs]. The money, and not knowing the right people yet. But these are the natural things one would think are in the way. I feel like there is already a special way made for me and as long as I keep consistently doing my part, I’m going to get there. This is all part of my journey #OnTheRoadToEightGrammysUD: Any upcoming projects that you want fans both new and old to know about?RH16: I’m going to have a new single coming out soon, I will be shooting a new video and just be on the look out for me collaborating with a lot of different artists!