Oakland’s own G.L.A.M. (formerly Glam.I.Rock) has been steadily on the rise since her Team BackPack days and it’s about time you pay attention. The 23-year-old MC released The Feel at the beginning of the year – a chill tape that captures her Oakland roots down to the trippy artwork. As she prepares for her proper follow-up, The Flaw, which dives into flaws of human beings, her personal experiences and more, the young rhymespitter can’t wait to own the spotlight.
Name: I used to be called Glam.I.Rock. I shelled out of the name because I had it since I was in high school. G.L.A.M. originally stood for Good Lyrics And Music, I Rock. I just felt like it was cool to do at that time. As I got older and just realized shortening it to Good Lyrics And Music. That’s strong enough to stand on its own. The whole I.Rock thing, I just grew out of it.
I grew up listening to: My mom [rapper Nic Nac] is a big influence on me in a lot of ways. She always says that I have both of her and my dad’s styles, but I get my shit-talking from her. I get my cleverness from my dad. I get my goofiness from my dad. Other than that, she just put me on to a lot of good music and without really even knowing, she was just surrounding me around just things that kind of shaped me and being in the studio all the time with her. Being around keyboards, being around beat machines. Those were the things – to me – I wasn’t really knowing that was sparking my interest. She really cultivate my sound and all that stuff now. She might not really show it to me, but I have that ear for it. I grew up on good music. I could tell when something is good, and I can tell when something is bad.
When I was growing up, I listened to a lot of R&B. My mom is really heavy on Mary J. Blige and Faith [Evans] and Donell Jones. We listened to a lot of Ma$e. We listened to a lot of oldies like DJ Quik. Jay Z. I listened to both of them to a point where I was up on everything without knowing. As a kid, I was listening to Stillmatic. Blueprint, when that whole thing came out. She really put me on hip-hop. Mixtape CDs of all the old school songs that you could possibly know. Down to Big Daddy Kane. Pete Rock. CL Smooth. Jungle Brothers. I was brought up on enough to explore more and want to explore more. Like, what I’m doing and where I came from. I’m doing this now, but now I can see where it came from and where it influences me now in my music today.
Most people don’t know I: ‘Cause I am from the Bay and I grew up in the Valley, my number literally starts with 818-510. It starts with that. Every time anybody writes it down and they are familiar, they are like, “Oh!” If I couldn’t rep hard enough.
My style’s been compared to: I get everything lately. I get Lauryn. I get Missy Elliott. I get Kendrick. I get Drake. Those are the main four. Hip-hop heads who really know this shit, they compare me Q-Tip or Ladybug Mecca. Those are the people who influenced my style, just down to the wordplay and delivery. Ladybug Mecca, to me, she stuck out so much. Just her voice and how she played with track.
What she was doing was so fly to me that I felt like it wasn’t there. I felt like it was something obviously done before and interpreted that into my sound, and incorporate into my sound and how I would like flip it. Inspired my delivery, and Q-Tip as well. A Tribe Called Quest. Listening to them, that really shaped my real, real love for hip-hop. Midnight Marauders. Beats, Rhymes & Life. All of those albums, I just went and got their discography and just went crazy.
My standout records and/or moments to date have been: I think even down to the mixtape, people just have their favorites. “4eva Lonely” was always the one that remains constant. People really like “Roll Up” too and people really like “Mobb1n’.” There’s another one I have called “Bowl” and people just randomly hit me up and they like, “Damn! That’s like my favorite song.” It’s always cool ‘cause when people do reach out, it’s always a different song. And people like it for different reasons. It kind of confirms the idea for me and my intentions to have something for everyone. When people do hit me up with something different, I always smile a little bit ‘cause its not just one. It’s something speaking to someone else and vice versa for every other song.
There’s a song on my very first mixtape called New Curriculum. It’s called “Empty Ave.” That song to me, that’s when it first started. People were hitting me up about it. They really liked the record and it was my first project ever. Just the feedback that I got from that one was enough for me to be like, “OK, I definitely want to look into this. I want to see what this is about.” I’m trying music, and now I am going to really do it. I was doing it, but after that I was like, “Wow.” Seeing the feedback from that, it was great. It was beautiful.
My goal in Hip-Hop is: At the moment, to really take out the gender of it all. Obviously, we are all separated and all female rappers were put in this box. I’m really not trying to be scene as a female rapper. It’s not even about that. At the end of the day, it’s about being G.L.A.M. and giving good lyrics and music to everyone. Just doing that the best way I can. I want to be able to do things with my music to help people.
I’m gonna be the next: Me! The next G.L.A.M.! I’m gonna be. I’m gonna exist. That’s all people need to know. It’s going to be here. I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. I just want to be here and give my music the way that other people have given allowed to. I have things to say as well. Everybody has things to say. Aight. I got something to say too. I got words.
Also check out: “M0bb1n”
And: “Old English (Remix)”
Premiere: “Roll Up”