HHW: What is it like transitioning from dancing to now being a rapper?
Miami Tip: The transition is definitely a battle! It has its pro's and its con's to it. The pro is that everyone respects me and my brand so they are at least willing to give me a chance, however the con is that they don't know whether to take me serious or not because of the many artists who came before me and didn't complete the mission. I just use it as motivation to work harder and stay consistent so that they can see my intentions are to win in the music industry.
HHW: What was the thing that made you say you want to be a rapper? Explain the moment you decided you were just going for it, about what you were feeling, and thinking.
Miami Tip: I had a near death experience and I took it as a blessing in disguise. I took it as my time to change my outlook on life and really figure out what I want to do and what's my purpose here. I just felt like I've been through so much, and survived so much, that I want to share my story with other women who are going through or have went through the same things. Music has always been in me, it just took for me to go through something tragic to really focus on it.
HHW: What was it like performing for the first time as a rapper? What song did you perform?
Miami Tip: My first time performing was definitely nerve wrecking. I'm nervous every time before I hit the stage up to this day. It's not until I hit the stage that all my butterflies go away. The first time I performed, I performed a freestyle of mine and an old record called "Yeah Hoe."
HHW: For your new single "Lowkey" what was it like collaborating with Fetty Wap? Where did the idea for the sing come from?
Miami Tip: Collaborating with Fetty was a cool humbling experience. He was real cool and he loved the record before we even went in the studio to record. I had shopped the record around and situations came up where the first choice couldn't do it and a mutual friend of mine and Fetty's suggested him and I thought the idea was perfect, so we made it happen.
Read the full article on Hip-Hop Weekly Magazine
By Valerie Victor
LaForrest "La La" Cope, an adjunct English Professor at York College and Queens College that wrote songs and produced music for entertainers such as Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Christina Aguilera and more has just finished writing her first novel, "Soul Shaker." Her novel, though fictional, is based on true events, and focuses on issues facing women in the music industry.
The Grammy Award winning composer said, "I had a recurring dream about performing and songs, and ironically the person in the dream besides myself would be the late Whitney Houston. Cope added, "When I decided to start a family, I took those dreams and went back to Queens College. It was there that I began writing short stories that eventually turned into this novel."
At Queens College, Soul Shaker was originally a thesis that earned LaForrest Cope her MFA degree in Creative writing and Literary Translation. The genesis of Soul Shaker later earned Cope a nomination for Best New Fiction Writer by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) in 2007, as well as a nomination to represent the Queens College Graduate Degree Program at the Graduate Center Turnstyle Readings (an event where creative writing graduate students could present their manuscripts to all participating CUNY colleges according to Cope).
Cope read live excerpts of her novel in the faculty dinning room to students and faculty on the York College campus. She sang live with a drummer playing to her every word and breath. York College English Professor, Patricia Milanes said, "She is a master teacher but independent of that she is an enormous talent." Milanes continued, "Her reading, her delivery, her prose which sings accompanied by a percussionist with just the right touch, it's transformative."
Cope's novel focuses on the idea that the music industry sexually objectifies women by telling the tale of the main character "Coco" trying to make it in the business. "It is important to understand the path that this fictional character has to go through," said Cope.
With the help of her thesis advisor and mentor, Jeffery Renard Allen, Cope currently seeks to secure a publishing house as well as the right literary journal to introduce the novel to. The book will be available for purchase later this year on Amazon and there is a possibility the novel will be made into an audio book according to Cope.
Apart from writing her new novel, Cope currently performs at a number of venues, and works as a vocal coach and producer behind the scenes to help emerging talents. "Nothing pleases me more than to share what I've learned," said Cope. Cope assists aspiring singers and professional singers who struggle with their voices gain confidence and build their skills. She urges anyone interested to visit her website www.laforrestcope.com for pricing and scheduling.
Previously, Cope has performed at venues like Soul Train, the Apollo, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall to name a few, and she still performs today. She is currently featured as a singer on keyboards in "Dugard's Hit Squad," a band composed of four professionally trained elite jazz musicians. Both Cope and the bandleader, Freddy Dugard, currently perform live at Sangria's Restaurant in Jamaica regularly. For the dates and times listeners can subscribe to the band's Jazz Newsletter on Cope's website.
Cope's most recent performance was at the BAM Cafe in Brooklyn, Saturday January, 17th, where she was accompanied by acclaimed jazz pianist, Onaje Allen Gumbs. Many of the listeners had great things to say about Copes voice and performance. Brooklyn Music Producer, Rapheal Gibbs said, "She has a wonderful voice. She knows how to engage with the crowd and she has a great stage presence."
This article is was published by the Times Ledger Newspaper in Queens.