THEHIPHOPDIVA.COM spoke with Underground DIVA of the Week hoping to gain a better sense of who she is and what she is bringing to hip hop. Here’s what was said.
HHD: Introduce Xclusive the artist. Tell us who you are.
XCLUSIVE: I’m really for the ladies when it comes to my music. Female empowerment. Everything I do is for the ladies. I’ll flip a guy’s song over and actually do it from a woman’s point of view.
HHD: You were inspired to rap after attending a Bow Wow concert. What about that experience inspired you to begin your rap career?
XCLUSIVE: I was alway in to the limelight as far as dancing and a few other things. When I seen the performance and the reaction of the people, the fans…I was like that need to be me. I told my friends let’s start a rap group and they were like no, no, no. But I went home and tried it. I told my mom one day and she said you really have something. They were impressed and couldn’t believe it. From there, that’s when I built my confidence. It started to get out that I was rapping and I took it from there.
HHD: From that point, which was when you were an early teenager, until 2009 when you dropped your first mixtape, during that time span what were you doing?
XCLUSIVE: It was kind of ups and downs with it. Sometimes I was focused on it, sometimes I wasn’t. I had to get myself together not only as an artist but learning about the business. I wanted to finish high school. In the beginning I was doing little talent shows. I didn’t really meet the right people to tell me the way to go. I was experimenting.
HHD: Your rendition of Bow Wow’s song “Break It Down” caught his attention. What did he think about your version and how did that make him feel?
XCLUSIVE: I looked at the video, recorded my version, and dropped the video the same day. It was nothing serious. I wanted to let him know I don’t care what you talking, here’s what I got to say. Honestly it was a quick gimmick. I knew it was going to attract attention but he didn’t look at it in a negative way. He was like who’s this girl, she just flipped my song over. They hit me on MySpace and were like great work, Bow Wow loves it. He thinks you’re hot.
HHD: If you could in three words describe for us your lyrical and musical style what would you say?
XCLUSIVE: Sexy, fun, and hardcore. I rap hard, I give em sexy, and I like my music to be fun. I caught them by being sexy and now I took all those videos down. Now I want you to pay attention to what I am saying. I don’t ever want to box myself in.
HHD: The name Xclusive implies that you embody something that can’t be found in anyone else. What is that exclusive quality you’re bringing to music?
XCLUSIVE: I’m outspoken for the ladies. It’s real shit that’s coming from me as a female. I just want to show people even if no one else is saying it, this is what I want to say. I just like to get the females on my side.
HHD: When people hear your music how do you want them to feel? What do you want them to experience?
XCLUSIVE: Just feel where I’m coming from. I don’t wanna just stay in one lane. When I do rap hard I have females who are like ‘Oh my God! Hip hop! I love her! I love her!’ I get the guys attention cause they’re listening to my lyrics. I just want people to respect what I’m doing. You might not like everything I make or everything I say. I feel like hard work beats talent any day. You have to be talented. But if you’re lazy and unwilling to work hard it’s never going to come to you. If I didn’t work hard my talent would never be recognized.
HHD: What is your definition of a hip hop diva?
XCLUSIVE: Someone who is in charge of what they’re doing as an artist. Being in the forefront. I consider hip hop as great music. any woman that can make great music and gain respect for the music that she’s bringing to the table is a diva.
Check Xclusive out at www.myspace.com/xclusive55
Follow Xclusive on twitter @veryxclusive
Here’s Xclusive’s “Mean Bitch”