10 Things Rappers Have Taught Chanel West Coast [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
Nicki Minaj might be the first lady of Young Money Records, but Chanel West Coast is the label's budding princess.
Known best for being a cast regular on MTV's 'Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory' and 'Ridiculousness,' Chanel has proven that she's got stage presence, star quality and a big sense of humor. However, she's also been making strides in the studio. Chanel can rap. 'Karl,' 'Miles and Miles' and 'Been On' is an indication of that. She had her sights set on a music career since she was a kid, getting in front of the mic at 14. Now she's coming into her own, penning the lyrics she delivers.
"I think I've grown a lot since the first time I got on the mic," the 26-year-old Los Angeles native tells The Boombox. "I started rapping when I was 14, so I was definitely not writing about what I write about now. I didn't have as much life experience at 14. So I think my lyrics have gotten smarter and I've been using more metaphors now. And now I have lot more experience so I have a lot to write about in my music. Just growing up and maturing has made my music so much better."
She got Lil Wayne's attention in 2012, when he signed her right after their first meeting. Chanel started to see her music career make waves when she released 'Karl,' off her mixtape 'Now You Know.' Collaborations with the likes of French Montana on 'Been On,' Honey Cocaine on 'Blueberry Chills' and 'Ain't Goin Nowhere' with Frenchie and B.o.B. soon followed.
Now she has an album in the works. However, juggling her schedule with 'Ridiculousness' and working on her music can be a bit difficult at times. "With my filming schedule, I have to spend every free minute in the studio to get this album done," she says. "So it's been a lot of hard work, but let's just say I got some good stuff cooking."
And if you think rapping is all you'll hear, Chanel, who grew up singing in the choir, has plans to showcase that she's no one-trick pony. "I definitely think there will be a lot more singing on this album than people expect," Chanel reveals. I think a lot of people look at me as a rapper, but I do singing as well. So there will be a lot of that on the album. It's going to be different, let's just say that. I'm trying to do different music, and I'm trying to be out of the box. Be a little different than what's out right now."
Since the entertainer comes across a variety of rappers during her time on TV and in the studio, The Boombox decided to pick her brain to find out what she's learned along the way -- she's got a lot of stories to share. Check out 10 Things Rappers Have Taught Chanel West Coast.
"From Snoop, I've learned quite a bit. I learned that sometimes I need to keep my mouth shut. It's a long story, but definitely to sometimes keep my mouth shut. I also learned to always ignore the haters. That's definitely what helped me personally."
"I remember a long time ago I was in the booth with Nelly, and I learned at that moment to really let loose and forget about the fact that even though you grew up listening to somebody, you are now an artist yourself. You just need to be comfortable and own it. Because when I was in the booth with Nelly, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm in the booth, in the booth with Nelly.' I grew up listening to him, and I remember rapping 'Country Grammar' when I was a little kid. And I learned that if I'm here, then I gotta own it and feel comfortable in my skin. That experience definitely taught me that."
"I learned from Wayne to definitely stay true to myself and be myself because Wayne is just all about being himself. He doesn't care what people say. And I noticed that the more I'm around Wayne especially, the more he respects me."
"I learned from Ty Dolla $ign how to just go in the booth and freestyle melodies when you're drunk -- they just end up perfect. Ty Dolla $ign is the one who'll go in the booth and freestyle something and it'll be a hit song. As a writer and as an artist, I've always written songs first. And I haven't been much of a freestyle artist, so working with Ty, sometimes you just gotta get on the mic, turn it on and see what happens. Sometimes it'll be magic."
"I learned from Wiz how to smoke. That's for sure. I learned a little bit of that from Snoop, too, but I learned from Wiz that you can smoke anywhere and anytime. And it's all good and represent for all the smokers out there."
"When I saw Mack Maine, I was on his tour bus and I learned about his secret stash of munchies and stuff. I guess I learned on tour that you gotta have your own stash because it gets rough out there."
"I haven't had to do it too long, but I learned from French Montana how to wear chains and keep my head up straight. He wears a lot of chains and is still able to keep his head up straight. And I remember asking him about it and he showed me how to put them on and how he stood. So now I know -- even though I don't think I'll have that many chains on my neck -- how to stand up straight and tall even though I do have that much gold around my neck."
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"Just from looking at Vic and Chance, they're a great example of two homies coming up in the rap game. And I learned from them that -- even though I don't have a situation like that per se where I have someone I grew up with that I'm coming up with at the same time -- they show that they can still be friends in this industry and not be too competitive. I think they're a perfect example of that. They're both coming up and doing their own separate things, but still maintain a dope friendship and are real ass homies."
"I definitely have to say I've learned from Nicki. From everything she's done to every move she's made, she's a strong female in a predominantly male game. She holds her own as a woman. And I think just following in her steps and not being afraid to say what's on your mind and say what you want to say in your lyrics. You just gotta be yourself and don't hold anything back just because you're a woman."