By JR Valrey, The Minister of Information
Ever since the dawn of rap, women emcees have always added a lot to the art form; femcees like Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Ladybug Mecca, Monie Love, Sweet Tee, Boss, and Yoyo have helped to set the foundation for what we now know as the international and multi-billion dollar Hip Hop industry. Even today Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Meagan Thee Stallion, Sa-Roc, and Georgia Anne Muldrow are the names of today’s female Hip Hop titans, that Hip Hop heads are talking about.
Locally in the Bay, there are a few notable women rhyme-slayers, but Drop Zone Tiff is definitely in a league of her own. With her aggressive cadence, exquisite story-telling, and murder music production, she doesn’t fit the profile of any successful rapper that the Bay has seen before. Authentic, pretty, and dangerous are just a few of the adjectives that would describe this female rapper who’s ex-dude snitched on her, she did time, then wrote and recorded a diss record describing what happened.
Drop Zone Tiff is definitely a talent that you will hear more about in the coming years, check her out in her own words in this exclusive interview.
JR Valrey: When you started listening to Hip Hop, who were some of your first inspirations? Who do you listen to now?
Drop Zone Tiff: The very first album I ever listened to and fell in love with was Lil Flip’s “Underground Legend”. I was hella young and I don’t know what it was about but it just made me fall in love with music. I couldn’t think about anything but rhyming after that.
JR Valrey: When did you start taking your rapping seriously? What’s the story behind that?
Drop Zone Tiff: So when I was like 15-16, I used to be just posted outside next door to this producer on 96th (Ave). We used to just be outside, and I honestly don’t remember how the conversation was initiated, but he had a beat and I had a song I had written called “Is U Mad”, and I recorded it and he was just blown away by my cadence, my delivery, and my wordplay. So from there, I was there everyday recording and this was back in MySpace days. So it went, what we now call, viral. It was crazy. I had a little fan club and everything, and Jway was really pushing me, making everything behind the scenes happen. I learned how to record myself, and it was up from there. I used to sleep in the studio. By the time everybody got up, I had 5-6 songs recorded. Jway definitely put that battery in my back.
JR Valrey: What do you look for in a beat? What kinds of sounds do you like?
Drop Zone Tiff: I like anything that slaps. I love buildup drums, and anything that knocks for real.
JR Valrey: With the rise of female gangsta rap, female MCs have gotten more aggressive, you’re aggressive, where does that come from?
Drop Zone Tiff: I’ve always been this way. I had 4 brothers and sisters growing up, and we were outside kids always fighting, always being ruff, plus life experiences dealing with evil spirits and having to adapt to the environment that I grew up in. Plus I think a lot of females get lost in what they see these “celebrities” talking about. I have a daughter, and she mimics me and I’d rather her be a thug than a “hot girl”.
JR Valrey: What have you been working on lately? What makes your sound different from the other local MCs in the area?
Drop Zone Tiff: I’m working on my second album right now, and I’m also working on this all female compilation with some dope female artists. Aside from that, I’m tryna get all my brother’s music together, so I can put his projects out that he never got to finish.
JR Valrey: What’s the name of the song where you said your ex snitched on you, and what is the story behind that song? And what makes you take a subject so personal and perform a song about it regularly?
Drop Zone Tiff: Ok so I can’t get too deep into that particular song, because it has been brought up in court; but what I will say is I was tormented, harassed, and stalked, after I broke up with bruh. So once I struck back and really turnt it up, police started getting involved. I really got locked up, and fought cases behind that bullshit. It’s irritating, because it’s like where we’re from, I’m used to muthaphuckaz just leaving it in the streets, but this was a different story, and not something I was really used to dealing with. I mean if you listen to the majority of my music, it’s all personal. It’s like I write what’s on my heart for real. It’s how I really feel. I use my emotions to get certain lyrics out, and I’m comfortable performing those songs because that’s how I feel, that’s where I stand, and it’s authentic. It’s my therapy.
JR Valrey: How has Oakland influenced your music?
Drop Zone Tiff: I mean Oakland is a crab bucket. Everybody wants to rap, and it’s not like that’s the only thing out there. But people chase clout so hard they don’t stop to think, like damn if we push this artist from different angles, they can go up. Nobody wanna boost you out the ditch, so you can pull them up. So Oakland just made me say fuck all that. I’m trying to put myself on the map, because my city doesn’t want you to be great. Everybody is out for themselves. So Oakland influenced me to be selfish with my music. I mean the streets gave me all the game I needed, to get through life. If you can survive Oakland, you can go anywhere. So I will give that credit where it’s due, for sure.
JR Valrey: How have you been affected as an artist by Covid?
Drop Zone Tiff: I guess the same as everybody else. When you’re not streaming crazy, shows are where you get your money so when shit shut down, it definitely slowed down that money.
JR Valrey: What do you have going for the rest of the year? Any new music? Any performances?
Drop Zone Tiff: Yes I have my second album, I’m going to drop hopefully on Halloween, called “Demon Season”. The compilation I’m working on with the ladies, hopefully we’ll knock that out by October. I always have performances. On October 9th, I’m throwing a show in Stockton. We are going to turn up for real. I’ll be in LA a few times next month. I will update my IG so anybody who wants to see me shut the stage down, just tune in.
JR Valrey: How can people stay online with you?
Drop Zone Tiff: My IG and mainly Twitter, and subscribing to my YouTube is highly recommended for sure. I’m always trying to put new visuals out.