Interview with Gloria
Velez with Pictures
6/29/04 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview by Dante
Flashback to '99: Ja Rule's
video for "Holla Holla" drops, and most fellas can't help
but notice the blonde Latina dripping with sexiness in the
black pimp hat. Jay Z's Big Pimpin' and a multitude of
video appearances follow before the Puerto Rican bombshell
decided to actively pursue a career as an artist.
Fast forward: Gloria Velez
seems to be everywhere right now. One prior mixtape, three
more dropping this year, tour appearances, and several
jaw-dropping magazine spreads are making an already steamy
summer even hotter.
Despite her exquisite
exterior, one conversation with her and you will find that
Gloria still has an everyday quality which reminds you that
she's still just a hardworking, single mom. Gloria Velez took a break
between tour performances to open up about being a Latina in
the rap industry and using obstacles as stepping stones to
LatinRapper.com: What are working on at the moment?
My second mixtape, which right now is being pressed up, hosted
by DJ Envy from Hot 97. I did four new songs with Lil Flip,
but I haven't signed with him just yet. The compilation he's
doing that I'll be on won't come out until October or
November. I'm on tour with Funkmaster flex, his car show, I'm
also a host/judge for King (magazine) and him, they are
looking for hottest females in the US.
I'm also on the 2 Fast
2 Furious tour, it's a hot tour with Ruff Ryders and Flip. I'm
on the June/July cover of King, Black Men magazine Spring,
June/July, its an eight page spread. Smooth magazine, also a
big spread, July/August, and the Source in the August issue.
And a lot of local magazines in Florida, I don't do just major
I'm also doing something with Lazy K the mixtape queen, that
drops this month, another one this summer, my mixtape called
"Failure is Not an Option". Doing a mixtape with Mami Chula,
she's from ATL, she's a DJ out there and a radio personality.
Shawna from DTP, Disturbing the Peace with Ludacris, nothing
but me and her spitting hard sh*t. She's a Murda Mami also,
and she writes her own stuff, This will be the first two
female rappers on the same mixtape. I support female rappers.
Making the transition from model to artist can't be an easy
one because of fan expectations, do you think that this adds
to any pressure that you have to succeed as an artist?
I get that a lot more, like ‘you should stick to acting'. I'm
not singing, I'm rapping. They have a feeling that female
rappers have to be black. Even when I was a video girl, I
didn't do rock videos, I was doing hip hop videos. I crossed
the boundary of being a blonde Latina in videos. It was hard
for me even being a video girl.
But hip hop is not a color,
it's a culture, it's a movement. First of all as a woman, they
don't respect women period, and as an ARTIST, as a RAPPER,
that's a lot worse. And being a video girl, that's three
strikes. And being pretty... They don't see a beautiful woman
rapping. Not saying other girls rapping aren't pretty. So now
I'm getting respect, they see me in the studio, they see me
I been rapping for four
years, I will find the right deal, but it's a mans world.
But being a woman, a LATINA... Big Pun did it, nobody else
was really doing it for Latins in hip hop.
You can dress a certain way
and be hip hop. So, I can use those strikes to my
advantage, covers of magazines, endorsements. Take the
good with the bad and use it to my advantage. Its hard,
nothing easy in life.
When does your next album drop, and who are you
DJ Envy, then Lazy K, then Mami Chula, then Shawna. Mixtapes
are huge, mixtape underground is huge. I'll be rapping by Fall
on videos. I just collaborated, me, Game, Snoop and Lil Flip.
That should be out this Summer, we all freestyled on Flip's
mixtape. Flip, he WORKS, he carries a studio with him on the
plane, he drops a mixtape every three weeks. He's so young and
focused, it makes me want to work harder.
What's the difference between you and other female artists
Trina talks about straight sex, nothing about personal life or
struggles, I cant relate to her wildness. You can be wild once
and a while, but you gotta give more to the table. Kim does
the same thing. I think a lot of women can relate to me,
single mother, women in general. I'm not hating any women, I'm
just coming out of a different aspect.
Don't get me wrong, I'm Puerto Rican, I got a temper, my fire
comes out too. But my main focus is my struggles and what it
took for me to get out here. I can feel Shawna, her delivery.
Fox, I can dig her delivery too, even though she don't like
me, I like her vocally. When I perform, I dance, I give it to
the crowd, I don't just stand there. Not just the way I look,
how I sound, I don't think I compare myself to any of them.
And I got a story to tell, I think a lot of people can relate
to that. And other artists been out for a minute, and they
really aint got no story. That's why they don't respect female
rappers. I wanna bring it like a male rapper. We as women are
more than just shakin' our butts, we're deeper than that, and
we don't even show that.
Okay, but you were a video girl though, video girls shake
their butts. How can you do that as a video girl but its
different as a rapper?
First of all, if you see a white girl in rock videos, they
treat them as goddesses, they praise them. But ethnic women,
they treat them like hoochies, sluts. In these videos, we
don't really WANT these rappers, its acting. That's why I'm so
happy that MTV2 came out with Video Honeys, its hard work.
Showing a different side to us, having to listen to sh*t from
rappers and their entourage.
So for us to be perceived as
being beyond a video girl, you have to work with twice the
heart. Look at Beyonce, half naked, shaking her ass singing.
But she's an ARTIST, if she was a video girl, that's wack,
that's a hoochie. Cristina, half naked, Ashanti, half naked.
But it's okay if you are an artist, but if you are a girl
trying to make it in the beginning, they diss you. If you're
pretty , you're a stripper or a hoochie.
Our ethnic men diss
ethnic women. Look at Pam [Anderson], she's not talented, but
she used her beauty to make money. They praise her. But they
don't do that with Spanish or Black girls, we need to praise
our ethnic women. It's sexy to dance, not disgusting. I know
I'm not a video hoochie, if they are gonna diss me, so what,
I'm gonna prove them wrong every time I come out. I'm not
gonna let them put me in a box.
You gotta go through trials
and tribulations to get a blessing. I think it started a lot
better since Video Honeys came out. I'm getting more respect,
but it took a minute. I think women as video girls should
speak up when they blow up, because they act like they are
ashamed of it.
Being a video girl gave
them exposure to what they are now. You're just in a
VIDEO, they make it such a nasty thing, I don't get it.
They got half these girls starving themselves, women in
movies starving themselves to be skinny.
Wait, I've seen the new
King magazine pics though, you have a flat tummy.
[Laughs] I'm Puerto Rican, I love my rice, I love my platanos. I don't want to look sick in the face, I would
never starve myself. I just work out more and eat a little
less. I need energy to play with my son. [Laughs] I wanna
be happy, I wanna eat right, and work out, I would never
do that to myself.
But I love exercising, it
relieves at lot of stress, I would never stop that, I think
everybody should work out.
Are you still modeling
or are you strictly focusing on your music at this point?
No, I'm still doing the modeling thing, always, that's the
And I love doing it, its exposure, I'm really trying to
promote my music too. It's like opening a door, I use that to
my advantage. Even if I always do music, I'll always model. I
would love to do Mascara commercials, lipstick, L'oreal, it's
Getting away from the music for a moment, when Glory is
hanging back at the club and a man wants to approach her,
what's the best way for him to do it?
Be a gentleman, please. Just be themselves. I'm real
approachable, I say hi to people, I talk to them. Don't do any
pick up lines, that's a total turn off. Just be yourself and
speak, I'm a nice person, I'm not bourgie. I always take time
to talk to fans and friends, I got to because those will be
the same people who will turn on you. People don't see you,
but when they do, first impressions are a lot.
Sexy is a word often used to describe you, but when are the
times that you yourself feel sexy?
When you got your makeup and your hair done, I feel sexy. Even
without makeup I feel sexy, If I'm wearing baggy clothes and a
tank top, I might feel sexy. If I'm in a bad mood, I might not
feel sexy that day, but I feel sexy in anything. Guys don't
care if I'm in baggy clothes either, I can wear a baseball cap
and people will still recognize me.
Tell us something most people don't know about you.
That Glory cooks and cleans. That I really am a mother... like
people can't picture it. I go to school, I go to his events,
we eat lunch together, we play video games, I do both the
whole mommy and daddy thing.
People don't believe that I
worked hard to get to where I'm at. People should know, you
really gotta work hard to get to where your at. That I'm
humble, that I'm spiritual. I'm a nice person [laughs] not no bourgie broad... You know, a lot of things been said about me.
Any last words of advice to the fellas out there looking
for Ms. Right?
Don't try too hard, just be themselves. You gotta be the
woman's friend first. We need conversation, if there's no
conversation, there is no relationship. I can't stand a man
that has nothing to say, I'm a conversational person. Be a
gentleman, men don't open doors anymore, men aren't romantic
A man that wants to be a
family man, and to be spiritual. Without God in your life, the
relationship isn't going to work. Nothings perfect, but at
least then you're close. And the sex will always come, if you
love each other, it will be passionate. I haven't found him
Gloria Velez on Twitter: