Between her rapid style of rapping, her fondness for a certain cartoon princess and her pride in her Mexican heritage, Snow Tha Product is well on her way of setting a “good example.”
Snow Tha Product, real name Claudia Feliciano, hails from San Jose but it was a move to San Diego that was the first domino to fall in what would become a burgeoning music career.
It was in San Diego a friend of Snow’s gave her a bunch of CDs—the likes of Biggie, Big Pun, Eminem and Lauryn Hill—that first exposed Snow to hip-hop.
“I got lucky enough that the music that I was given was just so good,” she says. “It was just a lot of the good stuff, so that’s where it kinda all came from and I guess that’s why my standard for music was pretty high from the get-go. I just so happened to get handed some really good music.”
With a high bar in sight, she had to go about picking a name, a moniker. Where better than to dwell than on childhood memories?
“I really liked Snow White, so I guess that’s where it came from. I mean, also, because I had fair skin and dark hair so I don’t know—it was just something about a fairytale story that I really thought was cool,” Snow says about her name, which is noticeably different than the iconic princess’. “Disney wasn’t having it [laughs], Mickey Mouse don’t play.”
And neither does Snow Tha Product.
Since picking out the name and hearing legends before her, Snow has been melting the industry and it all starts with a fierce embrace of her Mexican heritage.
“To me, when I heard Eminem rap, he wasn’t shying away from the fact that he’s white,” says Snow, who spoke Spanish first but is bilingual in English and Spanish. “He’s just like ‘I’m gonna be dope,’ you know? And Big Pun being Puerto Rican, I just felt like there was never really a Mexican rapper that was in the limelight that I could like be like ‘Yea you know, that’s who I am.’ My dad was always like, ‘You better be proud of yourself,’ because you know growing up, sometimes people shame you or call you a wetback or say all kinds of things, so to me just being proud and letting people know, I’m not going to let anyone degrade me because of who I am, that’s always been a part of me.
“So being in the music industry, I just always made sure that I was dope,” she continues. “I never wanted it to be a gimmick or rap about you know, funny taco stuff. I wanted to be dope as hell and people be like ‘oh and she’s Mexican,’ so that was always my main priority, to set a good example.”
And there’s hardly more proof of a good example than an MTV VMA, which Snow received for a song “Immigrants” featured on The Hamilton Mixed Tape.
“I’ve been speaking about immigrants before it became a buzzword for Donald Trump so at this point, the fact that we got it for that song, that really—I was just really telling a story about us—that meant a lot to me,” Snow says.
Snow clearly is very self-aware about her standing in music as well as how her music can be a platform, but that doesn’t mean Snow isn’t all work and no play. A departure from the more politically charged “Immigrants,” Snow Tha Product released “Help A Bitch Out” (featured on StripJointsMusic.com), featuring O.T. Genasis. And if the video is any indication, it was a lot of fun.
“My manager Adrian, he works with (O.T. Genasis) on some other stuff and he had this record that he had a hook on and he played it for me and he was like, ‘I don’t really know if you are down for this,’ but he showed it to me and I was like, ‘Oh I got this!’” recounts Snow. “So I went in the booth and I dropped my verse right away and I was like ‘I hope O.T. likes it,’ so when he did like it and he was down to do the video and everything I was like ‘Oh dope!’ So it was pretty seamless.”
The video is an homage to gentlemen’s clubs and it’s also evident Snow is no stranger to the industry.
“I’ve gotta throw money, I do that all the time! I gotta show love to the girls that are showing love back,” says Snow. “I shot the video at Sam’s Hofbrau in Los Angeles, so Sam’s is pretty dope. Ecstasy in Dallas, the Zona Rosa in Dallas, I mean I can’t even name all of them. I like Sapphire in Vegas, mostly because it’s so big and I don’t feel so closed in. But yea, I’ve been into strip clubs I think for the last two months so it’s definitely [laughs], I think I have a lot of new stripper friends so my next videos are going to be pretty lit.”
- story by Eugenio Torrens