Unusual candidate for pop music
Against all odds, hip-pop artist Foxxjazell usually comes out on top. Whether she's the topic of gossip by a random blogger or mastered the art of creating dialogue with a controversial music video. Sure she's transgender. Yes she probably slept with the who's who of Hollywood. She's not he best rapper alive. However, this artist doesn't solely rely on stunts & common novelties to keep her relevant. Like others before her & many more after her, she is skilled in entertaining & engaging the public with her art form.
In 2003, a teenage Foxxjazell formed a hip-hop group named One20five with friends Maurice Lopez,Elmo Sanchez & Kevin Sanchez. They performed quite frequently at the world famous Arena nightclub in the heart of Hollywood. The young hip-hop group even made a few appearances on a series of cable access shows,local bars,talent & radio shows. Sadly, by the end of 2004 the group disbanded and went their separate ways.
After a two- year break, Foxxjazell decided to launch her solo music career in the spring of 2006. She employed 3 backup dancers & soon began getting booked to open for the likes of Rupaul, CeCe Peniston & Robin S. She caught the attention of Camilo Arenivar who was facilitating the 2007 Homo-revolution tour that would showcase the hip-hop talents of the talents of various GLBT artists. Camilo Arenivar recruited Foxxjazell as the opening act for the 10-city South west tour.
"That was a highlight in my career as well a great learning experience," Foxxjazell recalls.
Shortly after the tour, Foxxjazell signed to PrettyBoy Entertainment in conjunction with FKJ Records. She began working on her debut album & wasted no time getting her buzz started. With an appearance on the "Tyra Banks" show and countless promo performances, "Feel the vibe" her first single was released in the summer of 07. In addition, Foxxjazell signed on to be managed by Blac Empire. "We saw something in Foxxjazell that was marketable & relate-able to the GLBT community." Cleveland Wright the founder of Blac Empire/former manager remembers.
Was the world ready for a transgender rapper? Would the GLBT community embrace one of their own as they did countless other pop divas? The answer came on Feb.15, 2008 with the debut release of "Introducing......Foxxjazell". By this time she had did several promo gigs and her "Feel the Vibe" video was already in rotation on youtube & a few of the major networks. To put it nicely, the album had a slow start. Even with the mediocre singles that followed, the album was largely ignored.
Fast forward to April 2009, Foxxjazell had broken ties with her Blac Empire management and Prettyboy Entertainment. She called to radio staion under the impression of promoting her music. However the conversation quickly changed she was asked about explicit details of her alleged relationship with rapper Chingy. Very quickly the hip-hop world was turned upside down and Foxxjazell released a Chingy diss track titled "Bottom baby" which pulled in over 100,000 views on youtube and several spins on various mainstream radio stations.
Midway in the mist of scandal, Foxxjazell flew to New York to work with a new producer by the name of Ashley Breathe. In searching for a new sound & identity in her music, Foxxjazell was introduced to a new sound of Electro-Euro pop infused with hip-hop. Rapper Lasto was also recruited as one of the co-writers on many of the songs that would later end up on her "Boy,girl,whateva"lp. One of the songs, "Split Enz" charted on the Billboard Hot single sales in Sept.09. That very song was also a club favorite among dance djs & critics alike.
Upon the release of her second album "Boy,girl,whateva", Foxxjazell did a small promo tour. Her 2nd single "Ride or die boy" (Pride remix) was the song that broke the camel's back. It featured fellow hip-hop artists Lasto,Shorty Roc & Milan Zanotti (formerly Nano Reyes ) The video was a bold display of same sex PDA that made many uncomfortable & many proud . With a strong anti-Prop 8 message it quickly spread like wildfire on websites like worldstarhiphop, bossip & mediatakeout.com . The sales for the "Boy,girl,whateva" album increased dramatically. In the spring of 2011, "Ride or die boy" was nominated for outstanding hip-hop song of the year at the 7th annual Outmusic awards. Foxxjazell was also joined by by Lasto,Milan Zanotti & Shorty Roc as they performed together at the Irving Plaza in New york city. "Even though we didn't win the award......to me history was still made tonight as we held it down for outhiphop," an optimistic Foxxjazell said as I interviewed her shortly after the awards show.
In my opinion looking in from the outside as a fan & critic, Foxxjazell still has a long journey ahead of her on the road to being a respected artist. She may lack the star power or world wide recognition as a Lady Gaga or Beyonce but she is still a familiar name in the LGBT underground hiphop genre with a growing fanbase. When you think about it, Prince had five mediocre albums before "Purple Rain" & Tina Turner didn't come into her own until her early 40s. One thing is for sure, Foxxjazell has established herself as a unforgettable pioneer & controversial transgender public figure.