Snow Tha Product opens five-date Colorado tour at Belly Up Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Snow Tha Product opens five-date Colorado tour at Belly Up Aspen

Snow Tha Product will headline Belly Up on Monday.

Snow Tha Product is a free woman.

Always independent in spirit, the rapid-fire rhyming bilingual rapper has now embraced the D.I.Y. creative approach and harnessed her massive social media following to make music on her own terms and directly for her legions of fans.

Seven years after her first breakout viral singles that got her entangled in the music industry and left her chafing under the constraints of a deal with Atlantic Records, she recently broke free and started doing it all on her own.

"Right now, I'm just feeling free after leaving the label," she said in a recent phone interview from the set of her "Dale Gas" music video shoot in California. "I just want to create and work with my friends."

These days she is doing everything in-house. Her brother directs and produces her videos and she works with one producer — DJ Pumba — who also happens to be her roommate.

"So, literally, we're just in this cool house where it goes from scratch, from the beat to recording and my brother is in the same room while we're recording so we can start thinking of concepts for videos right away," she explained. "It's not all this industry stuff like, 'Oh we're going to set up this single.' We're just trying to be engaged with the fans and make dope stuff and be creative."

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Snow is kicking off a five-show Colorado run Monday at Belly Up Aspen, followed by stops in Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins and Grand Junction. The winter tour follows a September stop in Denver at the inaugural Grandoozy music festival.

The state has a special place in her heart. Early in her career in 2011 ­— when she was based in Texas and her independently released single "Drunk Love" became the first of many viral online releases — she came to Denver for a club show and got her first taste of stardom.

"It was the first place I ever sold out a show," she recalled. "It was crazy to me. It felt like a really big deal. So Colorado has always been like a second home."

She's making this ski season run an event for her millions of online followers, including a contest where fans enter to win a day snowboarding with her in Colorado.

"My name is Snow and I've never done anything based around snow, so even though I don't know how to snowboard or ski, let's get up there and act a fool," she said with a laugh. "Maybe get some fans to come out there and spend the day with me."

The tour comes in the wake of her releasing two songs and videos that serve as a sort of mission statement for where she is at the moment: "Today I Decided," a fierce diatribe against the music industry and about shaking its grip and dropping disloyal friends; "Goin' Off" tackles the same subject in an anthem of empowerment with a lighter touch and humor (the video features Snow cruising in a Mercedes kids' ride-on car while cradling a puppy).

In both, the message is clear: She's the boss.

"'Today I Decided' was about, 'You are going to give me what I deserve,'" she said. "And 'Goin' Off' is so much more positive and happy. It's a letting go of certain negative thoughts. They go together."

Over Thanksgiving weekend, she released "Dale Gas," a club-ready anthem of Mexican pride with a guest verse by Mexico rapper Alemán.

Born Claudia Alexandra Feliciano, the prolific rapper, 31, has a knack for fan service and accessibility. With her social media fluency and her direct line to her audience, she realized she didn't need the trappings of the traditional label system.

"For so many years there was so much red tape around my career," she said. "I feel like the industry gave me the run-around."

An avatar of woke hip-hop who is unafraid to speak truth to power and stand against racism and sexism. Last year, she won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Fight Against the System Video for her appearance on The Hamilton Mix Tape" version of "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)." She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants.

Snow also is a multi-hyphenate creative powerhouse who designs clothes — she founded the clothing line WOKE eight years ago — and has earned acclaim playing a gang leader on the drug cartel TV drama "Queen of the South." The acting was a natural outgrowth of her life on stage.

"I'm taking on a persona and acting as Snow Tha Product," she said. "Me personally, Claudia, I'm a lot more introverted than Snow. So it goes hand in hand."

atravers@aspentimes.com

IF YOU GO …

Who: Snow Tha Product

Where: Belly Up Aspen

When: Monday, Dec. 3, 10 p.m.

How much: $20/general admission; $30/reserved seating

Tickets: Belly Up box office; bellyupaspen.com

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