So Vicious is performing on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 7-11 p.m., at Zanzi’s, located at 19 Grand, Oakland.
by The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey
In this ocean of male Bay Area Hip Hop artists, there are only a few women rappers who have the respect to compete in this male dominated local industry, and the lyricists and Hunters Point representative So Vicious is one of them. Having known her for about a year, and having seen her rock stages all over the Bay, fixating fans from all different backgrounds, I can testify that she does her thing.
In terms of her qualities as an MC, she is a good writer, she knows how to spit over any given beat, and she has a strong vocal and stage presence. She ain’t no punk. So let me introduce y’all to Frisco’s own homegrown talent if you already didn’t know, So Vicious. Check her out in her own words.
JR Valrey: How has being from HuntersPoint affected you as an artist?
So Vicious: Being from Hunters Point has definitely shaped me and my artistry. My experience living in Bayview Hunters Point has groomed me and my personality. I put a lot of what I have been through and experienced in my music.
All my experiences may not have been good, but there is a lot of culture in my neighborhood which I learned a lot from. For anyone, anywhere you are born and raised shapes you in some form. Either you stay bound to the struggle or you blossom, elevate and do more for yourself. Regardless, you are a product of your environment, whether it be negative or positive.
JR Valrey: What inspired you to want to become a rapper? When was the first time when you decided you were going to take rapping more seriously?
So Vicious: I always knew I was musically inclined since a child. I played piano from a young age and listened to a lot of old school music. I used to listen to my mom’s old school 45s, and write songs to old school beats, and I wrote poetry. As I got older, I turned them into lyrics. I remember nights falling asleep with the music playing and waking up to the albums scratching. Lol.
But my first time actually recording a song was when I was 18. At that time, I was still hustling, running the streets, going to city college tryna figure out what I wanted to do. I say I was about 25 or 26 when I buckled down and got serious. I’ve been recording since I was 18 though.
JR Valrey: What have you released recently?
So Vicious: In December I dropped my latest project entitled “O’Vishally Yours” which is available on all digital outlets and streaming services. Since then I have dropped a few other singles, “Roses,” “Gone,” featuring Singular, “Somebody They Love” and “Preach,” which were not on the project, as well as some features for other people.
Currently every month since March, I have dropped a visual to the singles and songs off my project: “Gone,” “Preach,” “Love Me Not,” “Heard It All Before,” “Me & My Real Friend” and my most recent, “Changed On Me.” Please check out all my singles and videos and subscribe to my YouTube channel.
JR Valrey: How do you keep up a consistent pace of releasing music and videos regularly?
So Vicious: Staying consistent is key. I love being creative and the creative process. For me, it’s about budgeting. I am a single parent so I have a lot on my plate, as well as working a career job as a “journeyman (woman) glazier” just to keep some normalcy in my life. So I have to make sure my spent money is worth it and it has to be put in the right place. Timing is everything, too. I have to make sure I have time to work on my craft and that I’m releasing at the right time as well. There should be a strategy in everything you do.
JR Valrey: What is your creative process like? Do you write every day? When do you write?
So Vicious: My creative process is simple: I throw on a beat and vibe out. I like writing in my car and in my personal space at home. Sometimes I listen to beats for days, coming up with melodies and ideas in my head before I actually write them down. I do not write every day. I may think of an idea or metaphor and jot it down, but I don’t write verses or songs every day, although I do feel it is important as an artist to spend some time every day working on your craft.
Whether that be promoting, networking or brainstorming, it’s important to keep the creative juices flowing, for at least two or three hours a week, especially if you have a life outside of music. One thing I honestly don’t like doing is going to the studio and writing. I’d rather come to the lab ready to record; even though I can and will do it, I prefer not to. Lol.
JR Valrey: What kind of production do you like to rap over?
So Vicious: I like to record over anything that slaps. I’m a very versatile artist. Some of the beats that I use, other people find difficult to rap over. I like to be different, but I can flow to the normal 808 beat patterns and regular beats. I like rockin’ to samples and tracks that automatically pull the lyrics out of you. When it speaks to your soul, you know it’s for you.
JR Valrey: What do you think the state of the Bay Area music scene is at this current moment?
So Vicious: I think the Bay Area rap scene is dope as far as talent. There are a lot of talented artists out here with substance to their music, as well as some bullshit artists, who are talking about nothing.
I feel like the Bay is very political. There is really no support for each other, and it is very clicky. People only support certain people because of their buzz or where they’re from, and it shouldn’t be like that. We should all support each other, especially if the music is good.
At this point I support who supports me and rock with who rocks with me. You can’t give support and good energy out to those who don’t appreciate or reciprocate it. I feel in the future, the Bay will be on top of the rap scene. We just gotta change the narrative, stay consistent and focus.
JR Valrey: What is it like being one of very few women rappers from Frisco?
So Vicious: The females who are from San Francisco are very dope and talented; we got our own style and vibe. I just feel like if you mention a female rapper from San Francisco it would be wrong and disrespectful not to mention So Vicious. Period.
There are not many of us that are actually staying consistent, doing shows, dropping tracks and grinding. I have been doing this shit for 10+ years. I have longevity in this shit. I’m damn near a VET.
I might not be doing numbers like most or attract a certain crowd. Unfortunately, it’s a numbers game now. But I definitely have the talent and a work ethic that’s unmatched. But it’s a very rewarding and dope experience to be a hood celebrity and represent my hood.
JR Valrey: What do you have coming out in the future that you are excited about?
So Vicious: I’m currently working on a project where I’m going to have all male features that I’m excited for. I’m not name dropping yet, but it’s going to be fire. Of course in the meantime and between time, I’m going to keep dropping singles and videos, building my catalog and anticipation for my next project.
JR Valrey: How do people keep up with you online?
So Vicious: Follow me on social media: So Vicious on Facebook, @soviciousofficial on Instagram, @sovicious415 on Twitter, @soviciousofficial on TikTok. Google me: So Vicious. I’m everywhere. LoL
JR Valrey, journalist, author, filmmaker and founder of Black New World Media, heads the SF Bay View’s Oakland Bureau. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Facebook. Visit www.BlackNewWorldMedia.com to read more.