by Minister of Information JR Valrey, Oakland Bureau Chief
One of the dopest MCs that I met in ‘22 is the shit talking, Oakland wordsmith Cloey Kaboom. I know that MC, in hip hop means the Master of Ceremony, but in this case Cloey is an MC because of how she “Magnetizes the Crowd’s attention” with her voice, lyrics and stage presence. Her swag is reminiscent of some of hip hop’s greatest Femcees like MC Lyte, Ladybug Mecca, Lauryn Hill, Lil’ Kim, Marvaless and Eve.
Cloey has been making a lot of noise lately, getting booked and rocking stages from the Bay to Vegas after the Covid lockdowns. If you heard of her, let me present this insightful interview to you. If you haven’t, let me introduce you to somebody who definitely is fire, with a bright future in hip hop. Check out Cloey Kaboom in her own words.
Cloey Kaboom will be performing at the Black New World Experience on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023 at Zanzi, 19 Grand Avenue, Oakland, from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.
The rest of the west coast will soon be finding out about this metaphoric diamond in the rough, now on the scene
JR Valrey: When did you know that you wanted to be a rapper? What made you take it seriously?
Cloey Kaboom: I’ve always loved music since a youngin. My brother had a rap group called RUI (Rapping Under The Influence) and I used to watch them record at my neighbor’s house, but they never let me get on a track, LMAO. My one chance came when me and my homies made a song called “Little Soldiers,” – I was a big Master P fan – and it sparked something in me.
From there, I always wrote and spit bars here and there for friends, but that was it. When 2012 came and the opportunity to really take my craft seriously came when I met Dj Twelvz.
I spit for him and he thought that I was dope. He had the resources and was willing to help push me. We did a record in ‘09, on Myspace. We spit to a geeked up beat. It has like 400k views by now.
JR Valrey: Who are three MCS who inspired you? And why?
Cloey Kaboom: Tupac. He is a dope lyricist and he stood for something. He was passionate and fearless. Da Brat, because her sound was unique, and she was different. I was a tomboy as a child and mimicked all her hair styles for sure. And Lil’ Kim, because she was raw and uncut, didn’t give a fuck. She made it cool to be sexy.
JR Valrey: You have a crazy stage presence – what performers are you influenced by? Why?
Cloey Kaboom: Nobody influenced my stage presence. My comfortability and experience in front of crowds gave me confidence. The rest is just in me, LOL. I was 7 when I got into public speaking through a program called Junior Achievement .
They chose me to speak at huge galas for people like Bill Gates And the CEO of Kaiser, in front of all types of important people and in front of large crowds. I also won at the Oakland oratorical poetry contest like three years straight, so being in front of crowds is easy. I know how to demand attention from the crowd and control it.
JR Valrey: What have you been working on lately?
Cloey Kaboom: I’ve been clocking in and being a mom, but I’m slowly making my way back to getting new music out. I’m working on my third album, called “The Clo Show.” And I’m about to drop a bunch of visuals to some dope tracks, I should’ve been shot, but I’m just gearing up to get back consistent.
I plan on dropping some singles and mixtapes before the actual album. I have a cypher series coming up with my manager Jhamel called “The Under Dog” cypher series, dedicated to all the hungry dope artists who could use more exposure and who are slept on!
JR Valrey: Being a female MC from the Bay, do you think that it’s harder because of sexism or easier because you are a novelty? Please explain.
Cloey Kaboom: I think it’s both easy and harder! I mean, let’s be real – the Bay Area is a hard place to blow regardless of your sex because it’s all about competing. Now here I am, a female, it makes it harder, but don’t get me wrong, people love and support female rappers too!
But don’t be raw as hell, most men feel threatened especially if they rap too. Now they don’t wanna push you because you might outshine them.
JR Valrey: Where exactly are you from, and how did it influence your style?
Cloey Kaboom: I’m from East Oakland – shouts out to Ice City, my second home. It influenced me because we always had that unique different sound. But my upbringing played a huge part in my music. I’ve been through and seen some crazy shit!
I haven’t even begun to express all of it in my music. I used to be afraid of being judged, but that’s what makes people love real music! Keeping it raw will have people relating to you.
JR Valrey: What kind of production do you like to rhyme over? Who are some of your favorite producers?
Cloey Kaboom: I’ve always been into trap street beats. I don’t like that girly stuff. I mean I will rock them just to create a type of song, but I’m a dude at heart, so I want something you can bounce that head to, and I can get busy on.
But my favorite producers are Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Zaytoven, Mike Will, Metro Boomin, Traxamillion, Rick Rock, DJ Fresh, The Mekanix and there’s more but those are off the top of the head.
JR Valrey: What is your creative process like? Under what conditions do you like to create?
Cloey Kaboom: I’m most creative after a few shots, or if I’m just leaving a dope event and my vibes is lit. When I’m happy and excited, I’m ready to say some clever shit, LOL, but it’s not always about being turnt (having fun).
I like to be alone for the most part when I’m writing, when there’s no distractions. I mean, I can create whenever and wherever, but I’m gonna ignore shit. However, I also like to create during situations if I’m upset or feeling a way, I like to channel that and turn it into something. But I also like to record around people. I feed off the vibes ‘cause they know I’m going to go crazy, LOL.
JR Valrey: Where do you see yourself in five years as an artist?
Cloey Kaboom: I feel like I been at this for over a decade and I’m ok with not blowing up! I do this shit cuz I love it, I have other goals and backup plans! But in five years I plan to have touched more people and gained a bigger fan base!
JR Valrey: How can people stay online with you?
Cloey Kaboom: I have every social media known to man, and the names are all the same @Cloeykaboom. I’m mostly on Instagram and Twitter, that’s where I promote all my events. My music is on Youtube, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and Soundcloud.
JR Valrey, journalist, author, filmmaker and founder of Black New World Media, heads the SF Bay View’s Oakland Bureau and is founder of his latest project, the Ministry of Information Podcast. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Instagram.