The White Rapper Show: Misfit
Misfit noun -- A person who is poorly adapted to a situation or environment.
That is an appropriate definition to describe egotrips reality show on VH-1. For those who arent living under a bridge, youve seen the show about a bunch of misfits who try to get acclimated to the South Bronx through their love of hip-hop. The show works for those looking to get a laugh at the milky MCs expense. But it also serves as a great history lesson to what hip-hop is and what it ultimately stands for as a culture and as a business.
Laeticia Guzman is a misfit of dual proportions. The UK-to-BK transplant had to deal with, not only driving on the other side of the road, but the constant pressures that came with being a female (white) emcee. But Misfit bucked conventional definition and made a name for herself through appearing in billboard campaigns, television work, and small films while still being in the UK. Her love of hip-hop started with NWA and has blossomed ever since.
The blonde, beautiful and blazin emcee scorches up the HHDX website as she discusses her love for the culture, the love from a certain (white) rapper, talks a little bit about her favorite website and gets nostalgic about her good friend Proof.
HHDX: How did you hear about the (White) Rapper Show?
Misfit: I actually heard about the show through a friend of mines. Honestly, I didnt hear about the auditions. I knew somebody who was doing some work on the show and he had told me that they were short on females. [Laughs] They hadnt found the right female, yet. They were looking for one and hadnt found one that matched up. So, I got in and the rest was history.
HHDX: I was reading in your bio that you were inspired by N.W.A. What was it about them that drawn you to them?
Misfit: When I was really young, I got into N.W.A. Growing up, my younger brothers stereo was always louder than mines. So, basically, anything that he was into I was into. One day, he brought home an N.W.A. album and I loved it from that point on. He was into it, kind of like a passing fad, but I loved how controversial they were. The aggression and the strength that came from what they talked about. It really pulled you in. In the UK, we had a sort of small window in the American life, so it was all new to me. Their music was nothing like anything that I had heard before.
HHDX: Who was your favorite in the group?
Misfit: Eazy-E was my favorite. I mean aside from what he done with the group, he had his solo shit that was classic, too. There was just something about him that made him a star. He was definitely the one who influenced me to get into rap music. He was just a blessing. Rest in Peace to Eazy-E.
HHDX: So, from then on who were you influences?
Misfit: I loved Slick Rick because he was from England. Wu-Tang is always big with me. Rakim changed a lot of how these rappers rhyme nowadays, so he always gets respect from me. But now I would say that Im influenced by Eminem the Big Homie Proof Ludacris Gangstarr, just to name a few. I didnt just stick to the same thing. I wasnt just strictly into backpack rap or gangsta rhymes. Even though I love that gangsta shit. I love all forms of hip-hop. I just listened to it all, stood back, and took a little bit from each one to compliment my style.
HHDX: You got bounced out early in the competition because your rhymes didnt go along with what was asked of yall. I read on your MySpace blog that you felt that Persia shouldve left because she didnt complete her verse.
Misfit: I mean that was the first time that she was up for elimination. I think that she was scared, because she messed up and started crying. Me I couldnt really remember my rhyme, so I improvised the rest. I know that I had to spit something bad about myself, but I still spat a verse. Is it better to spit a verse or not spit one at all? I mean if you were on stage performing and forgot your lines would you not boo? Would you not be upset that that happened? I dont know I just thought that that wouldve been respected in the end [laughs]. But Im glad that I got out when I did.
HHDX: Did you get a chance to watch the episode to point out what was real and what was reality television...?
Misfit: I saw the ones that aired on VH-1. The way they edited it was far different than how it was [in real life]. They portrayed us, on the show, as certain characters. They would focus on how I look. You know with the Barry White and the slow shot while I was flinging my hair. [Laughs] That was funny. They made me seem quiet, when in reality Im not. They didnt show me really rapping as much as I really do. So, it kind of limited me from showcasing my talent other than some of the challenges they put us through. I know its reality television, but damn [laughs].
HHDX: You talk about how white rappers are a complex bunch. They either have a chip on their shoulder, are in denial, feel compelled to over-compensate or are just plain fucking nuts. Which category would you fit into?
Misfit: I really dont see myself as a rapper. I dont standardize myself as being a white rapper.
HHDX: So, being from the UK, is Lady Sovereign as hot as the US press makes her out to be?
Misfit: I have only heard one of her songs and its definitely not comparable to my music. To me, shes like a little girl-type. A gimmicky rapper; I dont know how long shell last in this business. Quite honestly, shes not that big in the UK as they make her out to be.
HHDX: But couldnt we say the same thing with you being that youve been on a reality show?
Misfit: You could say that, yes. But I made the decision to join the show a few days before they started shooting. I thought the show was cool, then I got eliminated. So, Im glad that I left when I did. I got a chance to show my face and promote my skills a little bit. From being on the show, it made people intrigued with who I am. I havent really got too much negative responses from being on the show.
HHDX: Since your exit from the show what is new with you?
Misfit: I have been working on my mixtape called Sex Sells. Really, these past few weeks have been mainly about doing interviews and working with the press. I did a few shows here and there. Honestly, I only have had a few hours of sleep at night. We got to stay on the grind if were going to get somewhere.
HHDX: So, were you influenced by the Grime/UK Garage scene, too?
Misfit: Grime didnt really exist when I was there in the UK. It was more-so the garage scene. [Laughs] Really, UK rap doesnt really explode in England. We all listen to the U.S. rappers. But since being in the States, Ive heard Grime, and its big there now, but I still dont know too much about it.
HHDX: On your MySpace page, you show a lot of love for Proof from D12. What was the extent of yalls relationship?
Misfit: I mean that was my heart right there. Hes the one who gave me my name. We were very close friends. He was my mentor. He would help me with my rhymes and would give me advice on how to better my craft. He was one of the closest to me in my life and I miss him. He [inhales deeply]
HHDX: How did you take the news of his death?
Misfit: I got the call from his manager, first thing in the morning. When he told me, I hopped on a plane and went straight to Detroit.
HHDX: Have you been in touch with the family to offer any support?
Misfit: All the time. Im close with the whole camp. I go to his cemetery plot quite a lot when I go out to Detroit.
HHDX: My friend Tilla [of the Kickdrums] worked with Proof a few times and had a lot of funny stories to share. What was your funniest memory of Proof?
Misfit: Wow I got so many things that I could say He was always acting a fool [laughs]. Hmm let me think. [Inhales deeply] Im sorry, I still get kind of emotional about it.
HHDX: Okay, okay I can understand that. Let me change the subject. Sullee had a crush on you on the show. Did it go any further than what was filmed on camera?
Misfit: Thank you. Umm, no, it definitely didnt. Between us, it was harmless fun. There was a little flirting going on between us. But really, wed just hang out together. In the house, my room was the cleanest. [Laughs] Everyone elses was kind of dirty, so Sullee would come and stay in my room. They [the show] tried to make it look like we were more than what we were which was us being friends. Luckily, Sullee made it all clear when he said that he didnt close the deal in his rap about himself.
HHDX: When we talked the other day, you told me that HHDX was/is your favorite website...
Misfit: [Exclamatory] Yeah!!! Im really glad to be featured on here. HipHopDX is my favorite site! I used to be on here every single day. I felt like I was out of it when I moved to the States from the UK. So, I hopped on a search engine because I wanted to keep in the mix with hip-hop. HHDX was the first site that I came to and had been hooked ever since. I felt like I was so out of the loop and HHDX came me in the game. So, Im proud and I thank HHDX for taking the time out to interview me.
HHDX: From the first episode, John Brown looked like the one who was set to get on everyones nerves with the whole King of the Burbz/Ghetto Revival talk. Did he ever rub you the wrong way?
Misfit: John Brown and I are cool. Were still cool even after the show. When we begun the show, we were put in different green rooms, and he was the first person that I had met before we started filming. And about his phrases he doesnt really say it that much. Its like what I said earlier. The show wanted to portray us as characters. So, they emphasized his King of the Burbz/Ghetto Revival talk on the show. He really didnt say it that much, to my knowledge. If he did he wouldve gotten on my nerves. But John hes a very clever guy. Say what you want about him, but hes the most talked about person on the show. His King of the Burbz/Ghetto Revival stuff doesnt really make sense to me, either, but it gets him the publicity.
HHDX: Most people do not get a chance to be successful since appearing on a reality television show. How do you convince people to not focus on the television exploits and take heed of the skills?
Misfit: I think that Im lucky that I got out when I did. So, hopefully people wont stereotype me or say that Im just what I am because I was on a TV show. Because really I was just passing by. Since my appearance on the show, people come to my website and they hear my music. I still get the publicity from the show, but I am more focused on promoting my music and releasing my upcoming projects.