“The same thing that propelled me to do law is the same thing that propelled me to do hip-hop”
Hopie’s bubbly B-girl style injects lyricism into the cranium with an unapologetic intelligence and focused passion. The emergence of her Diamond Dame album in 2008 introduced her spirited spitting in a voice that was quickly compared to Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez and Ladybug Mecca. The Philippines born San Francisco raised rapper has continued to build her discography with 2011’s Dulce Vita and the current Raw Gems. Her promise to take things back to the “Scene Of The Rhyme” when most rappers are scrambling to mimic corporate dictums is sorely missing from the majority of mass hip-hop. And unlike most rappers, Hopie is a lawyer in training who started her legal education at the same time she created her first album. She walks a steady but easy balance between both vocations because for her it’s all about advocating for humanity whether it be in an artistic or academic form. Gems has expanded her fanbase and increased her swagg as an independent artist with guest appearances from MURS, Psalm One, Donwill, Moe Green and Josie Stingray. In spite of being warned by others to forego music to finish law school her work ethic for hip-hop already has two new albums done. The artist formerly known as Hopie Spitshard has established herself locally and in certain pockets of cyberspace and it’s just a matter of time before everyone else becomes familiar with her American-drenched Pinay flow.
Where are you from?
San Francisco. I was born in the Philippines but I came to San Francisco when I was really young.
I saw in your bio that you have classical training with the violin, guitar and drums. How did hip-hop become your primary musical way of expression?
It’s one thing to learn an instrument and it’s another thing to be able to write down everything that you feel. And I’ve always been kind of a writer.