We know her as Miss LA from #SMTM5, who impressed all the judges down the line from Gil to Simon D. But, she’s also Lashell Alexander from Burbank California, an accomplished actress appearing in Chris Rock’s Everybody Hates Chris, and American Prom Queen. Miss LA is a seasoned artist, performing since the age of 9, with original releases under her belt.
With her infectious smile and spunky demeanor, Miss LA has gained both an affectionate fan base, and an equally vocal group of dweeb haters, from her rather impressive showing at #SMTM5. But, it was almost not to be. However, as a wise person once said “speak your truth.”
In her losing round to the Legendary Temo at the LA auditions, Miss LA had the judges singing along to her catchy lyrics “I’mma be on that plane to Korea.” And, in so doing Miss LA was eventually on that plane to Korea, irrespective of the results.
In our conversation with Miss LA, she clarified a lot of things that might have been confusing, and has a message both for her adoring fans and her flop haters.
GMM: The first thing I’m actually really curious about is, “where are you right, now?” Are you back from Korea? OR, are you still in Korea?
Miss LA: I am back home in America now.
GMM: So, how did you hear about SMTM and who/what spurred you on to audition?
Miss LA: A friend of mine saw an ad on the internet about it and told me that I should audition for it. When I asked them if I needed to know Korean to audition they said I could audition even if I only spoke English.
GMM: Was this your first contact with Korean hip-hop music/industry?
Miss LA: I never listened to K pop music before I auditioned for show me the money.
GMM: You went up against Temo in the LA auditions, and I’m sure you must have been disappointed, at that point. But, run us through that moment, when you lost to Temo, and then when you found out that you would actually be going to Korea?
Miss LA: There is so much editing on this show. Temo and I did 2 rounds back to back. When she won I was already so stressed from the last couple days that I just was shocked. But if the judges well if (timberland) felt that she was the winner then she was the winner. He said he felt like she wanted it more.
GMM: There was definitely a major improvement in your flow and delivery, from when we first saw you in LA, and your 1 V 1 in Korea. What made the difference? And, how did you prepare differently this time?
Miss LA: The only difference from my flow and delivery from LA auditions and the 1 vs 1 battle was my rap wasnt edited as much. I rap the same all the time. But when the show has so much control over making you sound like you can’t rap when you know you can it is very sad.:
GMM: Why did you try to choose Illionaire? Did, their experience with Toyanna Rae (Toy) from #SMTM3 influence your decision? And, in hindsight, could that maybe have actually influenced their decision? And, just to be clear, I think Toyanna is a talented rapper. But, another blogger [Editor says it may have been a commenter] said, in a tongue-in-cheek way, that maybe Dok2 was getting tired of translating.
Miss LA: I never knew about the show before so I had no idea the rapper toy was even on the show at first. I found out about toy once I was already eliminated. I choose to be on illionaire because Dok 2 spoke English and he is the judge who gave me my chain durning the first round of auditions. I thought that Dok 2 would choose me but I understand that I would have been more of a headache to my team because of the translation issue.
GMM: If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
Miss LA: I would learn Korean. The thing about it is if would have known I was going in the beginning that would have given me 3 weeks to at least learn some Korean words that I could add into my rap.
GMM: You’ve been in the same presence as some of the most popular and talented K-hiphop artists and producers. What have you learnt from this experience, on a professional level?
Miss LA: All the guys are so humble. I had no clue who they were at first because I don’t listen to K pop. And once I got back home I check out G2, Flowsik, Killagram, and a couple of the other guys and I was so amazed by their talent. And of course being in the presence of talented producers was amazing for me. I just wish I was able to understand them more when they were critiquing me.
GMM: Have you reached out to anyone in the Korean industry, and has anyone out to you?
Miss LA: A few people in the Korean industry have reached out to me and I’m sure I will do a lot of international projects in the near future.
GMM: You released a video on YouTube called Dab, and it talks about your experience in Korea. Can you tell us about what you hoped to express and share when you wrote the lyrics? And, who produced it?
Miss LA: I wrote my song Dab when I was in South Korea at a coffee shop. I just felt so full of emotion because it was my first time out of the country but I wanted South Korea to know that I appreciate them as a whole.
GMM: Haters – how do you deal with them?
Miss LA: I have a lot of people who don’t like me. They felt that I wasn’t suppose to be on the show. I don’t argue with them. I was there because I was the runner up. The show could have called anybody to go, but they called me. And if they feel so bad about it why don’t they audition and see how far they would get. I am the underdog on smtm. And you would think they would think to themselves this girl is brave. She is a a female rapper on a TV show that is not female friendly, she is black, and she can’t speak Korean. But I guess it’s so easy for people to be haters instead of a supporter.
GMM: Your fans – what do you want to tell them?
Miss LA: I love my fans so much. They made me confident to watch the show without feeling embarrassed that I would look dumb for the not knowing the language. That’s why I follow all of them and respond to all of their messages because they are so good to me.
GMM: You up and packed you bags, hopped on a plane to the other side of the world, where they spoke a different language, and joined in on a competition at the highest level of that industry. What motivates you? And, where would you like to take this experience?
Miss LA: I got a phone call from production saying they wanted me in Korea the next night. Of course I was excited but also nervous. I went and tried my best to enjoy myself every single day I was there. My fans are my motivation, because even when I stop believing in myself they seem to keep me going. Because they believe in me so much it makes me believe in me.
GMM: What are you working on next? And, how can people keep up with you and your progress?
Miss LA: I’ll be doing a TV show in America. I love music but I’m also an actress. My Instagram is @lashellalexander_thequeen
And subscribe to Miss LA on YouTube.
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