3 Questions

3 Questions With MC Prismatic Soul

Santa Fe hip-hop queen gets a little recognition for her feature on SpaceMobs SpaceCadets track, “Patchw3rk”

Though lifelong Santa Fean Alexandria Hernandez, aka Prismatic Soul, has only been rapping in earnest for the last few years, she’s already made a name for herself as a loquacious and hard-hitting local spitter. A member of Santa Fe’s Outstanding Citizens Collective hip-hop crew, Hernandez has been spreading her wings a bit with features for the likes of legendary local act SpaceMob SpaceCadets. And it’s fire—so much so, in fact, that the group’s track “Patchw3rk,” in which she appears, is up for a New Mexico Hip-Hop Award for Best Feature. With the ceremony for the awards going down this week at the Lensic Performing Arts Center (5 pm Saturday, Jan. 20. $15-$35. 211 W San Francisco St., (505) 988-1234), SFR spoke with Prismatic Soul to learn more. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

All things considered, you came to hip-hop a little later than your local peers. What gave you the push to start spitting?

I’ve always been a lover of hip-hop, but I…lacked the confidence. I honestly didn’t know I could rap, but I remember sitting there with nothing to do one day, listening to old-school hip-hop beats, and I thought, ‘y’know what? I’m gonna try to write my own rhyme.’ I was battling myself with the hardest rhymes I could come up with, and I literally wrote it on a piece of cardboard. And the same week I wrote my first rhyme was the week I met [local MC] Anthonius Monk.

He started working [with me] at Trader Joe’s and gave me a ride to Albuquerque because he lived in Rio Rancho, and on the way he was like, ‘You know I spit, right?’ And I said, ‘Show me your shit!’ I didn’t tell him [about mine], I just wanted to hear what he had.

Later on during Fiestas weekend, [my friends and I] got a hotel room downtown so all of us could go out, and we were all listening to music and freestyling, and I kind of just said ‘fuck it,’ and jumped in. Anthonius was like, ‘we’ve gotta start rapping together.’’

What do you like to write about?

When I first started writing, I wanted to be the hardest rapper because I wanted to stand out among a bunch of men. Now I just want to inspire people to be who they are, no matter who the fuck you are; to be that person you wish you had when you were younger, or that voice. I try to be more positive in my music, but I also sometimes like to be a savage because I know I can rip people up.

I definitely am a pen and pad writer…a visual person. I like to feel the words I write. I think it just makes it more meaningful for me. And I definitely write over time. I have to listen to a beat and figure out how it makes me feel.

When you think of the future of hip-hop, both local and not, what do you see, for yourself or otherwise?

The roots of hip-hop is the epitome of who I am, and I’ll always pay homage to that, but I want to be versatile and known for doing different things and different styles. I don’t ever want to conform to what someone thinks is hip-hop. I want to be open-minded and try new things. Hip-hop is still extremely young. It could totally be anything.

I’m in the middle of making my first solo album, and I think it’s going to be kind of different from what I do with Outstanding Citizens Collective. I just want to show a different side of me. A softer side of me; with the beats being more sensual and soft instead of nitty and gritty.

It’s been a tough few years and I think it’ll be good for me. I was raised by my grandma, and she was the only person I had in this world who influenced me to be creative and free and expressive. Four days before my birthday in 2022, she decided to go through with assisted suicide. She was in a lot of pain, had suffered for a long time, but also, she was extremely loved by the community…and it was very difficult. She was my biggest fan, my biggest supporter and the most loving and compassionate and supportive person in my life. For the majority of my life I let fear hold me back from a lot of things, and I think I’m at the point where I’m not afraid to take risks and do things that feel right for my heart and my body.

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