Hip-Hop may have started on in the park, but in the more than 40 years since it’s inception, it has proven itself to be more than just a passing fad, reaching every corner of the globe, where languages may vary, but the beat remains the same. BellaXin is a perfect example of this phenomenon, as she was first introduced to Hip-Hop as a adolescent at a Wu-Tang Clan show, in her native Rotterdam, Holland. Currently residing in Duval County, BellaXin reps Hip-Hop harder than many and has become a prominent figure on the scene with a unique style that is influenced by American Hip-Hop culture with a Dutch twist. Peep The LaVilla Project’s interview with BellaXin as she speaks about how she became a Hip-Hop head, the scene in The Netherlands and what she has on deck.
Nakia: Why don’t you tell our readers who you are and a little bit about your background?
BellaXin: I’m Bella X-I-N, Xin (pronounced Zen). I’m from Holland, Rotterdam to be exact, everyone always thinks I’m from Amsterdam, because no one knows where Rotterdam is, but it’s one of the biggest cities in Holland. And I now live here in Jacksonville.
Nakia: Ok, and how’s the scene in The Netherlands?
BellaXin: The scene is a lot different from here because we have more of a raw, raw scene, like the backpacker scene here in Jacksonville, the Lomax crowd? That is really the scene back home. And that was before I left, when I went back I was totally in shock because we had so many new people, but it’s the still same. I’m not saying this because the scene out here is that way, but back home the scene is very egotistical. What I mean with that is that they are very about what you do and how you rap and if you don’t bring it real, then you ain’t shit, stuff like that.
Nakia: Ok, now how’d you end up in Duval?
BellaXin: How’d I end up in Duval? That’s a funny story.
Nakia: Well, don’t make it too long, I gotta type all this out.
BellaXin: Alright, so I was in New York and I got a call from Pony X to come out here to do a song, Docks to Duval, and when I came out, I met my husband, DX, who was the engineer of the studio and we fell madly in love.
Nakia: Awww, how sweet. And that’s how you ended up staying?
BellaXin: That’s how I ended up coming back and staying.
Nakia: Word up! That is sweet! Ok, now tell me how you got into Hip-Hop. What was the spark for you?
BellaXin: That’s interesting because, one of my biggest examples, gave than example at a show. He said, “There’s always one point in your life which you get introduced to Hip-Hop.” To me it was Wu-Tang and Masta Killa actually made that statement. It was very special to me because I told him later, “Yo, you were the first time I actually got introduced to Hip-Hop,” because in 1993, they did a tour, the 36 Chambers tour, and they did it in Holland and I attended it when I was 11 years old. I saw Old Dirty Bastard and that was my inspiration to do Hip-Hop.
Nakia: Word up, that’s actually a extremely dope tidbit. Now what have you released so far?
BellaXin: Back home I had an album called BellaXin versus M.A.W. Sike: The Ultimate Collaboration, which was an album between Dutch and English and that’s what I really got out there.
Nakia: Ok and what are you working on now?
BellaXin: I’m working on my album, it’s going to be called Good Times and it’s totally different from what I used to do back home, it’s really a change for me, in more of a poppy-Hip-Hop way. Hip-Hop is so big right now, it’s so big, it’s so versatile, I’d like to see myself more like a female Kid Cudi, keep it funky and do whatever you like to do and it doesn’t have to be all hits, it just has to feel good. That’s what I’m trying to do, make feel good music.
Nakia: Who’s part of your crew? Who do you roll with here?
BellaXin: I’m with The Matrix Group, which is Ms. Jones, who’s my manager. And in that group we have Francis (Franchise), we have MZ Pop’arazzi, she makes pictures…
Nakia: I’m going to translate that into, she’s a photographer.
BellaXin: She’s a photographer. You know it’s hard for me to say those words!
Nakia: I know, I know! I’m going to translate it from Dutch English to American English. I might keep that in there, because that was funny.
BellaXin: Yeah, that was funny! (Laughter) Black Goddess, is also in there, she’s a female MC, but she is totally different from what I am doing. That’s basically who I roll with.
Nakia: Do you have any advice for artists who want to make music as a career?
BellaXin: If you do music as a career, don’t give up your 9-5 job. You still have to pay your bills. A lot of artists forget that and I did that in the past too, especially back home, when I was doing really good. I gave up my 9-5 in a heartbeat and I realized that, in order to make music, you have to make money and have money to invest. If you don’t have money to invest, you cannot go anywhere, so I would definitely advice artists to invest in themselves.
Nakia: Very sound advice. Where can we find more information about you?
BellaXin: You can find me on Facebook at Bella Xin. And I have a website, www.bellaxin.com. And every Tuesday is TuesBella Day on my site. I’m trying to keep up on with my blogs and feature local artists or artists that inspired me or artists that I’ve met along the way and I keep it up every week.
Nakia: Aiight, word up!