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WPGM Interviews: Cleotrapa – Self Expression, Defying Expectations And ‘Muggy McGuire’

This women’s history month, we had the honor of interviewing the #ItGirl of #GagCity Cleotrapa in the new SoundCloud headquarters! From her killer music, to her undeniable personality, this girl is serving looks and talent on a silver platter. If you haven’t tuned into her vibes yet, think realness mixed with bad bitch energy, and you’re getting close.

Buckle up, because Cleotrapa is taking us on a wild ride through her world of music, fashion, and unfiltered self-expression. With a sound that’s straight-up realness, Cleotrapa’s music is a refreshing mix of bars, hooks, and melodies that defy expectations. Cleotrapa’s sound is like a blast from the past, with samples that take you back to those fun childhood memories.

With her latest freestyle “Muggy McGuire”, she’s giving us all the tea on the inspiration behind the title and lyrics. Plus, she’s spilling the beans on her plans to dive into the R&B scene with a collaboration with an old time friend Michael Rainey from the hit TV series Power. And don’t even get her started on her love for fashion and her iconic tracksuits.

To her latest re-release of her ‘That Girl’ Tracksuit and her impact as a cast member on the VH1 reality show The Impact, she’s carving her own path in the industry. Cleotrapa’s impact doesn’t stop there – she’s breaking boundaries and disrupting the status quo with her unapologetic attitude and refusal to conform to expectations.

Whether she’s dropping unexpected tracks or shaking up the fashion scene, Cleotrapa is a force to be reckoned with. So, what’s next for this rising star? Expect the unexpected, because Cleotrapa is just getting started. Get ready to witness her takeover in 2024 – it’s gonna be Muggy McGuire-ful!

Cleotrapa is a gag! From online personality, to actress and musician, there’s no limits to Cleotrapa’s influence and impact. The singles and freestyles she has been dropping have bars, hooks, melodies and that “it” factor. For those that are not yet familiar with her music, she would describe her unique sound as straight forward, shit poppin, bad bitch, real bitch, realness, real — it’s just covered in realness.”

Cleotrapa’s description of her music reflects her unapologetic embrace of authenticity and individuality. Through her bold lyrics and infectious energy, she invites listeners to join her on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Her music is reminiscent of so many fun childhood memories.

From the Hannah Montana (aka Miley Cyrus) “Rockstar” sample and many other songs in the works, Cleo shares the inspiration behind her music, saying, Yeah cause that just be a time where I really discovered the kind of music that I love, the music that shaped me as a person.”

Cleotrapa’s love for music is evident. It’s great to see her experimenting with the sounds of a nostalgic past and overall making bold choices that stand her apart. Most recently she had a a freestyle release party for your song “Muggy McGuire”.

Sharing the inspiration behind the title and lyricism, Cleotrapa offers, ‘Muggy McGuire’… I came up with that title, I will say it’s a persona, like can alter ego. It was when my make up artist had just finished doing my makeup and he was like ‘the mug is sitting’, and I was like ‘no funny shit, it’s giving Muggy McGuire’, and I just carried it with that. Of course McGuire is from ‘Lizzie McGuire’, these are things instilled in my memories, I don’t think about where it stems from until afterwards.”

Her ability to infuse her music with elements of nostalgia and personal expression highlights her versatility as an artist. Through “Muggy McGuire,” she invites listeners into her world, where boldness and authenticity reign supreme.

When asked if she aims to make music in a different genre, she asserts, Well yeah of course! I already have an R&B song that’s just sitting in my files. The sound of it is produced by Michael Rainey, he’s on ‘Power’, he’s a producer too, he’s been making beats since forever, but you know he’s in and out producing and acting. He has a great ear for music.”

Describing the sound in more detail, she adds how It goes into the sound that’s really trending in New York, I’ve had it for a while, it just started going viral, I can’t really describe the sound. You know that song ‘Fisherrr’ by Cash Cobain? I see that type of beat drowning out drill. When Mike had sent me some beats, he had sent me some beats like that and it turned out to be a cute R&B song. I’ve always been into love songs. That’s what I used to write about. You ever heard of Sara Bareilles? I used to listen to that every morning! That’s my shit.”

Her willingness to experiment with different genres speaks to her adventurous spirit and commitment to artistic evolution. As she continues to push boundaries and explore new sounds, listeners can expect to be taken on a journey of sonic discovery and innovation. It is evident that Cleotrapa is intentional with her music production process. Intentionality looks like doing something with a purpose. ‘Muggy McGuire’ is intentional. Working with Trinidad James was definitely an intentional moment too,” she shares.

Expanding on her relationship with Trinidad James, she says, Trinidad has been saying he has been watching me for a while and he has been seeing my come-up. He’s really just a dope ass person. He’s really an intentional person with everything that he does. When he broke down his agency and everything behind it, and even his clothing, everything that he does is intentional. I think that’s what I really love about him. There’s so much to learn about him, he’s an open book and I wanna read! Definitely a great experience, I really enjoy working with him.”

Apart from music, Cleotrapa has a great love for fashion. Her enthusiasm for Fashion Week encapsulates the essence of the event – an opportunity to celebrate creativity, self-expression, and individual style. Her journey from aspiring attendee to front-row fixture underscores the transformative power of passion and persistence in achieving one’s dreams.

My favorite part about fashion week I would say is getting dressed. I always wanted to go to Fashion Week, I would say this is like my third year, every time it’s mind blowing for real. I go back to a post I made in like 2017 ‘I wanna go to fashion week,’ and now I’m doing this shit consecutively, all the time. I’ve always loved fashion. It’s never been about, oh celebrities and shit. I always wanted to dress up and sit in the front row and watch clothes. That’s my thing, I love clothes. I love pieces. I love that shit *giggles*.”

Staying with fashion, Cleotrapa recently shared that she would be re-releasing the ‘That Girl’ Tracksuit, which was one of the first pieces she designed as merchandise for her fans. Speaking more about her love for fashion, we debate whether one day she would have a runway show or pop up, to which she responds, Definitely a pop up! I never thought of a runway show, but I guess. Or even a collab with another brand, that could be cute.”

Cleotrapa is also breakout character for the VH1 reality show The Impact. Speaking very candidly, she shares her thoughts on what made the network bring her into the show, I think the reason they put me on the show was because I been doing the shit that I been doing for a minute now, so it’s all about giving somebody the proper recognition, the proper platform to display themselves. Like, ‘this girl been on instagram, everybody knows her.’ You looking for people that have been impactful in New York, I should be the first person on your mind, so I wasn’t surprised.”

Speaking further on the impact that she brings to the VH1 show, Cleotrapa shares, I got asked to do ‘Love & Hip Hop New York’ before that, but I felt that show wasn’t my vibe. So when I heard ‘The Impact’, I was like, I’m an impactful bitch, like come on. I basically made the sales of white boards go up. Ain’t no body was fucking with whiteboards with a camera with a pointer giving out lessons, all of a sudden a lot of bitches do that now. Kudos to you and all that, but we not gonna erase my influence and my impact.”

Even when it comes to dressing. I’m a miniskirt queen. Word. You see my influence and my impact everywhere and I live for it. I don’t talk too much on it, I’m only talking on it now cause you asked me a question. But it’s true, you can do the research and get into the fine print and the fine lines, you will see I’ve been that bitch for a very long time and you cannot erase that. It’s already set in stone, it’s already been written, all thanks to the most high, you feel me, and that’s the reason I get to do what I do. I’ve been talking my shit. I’ve been doing my ones and my twos and my threes and my fours.”

As for why she did the show, she keeps it simple, When ‘The Impact’ wanna hit me up, and they want an impactful girl, I’m not shocked. You got the right one. It was a good experience. It was cool. It’s reality TV, of course people are used to reality TV being ghetto, a whole different light. I’m seeing this as a chance to show people who I am, forreal, outside of putting up my camera and talking my shit or outside of the booth.”

She also leaves some parting shots for any naysayers, And if you don’t know why I’m where I’m at, do some fucking research. Word, I done did a lot of fucking shit. You sitting here asking why am I here is not gonna erase that, you just need to go check that out.”

Cleotrapa’s presence on The Impact serves as a testament to her unwavering commitment to authenticity and empowerment. By sharing her journey and breaking down barriers, she encourages others to pursue their passions and embrace their unique identities.

When I tell her how her presence on the show wasn’t giving nepotism nor industry plant, but rather “giving raw ass bitch“, she adds how It’s giving raw from the bottom to the top. My mother came from Nigeria. My mom came from nothing you get what I’m saying. From where my mom came from, like she made me, you get what I’m saying. It’s a different kind of vibe. It’s not like my mother put me on. It’s none of that. I really worked mad hard for this like forreal. Like don’t fucking play with me bitch.”

The conversation soon returns to the doubters and naysayers, with an assertive Cleotrapa stating, What gets me tight too, when I start talking my shit, they wanna say “she got too much dip on her chip.” Hold the fuck on. Ya ain’t even know I had dip on my chip all these years. I been had dip on my chip. Like what are you talking about. Word.

People don’t want you to talk your shit, but I’m not gonna let you play with my name or let you erase all the work that I’ve done, so of course I’m gonna have to pop my shit when necessary. You don’t hear me bragging, that’s why you don’t fucking know. Now you know, that’s cause I’m poppin my shit. That’s the problem, people want you to stay quiet while they chew you up. A bitch ain’t gonna chew me up, never.”

Her bold attitude is only one side of Cleotrapa. She is adamantly a girl’s girl, her commitment to female empowerment is evident in her advocacy for uplifting and supporting other women in the industry. Her dedication to recognizing talent regardless of following highlights the importance of amplifying diverse voices and celebrating authenticity.

On what female empowerment looks like to her, she shares, Female empowerment looks like putting the next girl on. A lot of people try to make it seem like if you putting someone on, it’s taking away from you, but I feel as though if you really a girl’s girl, you don’t have no problem putting the next girl on. For me, any female I see with a small following but is so talented, that bothers me. I’m the first person to follow you girl and blow up your comments and let you know that you’re that fucking girl. The amount of followers you have doesn’t match the talent you have, and now I’m going crazy and now I’m your fan.”

Speaking in particular to the lack of support that black women get from the industry, Cleotrapa adds passionately, No forreal. I just seen some girl the other day, some black girl and she’s talented as shit, her name is @alemeda – she was on OTR, this the type of music I made when I was younger, she is so pretty. Her sound, that’s the sound I would have if I knew how to sing. Her sound gagged me, then I went on her page and seen the rest of her music.

Y’all be playing with these black pop girls. Ya’ll be fucking playing with them, stop playing with them. These black girls be having ten times more talent than the white girls ya wanna push, no shade. The truth is the reason they playing the back is because of their color. It’s just a simple fact. But if a white girl wanna rap today, they gonna suck their dick. I’m rooting for all the girls out there that don’t enough attention — they deserve it.”

Apart from her dedication to female empowerment, her willingness to challenge expectations and break free from conventional norms underscores her dedication to artistic integrity. By refusing to conform to preconceived notions of what a female rapper should be, she disrupts the status quo and paves the way for a new wave of creativity and self-expression.

We discuss how her creativity is disrupting culture and pushing boundaries, to which she responds, First of all, a lot of people think I should do what they expect me to do. See ‘Rockstar’ shook everyone up because ‘why is she doing rock drill?’ People think I should be rapping about ‘pussy, ni**as, shaking my ass, ni**as ain’t shit — ni**a, ni**a, ni**a, pussy, pussy pussy, ass, ass, ass.’ That’s what people want me to be talking about, that’s just a simple fact.”

Expanding on industry expectations of her, Cleotrapa hits back, They want me to talk about the regular, common shit that any regular female, black female rapper be doing, and they get upset when I don’t give them that. I don’t need to give you shit. I don’t care what you expect from me, I don’t give a fuck. I’m going to do whatever the fuck I want to do, and if I want to fucking rap over a Miley Cyrus / Hannah Montana beat, I can do that. I can do whatever the fuck I want to do, over whatever beat. I don’t care what you expect from me. Expect the unexpected, every time, because I’m never going to give you what you want. I’m going to do what I want, when I do it.”

What else can we expect from Cleotrapa in 2024? A lot! But don’t just take it from me, let Cleotrapa tell it, You can expect this to be the year of my music, I will say that. Even though I’ve been making music since 2018, I never pushed my music as much as I am this year, so people should expect that times a thousand. And expect the unexpected because I‘m doing whatever the fuck I want. The only person that knows whatever I’m finna do is God. Don’t comment on something confused cause nobody told you I was going to do something that you thought I was going to do. That’s just that. We pushing that.”

Cleotrapa ​​continues to make waves in the music industry, her fearless approach to artistry and her unwavering commitment to authenticity serve as an inspiration to aspiring artists everywhere. With each new release, she challenges expectations and pushes boundaries, inviting listeners to join her on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. As we look ahead to the future, one thing is certain: Cleotrapa is a force to be reckoned with, and her impact on the world of music will be felt for years to come.

And that’s on “Muggy McGuire”.

Watch Cleotrapa’s “Muggy McGuire” and “Von Dutch” videos below. You can also keep tabs with Cleotrapa on Instagram and TikTok.

Words + Photography by Shirley Reynozo

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