The first time La Goony Chonga got the idea to rap in Spanish was when she heard a Spanish cover of Future’s “Fuck Up Some Commas.” Around 2015, she was living in Washington Heights, a heavily Dominican neighborhood uptown Manhattan, that has Spanish music blasting at all hours of the day. She would come home from the strip club she worked at around 5 a.m. and the background noise to her picking up a Dutch from the bodega would be people dancing salsa around hookah set-ups, some likely donning flags as capes.
There were all types of popular trap songs being covered by Dominican guys, and she would hear them just strolling around the neighborhood. She was rapping in her free time in English under the name Twiggy Rasta Masta at the time, but when she heard Dominican Future, it clicked for her that she should be rapping in her native language.
Chonga, if it wasn’t already obvious from her name, hails from Miami, where Cuban-American culture defines almost every aspect of life. She lists off defining features of the subset of Chonga culture as large hoop earrings, nameplate, lip liner, long nails, and a don’t give a fuck attitude and aesthetic, similar to Chola culture on the West Coast. She currently runs a YouTube series called “Chongafied,” in which she gives her friends extensive makeovers, Chonga-style. Her latest episode featured Kreayshawn.
La Goony Chonga loved the way her voice sounded when she first tried to rap in Spanish. There were already people rapping over reggaeton and other types of Latin beats, but there wasn’t much anyone, especially any women, trying to rap in Spanish over the most popular types of beats in the U.S. in 2015, trap beats. But she wanted to take it a step further though, and rap over the stuff that she was actually fucking with at the time from her contemporaries, namely the experimental iced out psychedelic trap-adjacent stuff that the Working on Dying crew was innovating in North Philly basements.
The first Spanish song she ever made was on one of their tread beats, demonized and sped up to 140bpm so that it had more in common with jungle music than the traditional Atlanta sound. When she first met the Working on Dying guys in Philly with her friend and fellow rapper/now label partner Bootychaaain, they were making ambient, spacey beats. She, Black Kray, Bootychaaain and others around their circle at that time encouraged them to speed up that sound, take that depressed ambience and crack it out by adding a ringing, pulsating core to it.
Since then, La Goony Chonga has been refining her sound, working with her right-hand producer Xtranjera and others to zone in on music that brings out the sexinesss of the Chonga culture. Her last album, Dimen5ión, was described in my Rap Up column at the time of its release as “Pitbull or Daddy Yankee’s high energy Carribean crossover pop sent through an aquamarine portal into the world of lean-sipping, entrancing basslines, and cyber-universes created in snowed-in basements. It’s Miami sun with Chicago shivers. The standout and title song, “Dimension,” is a particularly hypnotizing and narcotized step into her universe.”
All of her tracks drip with a don’t approach me attitude. From watching her videos, you can almost hear her clicking her nails and looking down at you for even trying to holler. But in person, she’s incredibly warm, inviting, and positive in a way that radiates and feels very authentic.
She’s currently living in a quiet neighborhood around L.A., where she’s raising her two year old son, living with her cat, Shadow, and dog, Zenon, named after the 1999 Disney film Zenon; The Girl from the 21st Century, because she’s a huge Disney fan. She made me a nice cup of Cuban coffee, which she lamented that she can’t find anywhere out in LA except her own kitchen. We sat down to discuss her timeline, filled with details about the psychological tricks of stripping, empanada ladies, how she scammed her way into her first show in Los Angeles, her favorite Chief Keef album, how motherhood and the pandemic have affected her mentality, and the ways in which ads are programming our brains. — Harley Geffner
I was watching your Chongafied series, which is a great idea by the way and really funny. I saw you were wearing the “Kreayshawn is my mom” airbrushed t-shirt when you Chongafied her. One, where did you get it, and two, what does it mean to you?
La Goony Chonga: It was actually her merch, and I bought it and supported. I was actually going to wear it like a regular shirt with some shorts underneath ’cause it was kinda baggy, and then my homegirl Crow, who does the nails, she’s like ‘no girl, we need to Chongafy this top’ and we made it into like a tube top kinda. She was like ‘no girl you look like you’re about to go to sleep.’ You couldn’t even see the shorts I was wearing. So what does it mean? I mean Kreayshawn is my mom. Period. She’s everybody’s mom, like she came around at a time, there was nobody else like her really, not many female rappers in the underground at that time. It wasn’t as saturated as it was now, with like a hundred female rappers, everyday there’s a new one.
Basically only like Raider Klvn….
La Goony Chonga: Yeah like around 2010, it was Amber London [with Raider Klvn] and her and that was it. [Kreay] was a white girl mom and all, repping the underground. I dated a guy at the time who was like a rapper, he never made it or anything but..
A dude who rapped. [laughter]
La Goony Chonga: A dude who claimed to rap. He used to look at Lil B or whatever and people like Soulja Boy, Keef before he was famous. Just one of those dudes who always knew about people before they blew up. And I remember [him showing me] Kreayshawn and being like ‘oh my god this girl is so cool, I love her.’ And now it’s crazy in the future thinking like oh my god this girl is going to DJ my baby shower and I’m going to Chongafy her and all this shit. So yeah, it’s like Kreayshawn is my mom bitch. Period.
How did you first meet her?
La Goony Chonga: I feel like I met her at shows, like with Adam [from Ham on Everything], like one of my first LA shows was here with him in like 2013 or something. She was probably there, I don’t know if I met her at that time though. I don’t remember exactly the actual day I met her, I feel like it was probably at one of those little functions, and then I remember when I was having my baby shower, she was friends with Braden, you know Nedarb, and he was like ‘yo me and Kreayshawn can DJ’ and I was like hell yeah. And Kreayshawn was like ‘hold on I gotta go home’ and she ran home to go put a bunch of shit on her harddrive, like songs I would like, like Miami music and shit, Pretty Ricky and whatever. She came back and turnt up my baby shower. It’s just so weird ’cause like I was a fan of her. And even though she’s not so like oh my god so famous, she’s still iconic.
I remember I read an interview with her recently where she said she can’t stand hearing “Gucci Gucci” anymore, that she cringes.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah plus all the problems with the label, all the mastering and bullshit. Signing these deals man, you don’t wanna do it. It’s crazy. I’ve denied a few.
You have your own little label now right, with Bootychaaain, Gualla Gang?
La Goony Chonga: I mean it’s not like an active thing because I haven’t really made music with her in awhile, but I always still rep Gualla Gang, it’s kinda like a part of who I am now, it made me who I am.
I love Bootychaaain’s new tape, I just wrote about it last week.
La Goony Chonga: She’s always been fire, she’s like.. When me and her first started rapping together, it was still not that saturated yet either, it was like a really cool time, and I lived in New York and we used to do mad shows together.
How did you first meet Bootychaaain? She’s from Miami too right?
La Goony Chonga: No, she was actually born in New York and raised in L.A. I met her in Miami though, just like at a mutual friend’s house and we just kinda clicked at that time and then I had told her I was going to be coming to L.A. and she didn’t believe me and like 3 months later I hit her up and was like ‘I wanna come to L.A., can I stay with you’ and she was like ‘yeah come stay.’ And when I came she was all like repping me, talking about wanting to shoot my videos cuz at the time she didn’t really rap, she used to like make videos for Raider Klvn and all that. So she was going to shoot my music video and she was like telling all her friends and everybody about me, and we were like lying to everyone like ‘yeah she has a show, Twiggy Rasta Masta, she has a show’ and I was like ‘yeah I have a show’ and they’d be like where is it and I’d be like ‘I’ll let you know, I’ll let you know.’ And literally we manifested it because Adam found out I was here and from Miami and even though I had probably 4 songs at the time, he booked me, for like 200 dollars or something and I was sooo happy. I didn’t even care about the money, I was just like ‘oh my god yeah I have a show in L.A. and I just felt like I was official. And then that was like my first show. Well my first show ever ever was in Miami, also got paid the same like 200 at this little venue called Churchill’s, it was like a rock bar or whatever and they would throw hip hop shows there sometimes. That was my first show ever. Then the second was in L.A. and then from there I was like ‘oh I need to live in L.A. one day,’ ’cause it was like the whole vibe. And more networking and all at these functions.
I really appreciate what Adam has done for [underground hip-hop] culture.
La Goony Chonga: Another icon. Like literally. He put a platform for everyone.
I look at those bills from like 2014, like..
La Goony Chonga: He’s booked everyone who is anyone right now. Like almost everyone’s first show in L.A. was probably with Adam.
Do you have any favorite memories from going to any of those types of shows?
La Goony Chonga: Yeah I mean that first one was one of my favorites, just ’cause it was like I had never seen so many people and like so many people just go crazy for you without even knowing who you are, and people just going crazy like ‘oh my god a girl from Miami.’ That was probably one of my favorite times, ’cause the shock that it brought me. There wasn’t really something like that in Miami that was as huge. People in Miami aren’t even supporting, people in Miami are like fucked up, like they don’t even support their own people. If you’re not already famous in Miami, nobody is going to go crazy for you. Like in L.A., at least at that time people were like oh my god who is this? Like yes! Yes! Go girl! It was like a breath of fresh air, like oh shit.
So you lived in New York for a bit right?
La Goony Chonga: Yeah I lived there for 4 years, I was a stripper.
Something about New York reminds me of Miami, like the same thing we were talking about earlier like with the cultural intersections with Cuba. Like I went to school in the Bronx and even if you’re not Spanish, everyone knows like Bodega-level Spanish, like you talk to your papi at the Bodega.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah exact same as Miami, like even if you don’t know Spanish, you know Spanish. You can’t even get a job if you don’t know Spanish. Literally.
Did you feel more at home in New York because of that? Did it make that transition easier for you?
La Goony Chonga: Hell yeah, I loved it. I lived in Washington Heights, like right there in the middle of the Dominican Republic, basically it was DR. Like all of it. The music, like I’d wake up in the morning to salsa music playing, the empanada lady is right there, the lady squeezing orange juice. It was just… I loved it, like the street vendors, the beauty supply store, everything I wanted, all my Chonga necessities. I lived right there on 181st where like all the little boutiques and all the little shops with shoes, so I was in heaven. I would just walk out my door and be like fuck. And thank god I was a stripper because if not I would not have been able to pay for all that shit and my rent. I would walk out and be like what am I gonna buy today. I’d just be walking down the street and get tempted, like oooh cute sunglasses, ooooh look at this lady she’s selling this little jewelry, like oooh my god an empanada, and then everything is cash only. And I was a stripper, so yeah I got my ones, all up and down 181st. I’d just run up and down, spending a hundred dollars everyday buying all this cheap little clothes and stuff. It was fun, I really miss living in Washington Heights. And they had the real good [Cuban] coffee too.
It’s a fun area.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah and it’s like 24 hours too. I’d come home from work at like 5 in the morning and the little bodega would still be open, I could still get a sandwich, get a snack or whatever.
Dudes on the corner still smoking hookah.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah, exactly, like literally! I’d get out of work at 5am and go home to Washington Heights and go buy a Dutch at the fucking place and be like yep, gonna get me a snack, roll me a Dutch so I can chill when I get home. It was a good time. And I lived with Bootychaaain at that time too. And for a year, we lived with Crow also. It was fun, the three of us, like we each had our own room, we had a little roof deck patio and everyone in our building hated on us cuz we were the only ones who had the roof deck thing, and like I remember people would throw soda cans at our shit. They used to haaate on us cuz we were just like these young bitches, and we just had the best apartment in Washington Heights.
Do you feel like dancing or stripping influenced the way you made music?
La Goony Chonga: Definitely, I think it boosted my confidence a lot. Like when you’re a stripper, it’s not only about dancing. You have to really use your mind, at least where I worked. You had to talk to people and have game and finesse. Entertain this person and make them feel like they should pay you for your time. It really boosted my confidence when I saw really how much money I could make, just being myself and showing my personality. At first you’re shy, I don’t know it depends, like not every girl is meant to be a stripper, you kinda have to really have that, you have to really just not give a fuck. ‘Cause then it kinda shows, and it does not attract the wealth. So yeah I felt more confident, you know being able to work on my own schedule, decide when I want to go to work, have fun, drink, and it was like challenging too. Not every night was a great night. It definitely influenced my music a lot ’cause I was really feeling like that bitch. Like I’m getting money, I could do whatever I want, you feel me? I get to dress up, cute outfits, it was like playing dress up, and dancing. It sounds like it’s all good, but it’s also bad, like you have to think about the men I was dealing with too, and some guys are just assholes. So there’s the dark side of it too. But just going through it, and being able to reject the bullshit and focus on getting your money and shit, that’s what made me feel more powerful.
And that power is totally reflected in your music. Like you come off as super confident like really I’m that bitch type of music.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah, and it’s more so that I just want other people to feel that way too. For me, it’s if you feel good, you can probably make other people feel good too. So I try not to be negative in any way in my music or say anything that’s against myself, it’s more like I want my music to be positive affirmations to myself and shit. So when people listen to it, they can feel that way too and be like yess I’m that bitch too. Period. Fuck it.
I think it’s mad interesting like when you were talking about the mental aspect of stripping. I know that you used to go to school for advertising for a bit, and there’s something similar about selling shit, selling yourself, playing these mind games.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah it is similar. It’s really selling yourself and I don’t have nothing against sex workers, but to me it’s like selling the fantasy, ‘cause I’m not giving it up. It’s a fantasy, like you have to pick their brain, it’s kinda like manipulation in a way or Laws of Power or whatever the fuck you wanna call it. There’s just ways to… and it can still be genuine. Trust me, I’ve had guys pay me to literally give them therapy, like crying to me about their fucking wife in a VIP room, you know what I mean? I’m like this is awesome, just being there like rubbing his head, just like this [gestures like she’s holding a baby] — ‘I understand, I see you’re going through it,’ giving them advice and stuff. That made me feel even better. Again, nothing against girls who do the sex work shit, ’cause if it makes you feel good…
Yeah like more power to you.
La Goony Chonga: I’m just different, you know unless I want to have sex with you, I’m probably not going to, even for money. It was more so just like still making money without having to do that. Even if it’s just my sexiness or the way I talk, or picking at someone’s brain, and you know they reward you.
Did you go to ad school before stripping and then like take any of those psychological tactics? [laughs]
La Goony Chonga: Okay, so when I was like 20 I worked at a bikini bar in Miami, it was bikini only and then when I moved to L.A., I was like okay I’m done with this bikini shit, I can work at a real strip club now, but it was only topless. I never really worked the one that was like all nude ‘cause I never felt comfortable with that really. Actually the first one I did was all nude but I never would do it and the manager would always get mad at me, always telling me that by the third song I’m supposed to be fully naked, but I’m like why do I have to, if I’m still making money then who cares? And y’all are still getting a cut. Whatever. So after the bikini bar I went to a real strip club, made more money and then I was like fuck that, Imma just stack up. And it was really good, I got to invest in my music career without having a day job that would take up my whole life and I wouldn’t have the energy to make music. So it was perfect, ’cause it was night time, and I could still wake up late, still do whatever I wanted to do, and sometimes if I wanted to go out and not go to work, I didn’t have to ’cause I could create my own schedule.
That’s cool you had that flexibility.
La Goony Chonga: Like you just come to work whenever you want basically. Well it depends, some clubs might be three nights a week, some were like come whenever the fuck you want, but they’d just give you hours, like you’d have to be here for 8 hours. But yeah it was cool, and I got to invest in my career. It was good money, so easy to pay for music videos, invest in my looks and stuff. And it went hand in hand. It was cool ’cause I was getting fans from also being a stripper.
Yeah, there’s definitely a crossover effect there.
La Goony Chonga: Exactly, so I’d take pictures at work, dancing to my own music, so it was some people who followed me ‘cause they liked I was a stripper, and then found my music and liked it. Some people just followed me ‘cause I was a stripper and didn’t care about the music. But now, I’ve disassociated from the stripper thing, I haven’t done it now in 4 years at least. Once I became a mom, I transitioned out of the whole stripper thing ’cause when I was pregnant, I couldn’t keep stripping. I was probably going to stop anyways soon, so I was kinda glad I got pregnant ‘cause now I can really just stop and focus and get on my business shit. That’s one thing my pregnancy really helped me with like okay now I have a kid, I need to get serious about my business and really monetize what I’m doing. I’ve always been super creative but never knew the business of music.
I think that’s a challenge for a lot of artists and creatives. Some of my artist friends too, mostly not in music, like they’ll be doing all this creative stuff and have no idea what’s going on on the business side. People think they can do it, that they can figure it out, then they often realize like, “Oh shit I need to get someone on my team that actually knows what the fuck they’re doing with this stuff.”
La Goony Chonga: That’s the thing though, I never really knew anyone who knew about that stuff. Like we were all doing the same shit, all trying to figure it out together, and so then I’d see some people level up and it would be like well do I want to ask them like how they did this. But eventually I kinda figured it out. I didn’t even have my music on Apple until like 2018 or like the end of 2017 and I’ve been making music since 2012.
Just had it on like Bandcamp and soundcloud or whatever.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah and so like all those fuckin years, I was missing out on money. Or even like YouTube [monetization] or like publishing or all this other bullshit. I was always so confused like what does this master mean or what does that mean and I’m just glad I never signed a deal. That’s how people sign stupid deals, they don’t know what the fuck is going on and [the labels are] just like ‘hey we’ll give you this much money,’ but now you’re in debt, you don’t own any of your shit and it’s a whole fucking mess. So when I had a kid I was like I really need to figure out how to take the business seriously. Now I have a whole person depending on me, and I’m not about to go work a regular job. And I don’t want to go back to the strip club. I couldn’t do that forever, I need to evolve. I already benefited from that and got what I needed and now I can move on and focus on being La Goony Chonga.
How has motherhood affected the creative side? I ask that because I recently went on a hike and this 4 year old was there and he was just saying the most wild creative shit. Like he just said out of nowhere “Yo if I see a hundred snakes right now, I’m going to ride them,” and I’m like damn this kid is creative as hell, how do you even think of that? Kids’ minds are so crazy.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah I mean I’ve always been a person who gets inspired by experiences, so random things people say, or just being in certain environments. Also experiencing my kid has of course influenced me, ‘cause yeah kids just say the craziest shit and they have no filter. Like things are black or white for them and they’re not going to beat around the bush, so I guess in that way.. I don’t know it’s really all just made me want to go harder. I’ve always been a creative person like that, he hasn’t influenced the type of music I make, but just has made me want to go harder and actually capitalize off of my brand. And damn I want to capitalize off of him too, he’s a fucking genius like he’s two years old and knows like a hundred songs already.
Does he like your music?
La Goony Chonga: Yeah he knows my music, he knows his dad’s music, he knows songs on the radio, he knows so much shit, so I’m like shit… you’re looking like a whole bag to me! Like let’s gooo, YouTube channel for you. These kids are different nowadays.
You gotta make sure you don’t get that fucked up YouTuber Tik Tok bratty ass kid though ‘cause you know those kids are little assholes.
La Goony Chonga: Oh nah he’ll get his ass whooped. We’re different around here, he’ll know better than that.
What has it been like to see Latin trap shit, for lack of a better term, blow up? Like you have been doing stylistically similar shit since 2012, it seems pretty intuitive to who you are as a person, and there wasn’t much of that around back then. Now we see Bad Bunny on billboards and top of charts and shit.
La Goony Chonga: It’s ‘cause of me! You got that on the record? I’m playing but like deadass when I started doing the Latin trap type shit, there was no artists, like no women especially. I remember I used to walk down Washington Heights and you know what gave me the idea actually? It was they used to play ‘Fuck Up Some Commas,’ but it was like a Dominican version, like a Dominican guy saying that shit, rapping it in Spanish. It was a cover song of Future in Spanish and I was like ‘yo this is hard’ and it made me think that yo I should make an original song. I’d hear covers like that all over and I was like ‘yo I can make some real shit.’ So I was working with Working on Dying at that time.
Yo shout out those boys, I used to go to those house parties in Philly with them like 2014-17.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah shout out them, they would be making all those tread beats at the time and all that shit, and I was like I don’t know Imma just make a Spanish song to all this shit. So one day I was just on Snapchat fucking around with this filter that like would make my face look super funny and I just said *unintelligible Spanish* and was like oh my god that sounds so catchy I’m just going to make a song and I just did it just to see.
What was the song called?
La Goony Chonga: “Buena y Guapa.” Yeah that was my first Spanish song ever and it was on a Working on Dying beat, and I just remember when me and Bootychaain first met them, we met them in Philly, we had just got stranded at the airport in Philly and we just put on our Twitter ‘do we have any fans in Philly’ like what’s up, and they’re the ones who ended up picking us up. At the time they had maybe 100 followers, super lowkey and their beats were mad ambient, I know it’s hard to see now.
I remember one interview a while back where Oogie Mane, I think it was him, said that one of his biggest influences was like the Frankfurt school of ambient German music.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah their music was ambient as fuck, like it was some super trippy, slow shit. Nothing like the tread shit. They started doing that when they were working with Black Kray, and us, and we were all like ‘yeah let’s speed that shit up,’ and it became our little sound in our realm of people. I remember being so worried that oh are my fans going to be like ‘what is this bitch doing? Spanish?’ I thought they wouldn’t be into it, but it was crazy people were loving it. I was getting fans from Spain, and other places, and then after that I got addicted. I am going to keep on doing this Spanish shit.
It’s your first language, it feels more authentic to you.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah and I just even like how it sounded more. I was like there’s no other bitch who’s doing what I’m doing right now, there’s no other girl who even sounds like me, has my swag, has the whole Cuban, just like even the way I talk in Spanish. And rapping on these beats too. Some people I guess were rapping on reggaeton or other latin beats, but no girl is rapping on trap or tread beats in Spanish. So it was an open lane for me and I took that shit and ran with it. I remember “Yo Tengo Dinero” and that shit went crazy. A little after that time is when the mainstream hip hop artists started merging with Latin artists, but I was glad. It means that now I could totally capitalize off of this and be successful cuz now it’s trendy.
I know you mentioned getting fans in Spain. I remember reading your Fader interview and you mentioned how excited you were to go to Spain for the first time. How was it there?
La Goony Chonga: It was amazing. The first time I went was the beginning of January, 2019, and I went to 4 cities and I remember freaking out because people were in a whole other country, screaming my lyrics and were obsessed with me like I was some celebrity. I was like ‘it’s just me, damn.’ And even though there was this one show with only 20 people ’cause it was a super small city in Spain, San Sebastian, the energy was still amazing, like all 20 people were crazy fans. So it was cool, and when I went back again for Primavera Sound, that was in June or something 2019, and Gangsta Boo performed there, Phoebe Queen was performing right on the stage next to me so I remember being like ‘holy shit this is a huge ass festival.’ It was my first time being booked for something like that and getting paid good, like it was festival money. And that shit went until 6 in the morning and it was in Barcelona right by the beach, so we stayed up until the sun came up. It was just so much fun, and I was surprised by the outcome of how many people showed up ‘cause my set was 3 in the morning and the whole thing ended at 6, but then I was like ‘this is Europe, 3 in the morning for them..’
That’s their shit, that’s their bag.
La Goony Chonga: I’m glad my shit was 3am, ‘cause everyone was lit, but I was still surprised at how many people came to see my set. And then the last time I was there was pre-corona literally right before this shit happened, right after I dropped Dimen5ión, like it was right after my tour in January. I went to Paris and then like 4 other cities in Spain. But it was my first time doing a show outside of [the U.S. and Spain]. I was so happy in Paris, cuz I’d never been, even though when I went to the Eiffel Tower it was closed. I still got to take a pic in front of it though. All these French people though in Paris [when I performed] were rapping my shit, all in Spanish, and I was just mind-blown. I never really stay after shows, I usually just stay for 30 minutes or so, then go home. I stayed with these people until like 5 in the morning in Paris and I was supposed to wake up at 7 in the morning to go to a whole other city, like take a train, with all my luggage. I didn’t even sleep that night. We stayed in a little ass room, I was still struggling, but it was… The thing with me is I don’t give a fuck if I’m struggling like that, or have to stay in a hole..
As long as you’re having a good time.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah I was just happy that I was performing, that I was in another fucking country, but yeah thank god. It was right before corona shit. I came back from Europe in mid-February, February 18th and that was it. In March, I had everything lined up, like SXSW, March 15th, I had a show on March 19th, on my birthday, and then on the 20th I had a show in New York at The Mirage, in Brooklyn. So all my fucking shows got crushed. I was already planning after the Euro Dimen5ión tour, that I was going to do the U.S. tour. I had that one, Atlanta, a few things lined up.. And then this corona virus bitch came and she fucking stole all my shit. My birthday show was cancelled, the day after my birthday show was cancelled.
Did you do anything for your birthday instead?
La Goony Chonga: [starts fake crying] Stayed here!!! I’m going to cry… I don’t want to talk about it. I’m really depressed that I haven’t been able to have any shows.
Shows definitely give artists energy that’s part of the inspiration to keep going. You get to see people yelling your shit.
La Goony Chonga: I’m crying. You know I’m an actress. Like I’m acting but I’m really not. It’s like for me, there’s something about feeling the people’s energy, it’s just different. I don’t really give a fuck about the whole fame, I just love hearing my music and hearing people be affected by it in a good way, or just hearing people move, or seeing people having a good time because of your energy. It’s just some real life energy is different. These Zoom shows and weird live Instagram shows, they’re wack as fuck.
Yeah, you gotta feel the energy of a room, vibe off that energy.
La Goony Chonga: If this shit don’t go back to that, I’m not gonna be wanting to be an artist. I’d still make music and songs or whatever, ‘cause that’s what I’ve done my whole life. Like I always wrote songs since I was young, my mom has mad books [full of my songs], but it’s not going to feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose all the way. It feels half-assed, I can only do so much through the internet. My day one fans who are crazy, they’re all people who have seen me perform live. Once people have seen me in real life, I have them forever type shit, so it’s different. If I don’t have a show soon, I’m going to cry.
I hope they’re back soon, maybe next summer.
La Goony Chonga: They’re going to make it all virtual reality. Like buy your headset for La Goony Chonga concert.
Like that Chief Keef hologram show. Do you remember that?
La Goony Chonga: I don’t know.
Like he couldn’t perform in Chicago because of legal stuff, I don’t remember the exact circumstances though, but he did a virtual hologram show where they had everyone there, but he was just projected as a hologram.
La Goony Chonga: Oh shit.
And CPD still shut it down.
La Goony Chonga: On some bullshit. That’s his impact though, see I’m trying to have that type of impact. Chief Keef, like he’s a real life… he can really make the people move, he has a real impact on the people, he can really bring people out.
Who would’ve thought that a bunch of teenagers from South side Chicago, like 16-year-olds would influence the whole world like that.
La Goony Chonga: Like yeah it’s a whole sound, now there’s like UK drill and shit.
I saw some video of some kids in Ghana doing drill shit.
La Goony Chonga: They’re making this shit all over the world, he’s a legend. My phone has so much Chief Keef in it.
What’s your favorite Chief Keef tape?
La Goony Chonga: [very quickly] Nobody.
Yo that’s a rare answer, most people will say BFTD2 or Almighty So or something.
La Goony Chonga: Those are good ones, but Nobody has the same vibe consistent the whole time and I know that album front to back, literally, like I could play the whole thing front to back and say every word. Very slept on.
Definitely. Yo so like raising a kid during the pandemic, there’s obviously a lot of negative shit that comes with it too, but you get to spend more time with him now, in the house a lot more and all that.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah no daycare [laughs], but it’s been good for what you’re saying but it also sucks cuz I’m a very adventurous person and I like to do things, so I want my kid to go do things, do kid things. I used to take him to the park and now that he’s old enough to actually run around and stuff, it sucks ‘cause now he’s at the age where he can really enjoy things. And now I can’t even take him to enjoy things. I used to take him to the little swings when he was 1 or 1 and a half, he was walking a little. Now he’s so active and I’m like damn I would love to take him to the park right now ‘cause he could just burn all the energy and I could get a break. But now he’s here and it’s a lot of TV. I wanted him to go outside more. I take him on walks sometimes, with his little bicycle, but I want to take him to go see cool shit, like Disneyland. I’m a kid at heart, I wanna go out and do stuff, take him to little kid museums where he could have fun, do shit, or jumpy houses or Dave and Busters or anything. Now all we can do is watch movies or take walks around the neighborhood. But it’s good I get to be with him more. I miss him when I’m on tour, like when I was in Spain for all that time, it was really hard. And the timing too, I’d be awake when he’d be asleep because of the 9-hour difference, so it was hard to even catch him. And when I could I was running around or on a train with no reception or something.
Also there’s the shit with all the screen time. Like even before the pandemic, screens were wiring our kids’ brains. People were trying to limit their kids’ screen times, but now it’s tough.
La Goony Chonga: Yeah it’s like programming. They just want people to stay home and look at ads all day. I’m not saying they did [the pandemic] on purpose or anything, but like these ads. The average person is looking at ads on their screens on Instagram or your phone or wherever you go, it’s ads in your face all day, it’s just like ad, ad, ad, ad, ad. You’re raising your kid and all you see is commercials everywhere and it’s just ‘I want this, I want this, I want this’ and it’s just annoying. The only thing I can do is take him outside for walks. But yeah this shit sucks, open up the world again.
I miss going out for sure.
La Goony Chonga: Doesn’t it make you regret every time you chose not to go out?
Hell yeah, I’m getting FOMO from the past now.
La Goony Chonga: I wish I went out everyday and never missed an event. If the world does open up, I bet nobody is going to play those games anymore.
I wish I could be with my friends, running around and doing drugs and listening to Dimen5ión right now.
La Goony Chonga: You still could. I love doing drugs with my friends in intimate settings, like at home. I like it better than going out because I’m very absorbent to other people’s energy, so when I’m on drugs, it elevates it. When I’m around too many people, I prefer not to be. I prefer to be with a close group of people, just the homies.
And you get to dive more deeply into yourself in those settings without worrying about your surroundings or stimuli around you.
La Goony Chonga: You don’t have to worry about weirdos, or randos, or other people’s energies absorbing into yours. But yeah I definitely suggest doing drugs to Dimen5ión.