The up-and-coming Rapper, Singer/Songwriter, and Basketball fanatic Lil Mocc teams up with her closest mates to release her debut album, "From Hoops to Holidays."
Lil Mocc (Lissa Prudencio) has been getting to know the industry's ins and outs through music publishing and licensing positions, recently leading her to dive deeper into the tech industry with a full-time position at Google. On a more personal note, the basketball lover decided to gather her teammates and close friends to release the passion project, "From Hoops to Holidays."
Diving into the album, we're met with the introductory track, "The Rebound (Intro)," playing off of the basketball roots that make the album what it is.
A beautiful piano serenade sweeps our speakers, delivering a serene and mellow melody while soft woodwind instrumentals float above with enchantment. As Lil Mocc begins delivering more of a spoken word, she speaks an incredibly encouraging message that anyone can relate with. Speaking on our year and picking ourselves up when we fall, we truly feel moved after listening to Lil Mocc's relatable message, and we're ready to hop into the next piece.
Jumping into the second track, "Issa Snowman (feat. Ronnie B)," a fiery a bouncy Hip-Hop beat graces our speakers with all the vibes we need to get us out of our seats. As Lil Mocc begins rapping her honest and genuine message of believing in love, joy, and peace, she later gets personal and tells a story of a life-changing childhood experience that led her to gain the strength and knowledge she obtains today. We also hear a melodic and dynamic feature from Ronnie B; he gives the song an incredible range through his bright falsetto on the hook, rhythmic bars, and playful ad-libs.
Moving onto the next piece, "Presents in the Paint (Interlude) [feat. Ronnie B]," we hear an incredibly moving interlude that takes us back a few decades. This track highlights the broad and powerful talent of none other than the underrated Ronnie B. He delivers his astonishing vocals and soulful piano melodies, paying tribute to the prime eras of Soul, Jazz, and Blues. We're genuinely surprised that the media isn't sweeping up the raw and mesmerizing talent that Ronnie B offers, and we're more than appreciative of Lil Mocc for placing his captivating feature within various tracks on this passion project.
Onto the calming and harmonious piece, "Mamba Lullaby (feat. Ronnie B)," the song opens with another captivating piano melody that sets the song's emotional tone and atmosphere. The highlight of this piece has to be the passionate lyricism from Lil Mocc and Ronnie B, as Ronnie B opens the song with his emotional vocals while singing of the late, great Kobe Bryant. As Lil Mocc jumps into her flow, she sings of Kobe Bryant's colossal talent and his impact on not only the basketball community but the world itself. Reminding us to keep the memory of Mamba and cherish the effect he's made on countless lives, we're genuinely moved by this emotional and heartfelt piece.
Bringing our spirits up with the next track, "D.W.C. (feat. Ronnie B & Magic City)," the beat brings an immediate sense of modernity through the various synths and driving bassline. Magic City takes the track by storm and makes his debut in the album with his playful, charismatic, and rhythmic bars that add a natural sense of heat to the track. Ronnie B makes another appearance in the album and delivers a different side to his talent, rapping with a heightened sense of poise and authenticity, perfectly complimenting the similar talent and authority that Magic City has to offer.
Reaching the second last track of the album with "Madam (feat. Queen Beav)," the piece opens with uplifting synths and starts the song with the brightest vibes. While listening to Queen Beav's brilliant feature, she begins singing with the utmost soul and power while reminding us to raise our glass and toast to tomorrow instead of the past. Lil Mocc enters the track with a wild sense of confidence and poise that's truly intoxicating, especially as she delivers her powerful bars while keeping her message personal and real. Not to mention rapping about themes of equality, proper treatment within relationships, families, and government systems, we love the empowering message that Lil Mocc presents.
Ending the passion project off with the outro track, "It's Not a Rap (Outro)," we're met with another mesmerizing piano lead. What we love about this album is that Lil Mocc perfectly diversified the sonic contents and delivered completely different atmospheres throughout the project. Primarily through this brilliant, breathtaking, and contemporary piano piece, Lil Mocc has stopped us dead in our tracks with the broad talent she delivers not only on this magnetic instrumental but throughout the entire album. Ending the passion project on a more reflective and festive note with an enchanting piano outro, we're genuinely impressed with Lil Mocc's in-depth debut.
Overall, Lil Mocc has positively wowed us with her dynamic debut and the various vibes she's delivered within the passion project, "From Hoops to Holidays." As Lil Mocc touches on many different lyrical concepts that remain nothing but accurate and relatable, we're equally impressed with the project's talented features that bring all the more authenticity and genuineness.
Congratulations on the debut of your music career with the passion project, "From Hoops to Holidays." What inspired you to create the album?
I love Christmas. I love making people smile. And like many people, a day doesn't go by that I don't listen to music. Knowing how much impact music has on people, I thought 2020 would be a perfect year to create something that could bring joy to an otherwise bizarre, sad, and tumultuous year. On top of that, I knew I'd have extra time on my hands to focus on the project. Being in quarantine gave me extra time to learn the ins and outs of music, both on the creative side as well as the business side. Long story short, making a debut Christmas EP this year simply felt right. Within your album "From Hoops to Holidays," you touch on incredibly real and genuine lyrical concepts. What is your songwriting process like, and have you always shared a passion for writing?
My history in songwriting is actually very much on the surface. I've always loved creating things but I never took writing music seriously. In my middle school and high school years, I was really into battle rap, inspired by 106 & Park and all of the classic diss tracks from the 90s and early 2000s. I wrote battle verses on online message boards (I know I'm aging myself by sharing this!). I recorded diss tracks and even participated in a few "Freestyle Friday" rap battles in high school. The only other music I've written since my teenage years has been fun and catchy parody songs. For example, I had a YouTube video called "Clean Wit It, Mop Wit It" go viral in 2006 (a parody of "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It"). When I started writing From Hoops to Holidays, it started out with a similar vibe. I was thinking about Christmas albums such as Christmas in tha Dogghouse (Snoop Dogg) and A Dipset Christmas (Jim Jones). Then, one of my friends sent me a few piano tracks he wrote for the album and I was immediately like, "THIS IS BEAUTIFUL." At that point, I had already made a few hip hop and trap beats, and didn't want to go in a completely different direction. So that's why you'll notice From Hoops to Holidays is a little bit of a mixed bag. It has some very lyrical parts with beautiful instruments, and it has some bouncy and catchy parts as well. When it all started coming together, the one common theme I kept in mind while writing was to make people feel good. I think both the music and lyrics on the entire album accomplish that. It's all good vibes with a positive message.
Speaking on the talented features within your album "From Hoops to Holidays," what was your creative/recording process like working with your friends?
At the end of the day, it was extremely FUN! It was a project that kept us all connected during this hectic year in quarantine. I'd be lying if I said it was easy working with a bunch of my homies who don't normally do music. Zoom calls and group texts quickly went off-topic. And getting people to send me music and lyrics was like pulling teeth. We all definitely had a hard time staying on track and on schedule, but it all worked out in the end. I mean, we dropped a Christmas album before Christmas!
Did you have any help behind the scenes with the production and instrumentals for your album "From Hoops to Holidays"?
The music on "Issa Snowman," "D.W.C." and "Madam" was completely produced by me. The piano on the rest of the tracks was done by my good friend and basketball teammate, Kevin. As I mentioned earlier, his piano tracks were so beautiful that I had no choice but to change the feel of the album. I owe him a lot! He really took this project seriously and contributed in SO many ways, including helping me edit some of the lyrics on my own verses.
With your debut album being "From Hoops to Holidays," might you create more music in the future? Or did you want to endure more of a one-and-done situation?
I went into this 100% thinking it would be a one-and-done situation. I wanted to release the album, feel accomplished, and then go back to my everyday life, which is busy enough as it is. However... My friends who helped with the project now have the itch. They've talked about doing more music. Knowing me, there's no way I wouldn't be involved. Kevin is already writing new non-Christmas tracks and my friend Ronnie B., who does most of the singing vocals on the album, wants to get back into the studio ASAP. It could very well happen, so don't be surprised if you hear about me releasing more music! Sampling is an area I'm interested in and definitely taking the time to write better flows. I see myself producing R&B and hip-hop tracks. As far as rapping, I'll probably be doing less of that.