top of page
  • Written by: Sydney Cooper

Dallas Can't Hold This Female Hip-Hop Artist For Long

Photography by: @Jeremy Biggers

Bringing a mystifying and edgy vibe to the hip-hop scene, Sam Lao makes her mark in the Dallas / Fort Worth Area.

When Lao first debuted in 2013, she wanted to keep herself a secret from her hometown of Fort Worth.

“I didn’t want the judgement,” Lao said. Which I guess would be why some people don’t start in their hometown, they don’t want judgement, they want a clean slate. But since it started as a personal project I didn’t want anybody else’s hands in it or throwing me off my game.”

When Lao first started making music, rap was not the first on her mind. However, she found that the “attitude, strength and tone” was what she needed in her life.

“It wasn’t even a conscious decision when I started making music to do rap because I sing as well,” Lao said. “But when I got in the booth for the first time and wrote my first song, I wrote a rap and it just felt so right and so perfect.”

Lao finds her lyrical inspiration from feelings she has, what she is going through or what experiences she wants to portray. She gives examples off her most recent album SPCTRM.

"Pineapple is in relation to all the times dudes have hit on me in public,” Lao said. “And as soon as I turn them down suddenly I’m a bitch. The track I have called Dear Diary is about my battle with depression.”

Video by: @Jeremy Biggers

When it comes to Lao’s process, after being given tracks she can put together a piece naturally. She also keeps a writing journal when she thinks of small lyric bits. Lao’s celebrity inspirations to make music are Beyoncé and Missy Elliott. Not only does Elliott inspire Lao’s music, but her mentality as well.

“I think above all Missy Elliott is probably one of my top especially, not just as a hip-hop artist but as a woman working in hip-hop,” Lao said. “Because she stayed true to herself and she was just unapologetic the whole time about what she was doing. Ultimately that is everything I want, is to be unapologetic about what I’m doing and to just stay true to myself the whole time.”

Lao and her husband Jeremy have shared countless amounts of work with another, including the recent release of the duos latest collab for Lao's single, "Grenade" (which has people already talking "music video of the year").

Lao does her music while her husband helps by shooting her music videos and designing her album covers. With two artists working this closely together all while being married leaves one wondering how they have managed to finish projects together.

Photography by: @Jeremy Biggers

“There’s a constant course of creativity and inspiration and someone to bounce ideas off of,” Lao said. “The con, it’s not really a con but we’re both just sensitive about our work so even with each other we ask for an opinion or a critique and the other person says something we don’t like and it’s like ‘forget that.’ That’s just silly but I would call that the only con. Me and my husband Jeremy work incredibly well together, we’re awesome at bouncing ideas off one another or really enhancing each other’s ideas. So nine times out of ten it’s a pro.”

If you have ever checked out Lao on social media or her personal website, you’ll find the word “alchemist” in her description. The idea comes from her favorite book, “The Alchemist” by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho.

“The reason I feel like an alchemist is because the base of alchemy is taking one thing and making it into something else,” she said.

“The main base is turning lead into gold. So I feel like as an artist we are inevitably alchemists because we take something that may not be beautiful or valuable and we make it into something extraordinary, whether it be on paper with paint or in a voice.”

Photography by: @Jeremy Biggers

Lao has performed at South By Southwest, the Pin Show, the University of North Texas, and at various art fairs and festivals. Her most recent performance was opening for Lupe Fiasco. Lao looks to expand outside of Texas, create a new album, make new music videos and so much more. Check out Sam Lao on her personal website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Soundcloud.

See Lao live in El Paso at Lowbrow Palace on July 27.


Instagram: @thesamlao

bottom of page