Summer Dazed Is the New Rapper Guaranteed to Amaze
She doesn’t wear neon-striped mink furs. She’s not donning the latest $2 million dollar pink diamond pendant. And you won’t ever see her squatting in a designer bikini, wearing Louboutin pumps. She’s never been a reality TV star nor a stripper, and has never referred to herself as a “ho”. She doesn’t drink Cristal or Hennessy, or even any booze at all. But none of this is what’s really shocking about Summer Dazed.
What startles most is why this redheaded rapper, who is, in her own words, “so white that [she] could be a ghost”, turned to hip-hop and vowed to help end racism, prejudice, sexism and ignorance. She’s Cali, but not from a progressive area like San Francisco or Los Angeles. She grew up in Oakdale, the self-proclaimed “Cowboy Capital of the World” and the small Central Valley town is as oaky as it sounds. Summer Dazed refused to become part of that culture. Instead, she and her partner in music and life, The Gateway Affect, became cannabis breeders and founded Love Genetics. But the two have since taken a break from breeding to move towards the elusive music industry, because they have “something to say”.
“We temporarily paused the production of cannabis genetics to focus on our music, but we do have strains such as Exes & Hos OG, Silverwhite, and one I bred, Jinx, that coincide with the album,” Summer explained. Now, songs like “Bong Bounce” and “We’re High Society”, and the constant references to cannabis throughout their debut album, Cali Grrrl, begin to make sense.
Even with the cannabis connection, Summer Dazed, aka Summer D, remains an enigma. She is the underground rapper that nobody expected but that everybody has been waiting for. She doesn’t sound like, look like, or dress like any of the other female rappers who audiences continue to have such love/hate relationships with. Summer’s flow is fast, intense, witty, socially aware, and incisive with a sharp edge that has the potential to cut deeply.
In “Never Comin’ Down”, Summer raps, “guess what, you won’t even see me twerk for the muthafuckin’ jerks that’s trashy/if you wanna be a fuckin’ stripper, drop your zipper, don’t try to spit like me/Cuz I’m gonna be famous for my rap abilities, not my ass and titties”.
“I was just annoyed with the expectation that every woman in the hip-hop industry has to be a boy-toy, that twerking is part of the job. ‘Never Comin’ Down’ is a social comment on women, that’s all. Yeah, it may cause some controversy, but it needs to be said,” Summer stated, addressing her clearly feminist slant that is found throughout the Cali Grrrl album. “But I’m not going to tell anyone else who they should or shouldn’t be. Just as I expect that no one will do that to me.”
Defying the stereotype, Summer Dazed writes all of her own verses, and The Gateway Affect creates and produces the beats, hooks, and his verses. Both artists hold English degrees from a California State University and began writing poetry when they were very young. Having been surrounded by the MTV hip-hop culture since they were children, the two are unaffected by the whispers on social media that the color of one’s skin should determine what kind of music they create.
Much to his parents’ chagrin, The Gateway Affect, the stage name of Jason Porter Collinsworth, started listening to rap when he was a child. His music is inspired by G-Funk masters Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Xzibit and contain elements of funk, EDM, and alternative with influences from George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Radiohead, DJ Snake, and The Chemical Brothers.
Summer Dazed, whose legal name is Lara Marie Collinsworth, credits N.W.A., Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, Xzibit, and Eve as being her main hip hop influences. Summer channels West Coast rap into her own unique style with the inspiration and fun-in-the-sun twist of Cali artists No Doubt, Sublime, and The Black Eyed Peas.
Summer Dazed could be the one. Because Summer is not trying to be someone else. She is not learning to speak in a blaccent nor is she rushing off to a plastic surgeon to turn herself into the cultural perception of what a female rapper should be. Summer knows that fans don’t want a stereotype. They want authenticity, songs with kick-ass beats, and an artist with tight rhymes and a real ability to rap who is strong enough to "stand and fight for what is right/Not what is considered to be appropriate for a white”.