nice to meet you

Nice to Meet You: Rapper TiaCorine Loves Tattoos, Tarantino, and Tyler, the Creator

Published September 10, 2020

Photo by Brianna Alysse.

This is Nice to Meet Youfor all your need-to-know information on the need-to-get-to-know new voices in pop culture. Think of it as a blind date, if the date were cooler than anyone you’ll probably ever go out with. Allow us to break the ice; we promise you’ll fall in love.

TiaCorine is finally getting her recognition. Though the 27-year-old North Carolina rapper has been making music since she was in third grade, she just recently released her debut eight-track EP titled 34Corine. “Coming from Winston-Salem, it’s really hard for artists here to get noticed, or to go anywhere outside of North Carolina,” she says. When her 2018 single “Lotto” blew up and even caught the attention of the likes of A$AP Rocky, SZA, and Rico Nasty, she didn’t feel ready to release a project. To prepare herself for her EP’s eventual debut, she spent time dropping more singles, performing, and traveling. “I feel like now I have a group of fans,” she says. “I mean, I’m overseas now. I have enough attention on me where I can drop a project. So, I feel like it’s just the right time now.” TiaCorine spoke with Interview about the inspiration for her new EP, her Quentin Tarantino obssession, and why she wants her flowers.

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On 34Corine: “[The title] comes from my hometown, Winston-Salem. We call Winston-Salem the tre-fo, so the 3 and 4. A lot of people in our city look at me as the city hero, because no one has made it out of Winston and gotten this far. It’s like I’m carrying my city on my back right now. And everybody here believes in me. And they’re like, ‘You’re going to get people to pay attention to Winston-Salem.’ I’m like the city’s savior.”

On getting praise: “When you see the cover [of 34Corine], you see people handing me my flowers. There’s a saying where people are like, ‘Oh, let me give my flowers to SZA, because she’s just an amazing artist,’ and things like that. So I feel like for a while, a lot of people have avoided giving me my credit. So I feel like when I drop this project, it’s like, ‘You don’t have a choice but to give me my flowers. You have to show me more respect.’ This is the time where everybody is just going to be like, ‘Wow. She is just great! We don’t have no choice but to respect this.'”

On North Carolina: I do feel like my hometown has inspired the music I make. I really think it’s a mixture of my hometown and my parents. My mom was playing ’80s and ’90s music, and then my dad was playing more hip-hop, like The Sugarhill Gang and things like that. My favorite part about my hometown is the fact that I can be anywhere in the city within 15 to 20 minutes. With no traffic. I’m always late and somehow I still get there on time.”

On her sound: “I feel like my sound is really nostalgic. How do I describe it? It’s called ‘anime trap,’ because it’s bubbly and fun. It reminds me of the color pink, but it also has this hard undertone. It’s like a girl chewing bubble gum, but telling you to shut up. But in such a cute way, you don’t even realize she told you to shut up. That’s how I describe it at least.”

On hobbies: “I do some street modeling, but I do want to try to do more runways. I want to get into acting. I want to be an actress. Those are my two things I’m kind of focused on right now. I think a movie would be crazy. I’m inspired by Tyler, The Creator, how he had his little TV show on Adult Swim, Loiter Squad. I want to start off by doing my own little TV show, and then move into movies.”

On Quentin Tarantino: “I love all of his work. I direct my own music videos, but he inspires me when I’m thinking of a photo shoot to do, or when I’m directing my own videos. I just automatically think about him and Kill Bill. That’s one of my favorite movies ever.”

On her tattoos: “I have a lot. I have a lot on my stomach, on my arm, on my back. Some on the back of leg. I have them pretty much everywhere. My favorite one would be the one on my stomach. It’s of a Komodo dragon, and it starts on the front of my stomach and wraps all the way around to my back. Most of the time a Komodo dragon is actually a beautiful queen or princess, but then they transfer into the dragon. And I feel like that’s me. I’m pretty and beautiful, but it feels really like I’m a fire-breathing dragon inside. And I’m real feisty. I stand up for what I believe in.”

On social media: “It’s a love-hate relationship. I do love it because you get to meet so many people, and you can get connected so fast. You just see so many different and creative things, and it just is inspiring. But at the same time, you have to watch what you say. It’s just so toxic sometimes. It leads people to think you have to live your life a certain way, and it’s just a lot of smoke and mirrors. I don’t really care for it. If I didn’t have to use it, I wouldn’t.”

On hidden talents: “I play the flute. I can read and write music by flute. I can also read piano notes, because it’s the same thing as flute notes, they’re just upside down. I started playing flute in 6th grade. So I was about 11 or 12. I kept playing all the way up until high school along with piano.”

On self-care: “I always make sure I meditate, because that keeps me down with all this stuff going on. And then a massage. I have to get a massage at least twice a month. With all the plane rides, I need it to keep me balanced and fluid. As long as it’s a whole hour full-body massage. That’s all it needs to be. It has to be the full-body.”

On touring: “My favorite way to connect with fans is performing. When they see me in person, and then I get on stage, it’s like I can feel their energy, and it hypes me up. I can actually feel the love. I can connect because I’m looking at them in their eyes, and they’re looking at me. It really sucks [not getting to perform because of COVID-19]. I just try to get on IG Live to substitute for not being able to perform, but it’s not the same. At this point I’m just hoping and praying that in the future, soon, I’ll be able to perform. Right now, the best thing I’m doing to cope with that is dropping the project. That’s kind of keeping me together right now.”