Asliani's dedication to the message of profound transformation is apparent from the moment she starts to rhyme, whether in the recording booth, on the stage, or in a spontaneous freestyle session. She connects deeply with listeners' souls and hearts with her on-point lyrical fire, giving honest and compassionate voice to many of the deeper processes in which we are engaged both individually and collectively at this point in time. Her songs address many topics, among them the struggle to find one's authentic voice (and the validity of that struggle); the journey of sexual healing after trauma; the process of making peace with the “inner hater;” the healing of the human family wounded and divided by racism; the rebalancing of male-female relationships after years of distortion by patriarchy; the healing of our relationship to Mother Earth; the return of the Goddess after years of suppression by global colonialism and, with it, the collective rediscovery of the eternal magical present in which we are profoundly free and powerful.
As she states in the opening lines of “Medicina,” her latest album's Spanish-language title track, “I never said, 'I want to be a rapper,' / It was something that came to me when I was in the fire / Of being an adolescent afflicted by pain / Looking anywhere and everywhere for love.” Asliani first started to write rhymes as a young woman struggling to find her power and integrity with the effects of trauma and under many obstructing layers of “good girl” social conditioning. It is a powerful need to communicate her most integral truths that has informed her lyrics from the beginning and that continues to ring out loud and clear in her music today.
Asliani's Gemenian pursuit of expansion and new experiences has led her many places. A native of Boston, she learned to speak Spanish fluently while hanging out in Puerto Rican and Dominican neighborhoods as a teenager. Asliani lived the years of her early twenties in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where her talent for rhyming was first born. Seattle was next on her itinerary, where she collaborated with talented local producers G Wiz and Boop Nice to record her first album, U Do It Or U Don't (2008). It takes the listener on a journey from tracks such as “Soul Ache” and “Hard N' Ruff” (an ode to the complicated and wrenching legacy of sexual trauma) to the triumphant tone of “Get Prepared!,” with which the album closes. Determined to get her music to the women who most needed it, Asliani sent off the majority of the CDs in a mass-mailing to rape crisis centers and university women's resource centers all around the country in 2010. Asliani later released an EP with the same title (2010) that is available on Itunes and through CD Baby. Her early work is funky, soulful, and, above all, profoundly true to the struggles that many young women face in their journey to authentic selfhood.
For over 10 years, the Lakota Red Road has been central to Asliani's spiritual journey and unfoldment as a person. She is extremely grateful to her Lakota teachers whose counsel is helping her learn to walk in a sacred manner and do the work her spirit is here to do in this lifetime. Through walking the Red Road, Asliani is connecting to her own indigenous European ancestors and to Mother Earth. She does not claim to be Native American. As a person of half-Jewish ancestry, Asliani is also working to incorporate Judaism into her spiritual path and is starting to explore this side of her spiritual and ancestral lineage.
After a hiatus of several years during which she focused inward and on familial relationships, Asliani moved back to Albuquerque in 2012 and soon commenced work on her latest album, Medicina ( November 2014) featuring the diverse beats of talented producers Dan K, Diles, OneDer, Megadrum and Nathan Scott of Deep Note Productions. Asliani succeeded in raising $5000 through Kickstarter to fund this project. At times raw, at times sensual, and at times playful in her delivery, on Medicina Asliani delivers tracks in both English and Spanish that share the her perspectives on a variety of important topics and do so with her signature flava. As the name of the album implies, Asliani's mission to use her voice to bring healing to the world is as strong as ever. The title track proudly dedicates her music to the healing of us all: women of all walks of life, and of course, men too! Both predominantly Spanish-speaking and English-speaking audiences react overwhelmingly positively to the affirmative and playful yet strong tone of her new material. Mike Smith of The Alibi was "struck by her life-positive and unflaggingly skillful rapping' and named Asliani 'one of the best rappers in town, male or female" (March 28-April 3, 2013, p. 27). And from August March of The Alibi: “(Asliani) has produced some of the region’s most intensely flavorful and startlingly cerebral creations while in residence.....Asliani’s work is a revolutionary antidote to hip-hop’s materialistic and misogynist failures, her verses compelling and competent” (November 13, 2014). In April 2016, Asliani took first place in the hip hop freestyle tournament (that became a heated battle) at the Gathering of MC's at the Launchpad in Albuquerque, NM. She was the only female competitor in the tournament. You can view her victorious battle
In 2016 Asliani moved to Santa Fe, NM, where she has since been working on birthing her freestyle getting ready to shake the Earth. Asliani brings something unique, brave and radically positive, in a spirit of healing for us all.
"....a revolutionary antidote to hip hop's misogynistic and materialistic failures"