|By Rob Schwartz
WHO?MAG: What makes your style different as a rapper?
GLORIA VELEZ: I’m unique. I’m just me. I try not to be like anyone else. I’m a Latina strong independent woman. I don’t have a man behind me. I stand alone. I’m a leader, not a follower at all.
WHO?MAG: Tell me about the album Gloria Velez.
GLORIA VELEZ: I started in this business as a model. I was a dancer in a lot of groups back to freestyle music to down south booty shakin’ music as well as R&B like Sisqo. I did a lot of TV from Dave Chappelle to Playboy TV to MTV & VH-1. I signed with Cash Money and I signed to Rodney Jerkins. Now I’m back in the scenes. I been in a lot of magazines again as well as reality shows. Now I’m working with Floyd Mayweather’s artist “The Landlord”.
WHO?MAG: What was your favorite video you were in?
GLORIA VELEZ: My favorite video was Ja Rule “Holla Holla” because we went to Brazil. It was an amazing experience and I was the main girl. Plus I would also say Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’”.
WHO?MAG: How was touring with Nsync?
GLORIA VELEZ: The No-Strings Attached Tour was amazing. That was when I was on tour with Sisqo and I knew I wanted to be an artist. I knew this was for me. I knew I wanted to be an artist.
WHO?MAG: I know you were close with KAR. How did you feel about Mike Beck’s passing?
GLORIA VELEZ: Mike Beck was like my brother. I love him so much and God bless him. He left a beautiful son and I just think it’s sad how things happen. He died way too young. We actually talked two days before he got murdered. He was supposed to come to Orlando, but he got a call to come to New York and he went. I just think it’s wrong. There is no loyalty in this game at all. You got to be careful who your friends are and that’s why I don’t trust anybody in this game. I am careful who I roll with and my circle is real real tight. I love Mike Beck. We did music together. He rode with me, I mean he had my back no matter what. Such a talented man that most people never got to hear his music. He was also such a loving father. I miss him.
WHO?MAG: Have you ever met Big Pun?
GLORIA VELEZ: We met a few times, but we weren’t as tight. He was a cool, down to earth dude. He was real loyal to his family and to his friends. He was a big jokester if you didn’t know him. Shout out to Tony Sunshine, that’s my brother too. Another great Puerto Rican man gone too soon.
WHO?MAG: How was it working with Jay-Z?
GLORIA VELEZ: Jay-Z is amazing. To me, he’s the number one emcee ever. He’s a great person to hang out with. I haven’t seen him in a long time, but he was mad cool. We first met on “Lobster & Shrimp” video and we just clicked. He’s a half a billion-dollar man. He’s succeeding. Definitely inspiring since he was from Brooklyn.
WHO?MAG: How was it working with Ty Fyffe?
GLORIA VELEZ: It was great. I signed a production deal with him. He actually got me the deal with Rodney Jerkins. It was amazing. He’s a dope producer also. Now he’s working with 50 and everyone else. I haven’t seen him in a long time but we keep in touch. I learned a lot from him in the studio. He’s a hard worker. I slept in the studio 3 days straight with him and grinded out a cup of noodle soup and everything. That’s another one of my brother’s, definitely.
WHO?MAG: Tell me about the diss song on Nicki Minaj called “Roger That”.
GLORIA VELEZ: The only reason I went in on Nicki Minaj was because I made a little comment on a DVD that was my opinion, and she didn’t like it. She started emailing and texting and fake twitter accounts about how something I did with another girl when I was 19 years old. Now I’m 31, so that was a long time ago. She was bashing me telling me it was wrong and dirty. I was with another female and your complaining to be gay and love females, so how is that a bad thing. She is contradicting herself. So I went in on her directly instead of indirectly like she always does. Even on twitter, she’ll be indirectly talking about me. I’m a real woman and I come at you directly. You’re a fraud. You’re a fake gimmick. And it’s my opinion. I don’t like her rap. She’s like a puppet with strings. Whatever they say, she does. You’re not a real Barbie. Barbie is for little girls. I’m a woman. There is a difference. I don’t support the movement and I don’t hold back my tongue for anyone.
WHO?MAG: How are things with the Murder Mami’s?
GLORIA VELEZ: We cordial. I’m not down with them. When I see them, we say hi. They are the ones who started the beef with me and Remi Ma. I was down with them real heavy back in ’03-’04. Girls can be caddy when there are a lot of girls together. Once I fell back and told them I don’t want to be part of the situation any more, they started the beef between Remi and me. We got it in and I beat her ass. That’s it. We broke peace about a year ago on a boat ride I was hosting and they wanted to be cordial. I told them great since were all grown-ups and we don’t need beef over some pettiness that happened years ago.
WHO?MAG: Tell me about the new album your working on.
GLORIA VELEZ: You are going to see a different Gloria Velez, more personal, I’m talking about my son, my dad who passed, things and experiences I been through in this industry in general. Definitely the booty shaking material because you got to dance on stage and more pop. A little bit of Latin, a little bit of Reggaeton too. I want to please all audiences and that’s what I’m doing with this album.