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Ashley All Day Releases ‘Plug Diaries’

In Music
PLUGGED IN: Following up early hype, San Jose native Ashley All Day releases her first EP on Feb 1.

PLUGGED IN: Following up early hype, San Jose native Ashley All Day releases her first EP on Feb 1.

It has been a banner year for female rappers. A string of mainstream rap radio hits from the likes of Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Bhad Bhabi, City Girls and Kash Doll have shattered the longstanding and problematic recording industry norm that would only tolerate one woman on the top of the charts at a time.

Even in the progressive Bay Area, there’s been little room made for emcees with two X chromosomes. Fortunately, of late, we’ve seen cracks in rap’s glass ceiling. East Bay spitters Kreayshawn, Lil Debbie and V-Nasty found success as the White Girl Mob, while Bay Area transplant K. Flay has charted a career that’s taken her through hip-hop into a more straightforward alternative pop trajectory.

In addition to the San Jose-bred Snow Tha Product, it’s time to add another serious up-and-comer to the list of South Bay-spawned female emcees.

Ashley All Day grew up splitting her time between the East Side, SoCal and Florida. She attended Leigh High School during her formative teenage years and had built a serious social media following before she even got started penning rhymes.

As an Instagram model and an avid user of the micro-vlogging app Vine, she racked up fans all over the country by posting pictures and videos of herself looking cute and engaging in off-the-wall antics. Often these featured drugs—like the narcotic-infused cough syrup known colloquially as “lean.”

“I had a video pouring lean on waffles,” she recalls with a laugh.

It was the prolific Bay Area emcee Lil B who encouraged her to turn her passion and online presence into something more. “I’ve known him since I was in high school,” she says, explaining that she and her friends would regularly catch his shows when he was still performing as part of The Pack. The two are still close.

At one point, they were having a long and serious conversation, and Lil B pushed her to give rapping a shot. Not long after that, she went to his home studio and cut the track, “Lean.” The simple and absurdist track came with an accompanying music video that went viral after a number of prominent emcees, including the late Mac Miller, tweeted it.

Ashley lives in L.A. now and says she isn’t pouring up these days. “I don’t do that no more,” she says, making a point of saying she tossed her last bottle of Actavis years ago. Her decision to ditch the codeine and promethazine cough syrup was an easy one after she found out she was pregnant with her daughter—who will be 2 years old this spring. “It was instinct,” Ashley explains.

Another initial instinct she had was to quit rapping altogether. Thankfully, she didn’t follow through with that. In fact, she says, having her daughter ultimately motivated her to take her music more seriously.

“After I had her, I was like, ‘Of course I want to rap,’” she says. “It made me want to go harder. It made me more hungry, I guess. I want to take it serious.”

That newfound focus shows on Ashley All Day’s newest material. “Floor It” features a simple yet effective passage, in which she deploys a wordless “mmm-mmmm” to convey multiple messages—first to deflect a snoopy narc, then to dismiss a fuckboi stalking her on Snapchat and finally to illustrate just how long her cash stack is.

Another banger, the summer 2018 jam “Girl Scout,” follows Ashley and her crew as they go door to door selling “goodie, goodie, goodie cookies.” Moments later she drops perhaps the most clever turn of phrase on the track:

“In the Benz I’m a skirt, Swisher blunt full of purp / Yeah, I’m rappin’ and I’m packin’—ASAP Ferg, I got that work / (work, work, work, work) My hood is lurk (lurk, lurk) / Try to run off and you end up on a shirt (shirt, shirt).”

On Feb. 1, Ashley All Day drops her first proper EP, Plug Diaries. The record boasts an all-women cast of performers, including Bella Thorne, Kiiara and Lil Debbie. Ashley is currently planning a string of shows in San Jose, Sacramento and Hollywood to promote the new set.

Ashley All Day
Plug Diaries EP
Feb. 1

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