For Cleotrapa, creativity has always been part of who she is. Dancing, singing, writing rhymes, sketching clothes and modeling have been mainstay activities since she was a child. 

The Staten Island native is getting ready to release her debut EP, which she said should be released before the winter. Although the official title is still under wraps, fans can expect to discover five to six songs about the rapper coming into her own. 

“I’m 25 now, just experiencing life, whether it’s relationships, whether it is fake sh*t, whether it is people thinking they can come in your life and leave and come back because sh*t is going sweet. It’s all of that,” she told Blavity about the project.

Cleotrapa is also featured in the official soundtrack for the upcoming season 2 of Rap Sh!t, Max’s popular comedy series created by Issa Rae. To promote the project, she participated in an episode of Red Bull Rap IQ, where she answered rap trivia questions opposite KaMillion and with guest appearances from NLE Choppa and Duke Deuce. Cleotrapa said shooting the episode was a fun experience.

“The show itself is a Miami type of vibe, so we tried to make Miami turnup music,” she said. “We were all in the studio writing from scratch. I had to get out of my element. It was really fun.”

Cleotrapa has two songs featured on the official soundtrack of Rap Sh!t, which were exclusively written for the new season.

“I learned that I could be in the studio with a lot of people and catch a vibe from everybody else,” she said, noting that she had been used to recording in the studio on her own. 

Cleotrapa is part of a new generation of female rappers leaving their mark on the industry. She has collaborated with artists such as Liana Banks and Lola Brooke in the past, attesting to what many regard as a current sisterhood in rap.

“We’re all women at the end of the day, we got each other,” she said, adding that women should be able to carve their own space in the industry.These niggas don’t know what the fuck we be going through, especially in music. They had their sh*t, so why can’t we have our shit?”

The rapper believes everyone can be in the spotlight and that female rappers can coexist. 

“Everybody wants to be on top,” she added. “You could be on top and somebody else could be on top at the very same time. I feel like that is possible and some people will have us feeling like we have to go against each other.”

Cleotrapa points to Nicki Minaj, JT and Doja Cat as dream collaborators, as well as up and coming female rappers. The artist has a remix to one of her songs and an accompanying music video coming out with Asian Doll, whom she refers to as her friend. Cleotrapa has also been supportive of another friend’s rap career. She recently participated in the music videos for Ice Spice’s “Deli” and “In Ha Mood.”

“It was crazy but as long as she got her shit done, she liked her video and it came out good, I’m happy for her,” Cleotrapa said about the crowd of fans that gathered for both events. “She shoots outside so the public can get involved. Behind the scenes, you just never know what’s going on.”

Cleotrapa and Ice Spice went viral after appearing in one of Kai Cenat’s livestreams, where he taught them how to get sturdy and they answered fan questions. The rapper is open to all forms of content creation and artistry, whether it is by sharing humorous takes on everyday life situations on TikTok, or collaborating with top fashion brands.

“I’m very into fashion. When I started coming out of social media during the pandemic and even before the pandemic, people started realizing how much people like me are important for their brand,” she said. “A lot of brands started reaching out to me. You’ve got to get the it-girls who people are looking at. Social media itself has put people like me to the forefront because people are running to their phones very quickly to see sh*t.”

Cleotrapa has been collaborating with brands such as Timberland and Milk Makeup on social media. She has also been working with Telfar Clemens since 2020, which she refers to as a “a full circle moment” for being a fan of the brand since the designer’s beginnings.

“I didn’t know that a few years later I would be on set with him doing a show,” Cleotrapa said. “I love him. He’s super humble and he’s Liberian so us West Africans got to stick together. We could have grown up together if we were in the same era.”

Before becoming a regular at New York Fashion Week, Cleotrapa always had fashion embedded in her DNA as an artist.

“I don’t follow trends. I set the trends,” she said. “My style has always been edgy, y2k. I love the fact that everybody’s doing it now. The mini skirts, the chain belt, the low rise jeans — all of that has been my vibe. I’ve always stitched everything together. I was always in a skirt and some ripped stockings and Doc Martens. That was my brand.”

Cleotrapa remembers wearing Jeffrey Campbell platform sneakers in the ninth grade and gatekeeping the websites she would shop from.

The artist also points to New York rap being deeply intertwined with fashion.

“Whenever you think of rap, the first thing you are going to think of is New York,” she said. “You’re going to think about gold chains, bamboo earrings. You’re going to think about door knockers. You’re going to think about bangles, long nails… We really started this sh*t.”