Out on bail, fresh out of jail, and California dreamin’ Ghetto Frida is back. The controversial artist agreed to another exclusive interview with El Rio on the condition that he pay her bail. Join us as El Rio catches up with Ghetto Frida and discovers the real reason she became “Ghetto.”
Art Nouveau: What’s good Ghetto Frida? What did the cops get you for this time?
Ghetto Frida: Aw shit, I’m not going to even lie, I was faded as fuck. I was rocking the 40 oz. and off a fistful of thizz pills. Tina Modotti dared my ass to take Diego’s car and ghostride it down Crenshaw. I was dancing next to the whip when the police popped up behind me and put their hands on me. I started swinging and dropped one of them before they maced me and put me in cuffs. I think there was a COPS camera crew with them.
AN: Let’s get down to business. When did you decide to start calling yourself Ghetto Frida? What was the turning point?
GF: I was in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Diego and I have some pieces in their permanent collection. I was watching this young kid who was looking at one of my paintings, I walked up to him and asked him who his favorite artist was. He said, “My favorite artist? 50 Cent is my favorite artist.” When I asked him why he replied, “When he was in the ghetto, 50 Cent was shot 9 times and survived!”
This kid didn’t know who I was but he knew 50 Cent ‘cause he had been shot 9 times. I thought to myself. “Being shot ain’t shit, the pain of my streetcar accident is on a whole other level. Why doesn’t he know who I am?” I knew I had to do something to make myself relevant, to change my image, and reconnect with the people. I’ve been steady mobbin’ ever since.
AN: Not everyone has supported your transition into Ghetto Frida. Matthew Barney was very outspoken in criticizing you for the move.
GF: And look what happened to him. Me and Trotsky rolled onto the set of the latest Cremaster movie and broke him off a piece of my response. I handed out one of the illest chin checks you’ll ever see that day; it was sick. I felt a little bad because the dude obviously couldn’t scrap, but you know the name of the game when you call out Ghetto Frida, I’m fo’ real.
AN: How do you define your ghettoness? You tend to handle your biz on the violent tip, why not call yourself Gangster Frida?
GF: Being gangster is about what you do for money and I don’t do this shit for money. On the real, I’ve gotten offers to create my own clothing line, my own shoe line, but I don’t get down like that. I’m tired of these so-called street artists making $80.00 t-shirts and claiming that they’re still down with the block. The streets is poor and it ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none. Those fools need to sit the fuck down and get their shit straight before I revoke their ghetto passes. You have your own line of shirts from Upper Playground, shoes by Reebok, or a limited edition vinyl toy from Japan? That ain’t shit to me. Ghetto Frida’s not jockin’ no clothing companies, gallery owners, or art dealers. You want that noise? Go hit up the latest issue of Juxtapoz and see who’s on their nutsack this month.
AN: Damn! Get out the pooper scooper because Ghetto Frida is talkin’ shit!
GF: That’s right, talkin’ that shit ‘cause I back it up! Ain’t no other artist that’s true to the game like Ghetto Frida. So how can I take money from my peoples like that?
AN: But what if your fans want to show that they’re down with you? Why not make some shirts or kicks?
GF: You wanna be down with Ghetto Frida? Take your ass to the gallery and peep my shit. I’m not down with capitalism but I’m making money. My shit sells ‘cause it’s banging.
AN: All right Ghetto Frida, good looking out. I’ll catch you on the next episode.
GF: Thanks for payin’ my bail. Just remember, when it comes to Ghetto Frida, you either ride with me or you collide with me. Look at me, there’s no Jacob on my wrist because that’s not what I’m about, but I will find time to knock your favorite artist out. You know how I do.