I’ve been noticing a phenomenon happening in Pittsburgh: we have an alien invasion going on. At first, I thought Starship Mantis was the only group of aliens to walk among us yinzers, but just recently, I met my new favorite “humanoid girl from Planet Puff,” as she described herself to me. If you haven’t yet, you must meet the Alien Rap Goddess herself: Lexa Terrestrial.
At the PBR AV Showcase that we featured last month, somebody stuck out to me in the crowd. Wearing McDonald’s French fry containers on her head and as a bra, with a precious red lace skirt and comic book print jacket, I knew immediately that I had to at least put this daring fashionista on my Instagram story as I did with so many things that night. What I wasn’t expecting was how absolutely precious my new friend would be.
Her birth name is Melody, but just about everyone in the city that knows her, knows her by Lexa, and believe me when I say that Lexa has so much to offer if you get to know her. She says as a humanoid on Earth that she struggles with a lot in life and is more prone to sufferings that she’s not accustomed to, but she came here for a purpose – to see if humans and other species can coexist. “[My purpose is] to help men and women, as well as animals, to enlighten consciousness, and shift humanity towards being more compassionate and knowledgeable through each individual interaction, to ultimately prepare the world to colonize the galaxy, in the case our missions here on Earth aren’t successful and we do inevitably end – which I don’t think will happen for a while,” she explained, additively mentioning how big of a science and quantum reality, and sci-fi in general.
I had to ask her the elephant-in-the-room question though: had there been any backlash to her being a white female rapper? She had admitted there hasn’t been, surprisingly to her, and that it was a good question not many asked her. She attributes the support to the fact that she actually takes her craft and the culture seriously, and that people see that. “Being a female has been more of an issue than being white. People have been relatively compassionate,” she said, adding, “Being a female, though, is an abstract thing in hip-hop; you’re automatically more objectified, or not taken seriously. I’ve sometimes felt looked down on or overlooked.” She said that overall, she thinks people really respect her craft, her bars, and her passion. “I haven’t really had any severe backlash, which is a relief, because there’s enough turmoil in the world.”
Her interest in hip-hop goes all the way back to when she was a young girl, telling me that her best friend’s brother and his friends were always showing them rap music. She also started out as a dancer, with a focus in hip-hop dancing, competing around the world and doing talent shows, and staying up until 4AM choreographing hip-hop dance routines to Missy Elliot. “I feel like I came out of the womb being drawn to hip-hop culture, the shock value, the lyrics, the beats; I used to rap on my swing set, trying to learn every Eminem and Dr. Dre lyric.” She noted that during a very dark time in her life which put her in the hospital, she spent her downtime listening to those two legends, and 2Pac, just spitting bars out loud. She was only 8 years old at the time, and the other patients, who were all older, were completely shocked. “A lot of the nurses told me to keep it down, which I thought was funny. I think it was my way to gain control, and uplift myself during a dark time. It gave me power, and it still does to this day. Words are power.”
Just as wild as that outfit was the night we met, I’ve caught on that her wardrobe is always over the top. “My outfits are a visual representation of a part of me, my music, and my interests,” Lexa said. She recalled that she has always dressed “rather outlandish,” even since grade school and would get into some trouble because of it. “I’m constantly inspired by everything I see, and I like to take random objects I see in everyday life and see if I can find a way to wear or install them onto an outfit,” she mentioned, which definitely explains the use of the French fry holders from that first look I saw. It was that look that got us on the topic of being yourself and embracing your wild side. There’s something about seeing someone so boldly rock an outfit you wouldn’t think in a million years could be worn in public on no special occasion that really makes you think about how important it is to put yourself out there whole-heartedly. And she has all the support from Pittsburgh natives.
Lexa is so proud to say that the city has always had support for her, however noting that it does go through waves. “Some days I feel respected, and some days I feel that’s not the case. I had to fight, but since day one, no matter what I am experimenting with, my people have helped me, guided me, and shown up,” she explained, adding that the support, which can come from people she doesn’t even know, can come as a surprise to her. “I’m just a little girl in her bedroom,” she said.
Pittsburgh does show her endless support, like being the only female to be nominated in the Best of Hip-Hop category for the City Paper, and when DJ Bonics invited her out to party with Wiz Khalifa, where Troy Polamalu and his wife were in attendance, before one of his shows at the University of Pittsburgh. However, it was a time while living in New York City that she really felt like what she was doing mattered. “I won a rap battle there, which recently this year took me to Miami to come very close to winning $50,000. Being one of the only girls, and having to beat out nearly 400 people, it was nerve-wracking but I really enjoyed my time there and it was quite euphoric, full of talented people and love,” she recollected.
I was curious, probably just as many readers are, of what the alter ego of Lexa Terrestrial meant for Melody. When I asked the question though, I was surprised to be told that it’s not really what everybody may think. “For the most part, it is just me and who I was born as. If I wasn’t an artist, I’d just be walking around in crazy outfits for no reason – which there is nothing wrong with!” She explained that when people meet her, they assume she lives this really cool, fabricated life, when in reality, she lives a relatively reclusive, normal life. “I just sit behind a computer all day… I hang out with my dad and we just sing and rap in my kitchen. I like to work and stay low-key to sort of stay focused,” she said. It’s taught her a lot about her interactions with people, how they act and react to her, and that she also doesn’t have to be so hard on herself about things, despite saying she still is. “As someone that suffers with severe panic disorder and mental health issues, my alter ego definitely gives me power to be the best me I can be.” It’s all a work in progress for Lexa, learning herself as other people learn her as well, and she’ll be letting more people in to see the real her in her upcoming documentary.
She released on a docu-series, accompanying her new album “Chase Dreams Not Boys,” which touches on a lot of things mentioned above, and not allowing people to see the dark side of your brain. Everything went live on October 23rd, but has even more songs in the works and shows coming up. The soonest is a mini-tour with Atari Jones in New Jersey November 2nd through 4th. On the 9th of this month, she will be playing at CCAC’s Allegheny Campus for the East Coast Entertainment Awards, noting that some Steelers will be in attendance, as well as featured performances from former contestants of The Voice and American Idol. She’s really hoping for everyone to come out, support, and vibe with her weirdness. And I can promise, you won’t be let down by any of her shows.
Find the album here and follow her on social media as Lexa Terrestrial!