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Katie Ladubz credits the late Black Hesher

Helpers having fun and being badass

Katie Ladubz: from rehab to rap record.
Katie Ladubz: from rehab to rap record.

“I didn’t want to throw it all away, and I wanted to actually do something with it and not just be getting high and rapping in my car and not ever recording anything.” So says New Hampshire transplant Katie Ladubz, whose debut album Moves To Make earned a jumpstart from San Diego Music Award nominee Van Bates, aka Black Hesher, who passed away in May and can be heard on the title track.

“We actually met in rehab, there was this Rock into Recovery class, and he said ‘I heard you did a sick rap.’ He started sending me beats, and Mike [Morrison, Bates’ collaborator] had me write a few songs for him, and it sparked my whole interest with music and got me to start actually taking it seriously. It’s crazy, he sees things in people, or saw things in people, that they had no idea. I had no idea this is something that I wanted to do, or could do, and he just saw it and pulled it out of me.”

Maybe Bates pulled it out initially, but the resulting songs on Moves To Make appear to have flooded out of Ladubz in a snarling declaration of resurrection and take-no-shit attitude that seems at odds with her shyness offstage. Surprisingly, tracks such as “Relentless”, “Vampires,” and “Devil In my Mind” are not at all inspired by rappers or hip-hop.

“I love Justin Bieber,” says Ladubz. “I actually listen to a lot of indie, and I like pop punk. I don’t really listen to a lot of rap. I do, but it’s not like the main thing that I listen to. I try to have, like, my own style, and so I try not to get overly influenced by what I’m listening to. But I do find that sometimes I’ll be listening to a certain artist, and then I’ll be working on something and I can feel the influence in it.”

Her album is now available on the Cult Muzic label that was co-founded by Bates before he died. Ladubz says her move to San Diego caused her career to gain both energy and inspiration, and she credits the late rapper. “I love the weather, and the people here are just really laid back. I’ve met so many cool people in the music scene, and I have a family in both coasts with Cult Muzic.”

The album’s first video, “She Bitch” (featuring Mastero), was shot at North Park mainstay Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center, known for its support of local talent and charitable causes. The venue recently found itself in need of its own fundraising, after stretching resources to the limit during the pandemic. Previously, operator Alma Rodriguez was able to keep the bills paid at the 8000-square-foot venue with things like the annual Beatles convention, weekly dance classes, and an event-planning business, along with hosting rock bands, hip-hop acts, Latin dance music, open mics, spoken-word shows, and comedians.

Past Event

Doll Face Club Hip-Hop Party

The Doll Face Club Hip-Hop Party happening there on Saturday, August 14, is an attempt to help the 250-person capacity venue survive; it’s headlined by Ladubz and features several other locals. “This one is a fundraiser,” she says. “We did another fundraiser for them earlier this year. There was a really good turnout, and the energy is so good there.” The Doll Face Club is a local organization founded by Klea Mellville that began as a clothing line and grew into a community action group, one frequently seen around town helping the homeless. “Klea wanted it to be about something more, about making a difference,” says Doll Face member and event organizer Sage Robinson. “It’s about letting people know they matter. If they’re homeless, they are still human beings. When we do events at schools, it’s about letting these young girls know that you can live a healthy lifestyle and still have fun and be a badass.”

As for Ladubz, she’s currently collaborating with labelmate Blush, who also performs August 14. Others slated to appear include J. Andrew and Devlord (who both guest on her album), Bloodstone the Street Preacher, and Zoe Deer. All proceeds go directly to Queen Bee’s. Another Doll Face benefit will be staged at the venue on September 4, that one featuring a Punk Rock Party.

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Katie Ladubz: from rehab to rap record.
Katie Ladubz: from rehab to rap record.

“I didn’t want to throw it all away, and I wanted to actually do something with it and not just be getting high and rapping in my car and not ever recording anything.” So says New Hampshire transplant Katie Ladubz, whose debut album Moves To Make earned a jumpstart from San Diego Music Award nominee Van Bates, aka Black Hesher, who passed away in May and can be heard on the title track.

“We actually met in rehab, there was this Rock into Recovery class, and he said ‘I heard you did a sick rap.’ He started sending me beats, and Mike [Morrison, Bates’ collaborator] had me write a few songs for him, and it sparked my whole interest with music and got me to start actually taking it seriously. It’s crazy, he sees things in people, or saw things in people, that they had no idea. I had no idea this is something that I wanted to do, or could do, and he just saw it and pulled it out of me.”

Maybe Bates pulled it out initially, but the resulting songs on Moves To Make appear to have flooded out of Ladubz in a snarling declaration of resurrection and take-no-shit attitude that seems at odds with her shyness offstage. Surprisingly, tracks such as “Relentless”, “Vampires,” and “Devil In my Mind” are not at all inspired by rappers or hip-hop.

“I love Justin Bieber,” says Ladubz. “I actually listen to a lot of indie, and I like pop punk. I don’t really listen to a lot of rap. I do, but it’s not like the main thing that I listen to. I try to have, like, my own style, and so I try not to get overly influenced by what I’m listening to. But I do find that sometimes I’ll be listening to a certain artist, and then I’ll be working on something and I can feel the influence in it.”

Her album is now available on the Cult Muzic label that was co-founded by Bates before he died. Ladubz says her move to San Diego caused her career to gain both energy and inspiration, and she credits the late rapper. “I love the weather, and the people here are just really laid back. I’ve met so many cool people in the music scene, and I have a family in both coasts with Cult Muzic.”

The album’s first video, “She Bitch” (featuring Mastero), was shot at North Park mainstay Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center, known for its support of local talent and charitable causes. The venue recently found itself in need of its own fundraising, after stretching resources to the limit during the pandemic. Previously, operator Alma Rodriguez was able to keep the bills paid at the 8000-square-foot venue with things like the annual Beatles convention, weekly dance classes, and an event-planning business, along with hosting rock bands, hip-hop acts, Latin dance music, open mics, spoken-word shows, and comedians.

Past Event

Doll Face Club Hip-Hop Party

The Doll Face Club Hip-Hop Party happening there on Saturday, August 14, is an attempt to help the 250-person capacity venue survive; it’s headlined by Ladubz and features several other locals. “This one is a fundraiser,” she says. “We did another fundraiser for them earlier this year. There was a really good turnout, and the energy is so good there.” The Doll Face Club is a local organization founded by Klea Mellville that began as a clothing line and grew into a community action group, one frequently seen around town helping the homeless. “Klea wanted it to be about something more, about making a difference,” says Doll Face member and event organizer Sage Robinson. “It’s about letting people know they matter. If they’re homeless, they are still human beings. When we do events at schools, it’s about letting these young girls know that you can live a healthy lifestyle and still have fun and be a badass.”

As for Ladubz, she’s currently collaborating with labelmate Blush, who also performs August 14. Others slated to appear include J. Andrew and Devlord (who both guest on her album), Bloodstone the Street Preacher, and Zoe Deer. All proceeds go directly to Queen Bee’s. Another Doll Face benefit will be staged at the venue on September 4, that one featuring a Punk Rock Party.

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