Alsace Carcione
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Alsace Carcione

Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Dallas, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Hip Hop Neo Soul

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jul
10
Alsace Carcione @ Art Share L.A.

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States

Jun
25
Alsace Carcione @ Club Dada

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Jun
15
Alsace Carcione @ New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Jun
14
Alsace Carcione @ Three Links Deep Ellum

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Jun
12
Alsace Carcione @ Pittsburgh Pride

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Jun
09
Alsace Carcione @ The Crown & Harp

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

May
29
Alsace Carcione @ Bushwick Public House

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Brooklyn, New York, United States

May
16
Alsace Carcione @ Absinthe Lounge

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

May
14
Alsace Carcione @ Willie B Johnson Recreation Center

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

May
07
Alsace Carcione @ American Film Institute

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States

Apr
30
Alsace Carcione @ Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio

Denton, Texas, United States

Denton, Texas, United States

Apr
22
Alsace Carcione @ Loc Star

Arlington, Texas, United States

Arlington, Texas, United States

Apr
20
Alsace Carcione @ Murphy's Restaurant & Lounge

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Apr
18
Alsace Carcione @ Absinthe Lounge

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Apr
16
Alsace Carcione @ Liquid Lounge

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Apr
15
Alsace Carcione @ RBC

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Apr
13
Alsace Carcione @ Merchants Mile High Saloon

Denver, Colorado, United States

Denver, Colorado, United States

Apr
08
Alsace Carcione @ Trees

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Mar
27
Alsace Carcione @ Liquid Lounge

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Mar
27
Alsace Carcione @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Mar
26
Alsace Carcione @ Studia Fangers

Texas, United States

Texas, United States

Mar
22
Alsace Carcione @ RBC

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Mar
16
Alsace Carcione @ Gas Monkey Live!

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Mar
13
Alsace Carcione @ Harvest House

Denton, Texas, United States

Denton, Texas, United States

Mar
06
Alsace Carcione @ Trees

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

Music

Press


"AFTER MASTER OF THE MIC, DALLAS HIP-HOP HAS A NEW PATH TO THE FUTURE"

Performing in front of hip-hop legends like the D.O.C., Erykah Badu and Dorrough is a dream for most up-and-coming MCs. But for six lucky performers, that dream became a reality last Saturday night at Trees. The event was the finale of the first annual DDFW Master of the Mic competition, dreamed up by promoter Callie Dee and aimed at showcasing the best and the brightest of what Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth have to offer in the way of hip-hop and rap. In the end, Alsace Carcione came out the winner, but it might have been a bigger win for Dallas hip-hop.

The days leading up to the MotM finale weren't all fun and games for Carcione, however. She was busy juggling homework for her master's degree in marketing, her work schedule and band practice. Not only that, but she had taken every precaution to avoid giving her competition any idea as to what her finale show would look like by practicing in secret and asking her bandmates to refrain from documenting practices on social media. Then her keyboardist had to bow out last minute, and everything seemed to snowball.

“Everything that could’ve went wrong with the show went wrong," Carcione explains. The "everything" she's talking about included drawing the second performance slot of the night with her bandmates running late, a handful of sound issues, no time for sound-check and an impromptu rearranging of the set to accommodate for the missing band members. But according to Trees' marketing director Gavin Mulloy, the audience hardly noticed. "Alsace came out on fire and really raised the level," Mulloy says. "She was dealing with a late backup band so she fought through some issues and came out like a champ."

The judges agreed. Carcione delivered explosive performances of "Black America," which is an eloquent but in-your-face look at the social issues causing racial tension in the U.S., as well as a fast-and-furious rendition of "Been Grindin'," essentially a self-portrait of sorts documenting the hustle and struggle that comes along with the artistic lifestyle. The D.O.C. found Carcione's performance "refreshing:" "The subject matter was what made her stand out to me and she was clearly more than just some rapper," he says. "She’s an artist. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she was on in a way that nobody has seen yet."

Amidst a slew of social stigmas, Carcione has managed to stay original, not succumbing to the typical trends of modern-day radio rap — she has more to say than just that. Moreover, she feels she owes it to her lady, her family and friends to be more than that. "I have an obligation to my nieces and nephews to leave some type of legacy," Carcione explains. "I may not ever see the light of an AMA stage or an MTV stage, but this music is on the Internet and anybody can look it up. And I don’t want them to leave only negative stuff."

What's so crazy about this situation is that Carcione, as well as the other five finalists — T. Lindsey, Ritchy Flo, Madame Mims, Pudge Brewer and Mark Spits — have been right under our noses for literally years. It's even been said in a national publication that Dallas has the best rap scene in the country that you're not paying attention to. And clearly, it's not just everyone else that's not paying attention; we might be to blame as well. Why?

Fellow judge and Dallas native Dorrough chalks a lot of it up to artists not taking advantage of the opportunities given to them, like the Masters of the Mic competition. Instead, they simply rely on social media to build their hype. "One of the main things is just taking advantage of opportunities and events like what happened on Saturday," he says. "Some artists overlook the performances that can give them a platform. With me, there weren’t a lot of resources when I was coming up, so I created them."

To Dorrough, the thing that really resonated with him about Saturday’s happenings was the event itself. "I was in the meet-and-greet with Erykah and D.O.C. and we were saying that these types of events are what is needed in Dallas and it’s what’s needed in hip-hop in general," he explains. That's because, he adds, "It puts a lot of talent to the forefront. It sheds light on talent that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise."

Mulloy agrees. To him the scene is growing, but its future is still uncertain. Where there had previously been divisiveness, there are now the makings of cohesion. "The scene is growing but where is it growing to?" he asks. "The scene will grow faster when these local things can pack out Trees. Has anyone done a 700-person local hip-hop show recently? Let's take it to that level this year."


And as far as Carcione goes, she hasn't allowed her recent coronation to slow her down one bit. She'll be opening up for the Boxer's Brain on December 19 at Prophet Bar, collaborating with other local favorites like -topic and planning her as-yet-unannounced appearances at local festivals in 2016. But that's not the most impressive opportunity to come out of this event. On December 10, the D.O.C. updated his Facebook with: "Looking forward to hearing the best emceeing DFW has to offer this weekend. I'm planning on putting at the very least the winner completely in the game starting with a feature on my new album. Come wit it!!!"

But despite all of the attention and the hectic scheduling, Carcione refuses to lose sight of her vision. "I’m going to reach right down in the pit of your soul and I’m going to grab everything that you’ve been afraid of addressing, whether it be your happiness, your sadness, your anger, your indecisiveness — I’m going to touch it and I’m going to turn a believer out of you," Carcione asserts. "You know? A lot of people don’t like hip-hop, but they like Alsace." - Dallas Observer


"Alsace Carcione Takes a Stand for LGBTQ Rappers in Dallas Hip Hop"

Alsace Carcione’s life has been one long, uphill battle. As an African American woman, the cards were stacked against her from the beginning. Being openly gay only made things that much harder — and that was before her stint in the military, before she got laid off from her job, and before she found out her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

But Carcione’s biggest challenge may be one she chose for herself: a career as a rapper. Hip-hop is already a notorious boys’ club, and it’s even harder to be accepted as a lesbian. But at 31 years old, Carcione is still pursuing her dream, pushing twice as hard to prove that she’s just as good — if not better — than the boys.

At the tender age of 7, Carcione — who was born Tracy Thomas and grew up in Virginia — says her cousin Omar wrote a rhyme and asked her to sing it. She instantly fell in love with hip-hop. At that point, she began a musical exploration that continues to this day. She cites TLC and Missy Elliot among early favorites, but her first, real rap love was an artist you might not expect.

“Around that time I found my dad’s records and the one that caught my eye was Kurtis Blow’s Tough,” Carcione says. “Most people will say Bun B, MC Lyte — no, my favorite MC of all time is Kurtis Blow because it was literally the first album I got ahold of that was rapping.”

Fast forward several years and Carcione, who joined the Marine Corps, had a good friend who was just returning from Iraq and retiring with a nice fat paycheck. The friend decided to drop around $10,000 on recording equipment. It was then that Carcione decided to reinvest herself in music.

“I actually recorded my first rap song in California, in the Marine Corps barracks of Camp Pendleton. And if you know anything about the Marine Corps barracks, we got like the crappiest barracks of all,” Carcione explains. “So, it’s almost like the projects of the military. There’s nothing but cement walls. It’s like a jail cell and we just recorded it right there, in the middle of it.”

In 2004, Carcione moved to Texas and within two years she was signed to LGBTQ record label Illicitlife Entertainment, fronted by Nik “CEO” Harper. Carcione has since struck out on her own, but she and Harper remain friends and Harper says Carcione is one of the best artists she’s worked with. “This little, skinny kid with glasses came up to me at the club and was like, ‘Hey, can you listen to my CD?’” Harper says with a laugh. “So, I took it and listened to it and was like, ‘Man, this kid’s got something.’”

While making the rounds as a member of Illicitlife, Carcione noticed that female performers were few and far between in the local rap scene. Occasionally she had a hard time getting on bills or working with certain artists, which she attributes to her male counterparts’ fear of being shown up by a girl, rather than her musical abilities.

“I have felt that I have been unfairly charged because some artists are ‘prettier’ than I am, that people will give those artists shows or sign them before they’d look at me — and I do feel like it is because I am a lesbian,” Carcione explains. “And I’ve actually had people tell me, ‘Hey, the world’s just not ready for you yet. You’re not going to get there.’”

One ally who can back up this theory is local hip-hop guru Joel “Bum Theary” Chapple, who has seen this social stigma at play firsthand. “It’s totally harder for female artists to be taken seriously within the rap community — especially in a place like Dallas where we have such a tough local culture,” Chapple says. “I guess it translates from social stigmas and how society sexualizes women. I mean, look how long women have had to fight to get a chance at more equality with everything.”

There is such a thing as a successful, openly gay artist — take God-Des & She or Siya, for example. The challenge isn’t coming out as an LGBTQ artist; it’s avoiding being perceived as a novelty. “Some artists choose to stay in the lane of the LGBT community. I refuse to stay in that lane — or any lane,” she says. “My music is too universal, so they may try to put me in a box and tell me that I can’t do this or that, but I’ve been doing this since 2004 and I’m still here.”

Furthermore, it’s not just an LGBTQ-related stigma — it’s also an issue for non-traditional or non-gender conforming female artists. “You see Nicki Minaj or Iggy Azalea, but you don’t hear about Rapsody or Lyric Jones,” Carcione says. “These are women that are just sincerely dope. They’re not lesbians, but they’re also not overly sexual.”

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Carcione strives to stay in her own lane musically as well. Hers is a style that’s hard to nail down, a mash-up of classic hip-hop, neo-soul, R&B and trap. Not one to shy away from controversy, Carcione’s most recent album Cryptic Conundrum is socially conscious, sensual and positive all at once. “Black America” addresses race-related hate crimes and police brutality; then, just a few tracks down the line, you’re graced with the upbeat vibes of “Funk You Up.” She’s as versatile and eccentric a lyricist as you’ll find in Dallas.

While it’s clear that artists like Carcione still face some unfair struggles, Chapple remains optimistic. “I think for Alsace, as far as sexual orientation and gender, we’re in a pivotal time in which she can be a voice for gays and lesbians within the hip-hop culture. Because there’s still a huge stigma with that,” he says. “There are a lot of people that don’t want to accept it and think it’s ‘not hip-hop’ — and it’s nonsense. But I think she’s in a position to really turn people on their heads and force people to rethink their perspective on it.”

Life continues to present its challenges — Carcione makes frequent trips back to Virginia to help care for her mother and is about to graduate from Full Sail University this fall, all while holding down a job as a business professional and maintaining a long-term relationship — but doors are opening musically. She’s one of two female emcees competing in the DDFW Master of the Mic competition; she’s participating in a fundraiser to raise awareness of mental health issues; and she’s opening for Snow Tha Product at Trees.

At last, Carcione appears to be gaining acceptance in the rap community — not as a female emcee or a lesbian rapper, but as a legit hip-hop artist — which is exactly what she’s been striving for. “As far as Alsace goes, I don’t even think about her as a female; I just think about her as an MC,” Chapple says. “She’s a ball of fire.” - The Dallas Observer


"FRESH VIDEO: ALSACE CARCIONE – “BEEN GRINDIN”"

The Dallas-based femcee, Alsace Carcione, is at it again! She recently released a music video to her song “Been Grindin.” The song and the video both synchronize very well; from the visual aesthetics to the overall quality of the production. The video entices one’s attention from the beginning, especially when the “Book of Rhymes” (as I have called it) is opened, taking the viewers back three months. She delivers the song with an energetic and aggressive vibe staged in a home that seems to be foreclosed. Rather than making it a complex concept video, it is a simple and direct portrayal of a rising artist in an industry that comes with heavy pressure and criticism. Straying from luxuries observed in many music videos, Alsace’s suggests the journey from humble beginnings. One of my favorite lines is, “studying for experience, while all you talk about is cars, clothes and hoes.” It explicitly exemplifies what the visuals implicitly deliver. All in all, the consistency and pace at which Alsace Carcione is working at is ingenious. - Dallas Observer


"FRESH MUSIC: “CRYPTIC CONUNDRUM” BY ALSACE CARCIONE"

Eclectic. If there is one word for Dallas-based female emcee, Alsace Carcione’s, newest project it is eclectic. She has enriched the Dallas music scene with her distinct style. Her most recent project, titled Cryptic Conundrum, portrays the versatility of a well-rounded artist. From the lyrical content, to the beats, Cryptic Conundrum tells the story of a conscious trailblazer making her own path through her struggles and successes. The album begins with tracks like “BWTOF” and “Don’t Stop” that very well characterize Alsace’s style; setting the tone of the album as the song says to “be what the ordinary fear.” As the album progresses we get to “Black America” which discusses a very relevant societal issue on police brutality. Then we have songs like “Come Too Far,” “Lunar Blood,” and “Pretendicia” which all relate to romantic or intimate relationships. From forgiveness to sensual love to the break-up song, Alsace explores private aspects of typical relationships allowing listeners to relate. As the album nears the end the rhythm picks back up with “Better Day” and, my absolute favorite, “Funk You Up” (clever title!). With an electric vibe hinting at a Pharrell meets Daft Punk style. Pretty darn groovy if you ask me! A second favorite is “Hazy Thoughts” which takes on a chill, mellow vibe with its jazzy sound. The album concludes with “Introduction” (interesting juxtaposition) giving it that last and final polish. Production-wise, the album covers a varied range in sound living up to my “eclectic” label. The album picks up slight hints of rock, jazz, electric, and contemporary R&B influences with percussion loops, to meditative strings, and upbeat funk. As the title suggests, this project is indubitably a Cryptic Conundrum.

Off of Cryptic Conundrum, “Ain’t Goin’” is accompanied by a video that is staged in a psychiatric ward. It shows Alsace tied down to a hospital bed throughout the course of the video; perhaps in a metaphorical manner to portray Alsace Carcione’s “madness” as an artist. Pretty neat technique! - Too Fresh Productions


"AND THE WINNER IS… ALSACE CARCIONE!!!"

This year again, Midem was looking for original music to act as the keystone for our sound strategy in our corporate communications and mainstream marketing.
Organised in partnership with Reverbnation, we received more than 4,600 original songs.
Alsace Carcione was selected as the winner, with her track “Juke Joint”, which will be featured in Midem’s promotional video trailers throughout our year-long worldwide campaign
Alsace Carcione is a female emcee that is from Virginia and currently resides in Texas. She is a skilled songwriter and prolific musician that takes her craft seriously. The emcee is able to take the focus off of sexuality and ignorance, and make music fun, conscience, exciting and thought provoking. This lady is always willing to step beyond the boundaries and make dreams come true through sound.
More info here
Thank you to all of our participants! - Midem


"Concert Picks for Thursday, May 22: Alsace Carcione and other Shows that Aren’t Morrissey*"

Alsace Carcione (The Prophet Bar): Alsace has been quietly building her brand over the last couple of months, releasing the excellent single,”Juke Joint” off of her upcoming album, which I’m excited to hear in full. Tonight is a showcase of the emcee’s latest work. If you find yourself fiend to get out and see a show, this is your best bet tonight. - D Magazine


"Celebrating The Release Of Her New Album."

As we’ve preached before, Alsace Carcione’s “Juke Joint” was hands down the most slept-on song of 2014. Period. This evening, the Dallas-based singer/emcee celebrates the release of her third album, Cryptic Conundrum. If the album has anything close to as flawless as "Juke Joint" on it, we're in for a real treat. Hopefully, this time, we'll all take notice right away, though. -- CG

For more information about this event, click here. - Central Track


"THE 8 BEST CONCERTS IN DALLAS THIS WEEKEND, APRIL 10-13"

Snow Tha Product Saturday, April 12, at Trees Former Fort Worth local and rapper Snow Tha Product will bring her uptempo stage show to Trees this Saturday. Her sizable cult following would be advised to arrive early, as opener Alsace Carcione is not to be missed. If her infectiously fun new single "Juke Joint ," which dropped early this week, is any indicator, the young Dallas emcee has tapped into something really special lately. VQ - Dallas Observer


"Alsace Carcione Shakes Things Up at No. 7."

Just as we have at the end of the last two years, the Central Track staff has once again spent the last week reminiscing and pouring pretty tirelessly over the best locally-tied songs of the year. By now, of course, most folks expect as much from their local culture publications. Unlike in previous years, though, we've decided to do things a little differently in 2014. For one, the influx of notable tunes this year prompted us to double the length of our list -- from the Top 50 to the Top 100 local songs of the year. At the same time, we didn't want to overwhelm our readers with a huge list of 100 tracks to take in all once, either. To that end, we're going to roll the thing out in daily chunks, unveiling more songs every weekday through the end of the month. It should serve to make the thing a little easier to digest -- and give you time to check out the embedded streams of anything you might have missed throughout the course of the year. Really, though, you should give each of these songs a spin. They all deserve at least that much.

Back in April, Tracy "Alsace Carcione" Thomas quietly released one of the best local hip-hop jams that's come out in recent years. But as phenomenal as the jazzy "Juke Joint" was, almost nobody seemed to notice.

Oh sure, D Magazine called the song "excellent" and the Dallas Observer referred to it as "infectiously fun." But both of those references were kind of passing remarks buried in listings posts.

Admittedly, we weren't much better in our support. The extent of our own coverage was but a single sentence in which we said we were "smitten" with the track.

And that was about it.

Looking back, we're not really sure why Alsace didn't get quite the fanfare she rightfully deserved for this song. Real talk: "Juke Joint" is about as undeniably catchy a track as they come. In any case, it deserved better.

With her background as a trumpet player, Alsace Carcione and producer AfroKeys crafted a jazzy, brass and piano-filled romper that does a better job at invoking the aura of a prohibition-era speakeasy than pretty much anything on OutKast's Idlewild soundtrack. And, in a move that's not attempted nearly often enough these days, she kicks things off with the chorus. It's an energetic and soulfully-sung one, too, that's not hard to imagine sparking a Funky Charleston revival. Really, if they were going to remake those any of those House Party movies, "Juke Joint" would be a prime contender to play in the background during the big dance off at the end.

From there, the thing breaks down into a big, brassy beat, which our emcee proceeds to spit rapidly over with a charismatic swagger befitting of somebody audacious enough to try and pull off the zoot suit look in the aughts. A breakdown later in the song further explores the period with Boswell Sisters-style close harmonies to gratifying effect.

SEE ALSO:
• THE TOP 50 LOCAL SONGS OF 2013. // The Official Central Track Staff List.
• THE TOP 50 LOCAL SONGS OF 2012. // The Official Central Track Staff List.

Early next month, Alsace Carcione will officially celebrate the release of her third album, Cryptic Conundrum, with a January 17 show at Dada. If the album has anything close to as flawless as "Juke Joint" on it, we're in for a real treat.

Hopefully, this time, we'll all take notice right away. - Central Track


"Unconscious Collective, Little Beards, Alsace Carcione"

On her most recent release, January's Cryptic Conundrum LP, Alsace Carcione takes on police brutality with a track called "Black America." It just might be the album's best track, and it'll ring especially true at this show considering what's going on in other parts of the country at the moment. The rest of the disc bounces from aggressive rap to neo-soul to throwback dance music and just about everything in between. It's a scattered listen, to be sure, but with some real gems sprinkled throughout, like the retro-leaning, club-ready "Funk You Up." Like that album, this all-local bill is a pretty diverse one, too, also featuring experimental jazz trio Unconscious Collective and the ever noisy Little Beards. -- CG - Central Track


"Alsace Carcione “Cryptic Conundrum”"

I have seen this artist perform many times over the past couple years. She has easily become one of my favotire Emcees out of the DFW area. It is close to impossible to match Alsace Carcione’s lyrical content. Her new album “Cryptic Conundrum” is definitely a great example of what Dallas based lyricist are capeable of. Give her a follow on Twitter @TheAlsace & see where she will be performing. You are going to have to see this first hand like I did! - Bedrock


"Alsace Carcione, ‘Cryptic Conundrum’"

Born Tracy Thomas in Virginia, the Dallas-based rapper known as Alsace Carcione comes on like a force of nature on her latest LP, Cryptic Conundrum.

The self-described “femcee” doesn’t lean on too many guests over the course of 15 tracks and almost an hour — Corbett turns up on Better Day, but otherwise, it’s fully Carcione’s show.

Her style is a bewitching fusion of neo-soul and hip-hop — in the space of just two songs ( Don’t Stop and Honest Hustler), no less — backing smart, provocative lyrics about sexuality, female empowerment and race relations. I’m eager to see what this stand-out talent does next.

Carcione will perform with a live band March 5 at Dallas’ Crown and Harp.

Online: alsacecarcione.bandcamp.com - DFW.Com


"KEVIN NOTTINGHAM REFLECTS"

"I met a lot of talented individuals a few weeks ago while at A3C. One that really stuck out to me was Dallas by way of VA emcee Alsace Carcione. Here’s a taste of her talent. This is off her current mixtape, The Appetizer Before The Meal, which you can stream below. Her new project, Rock Soul Symphony, should be dropping soon." - KEVIN NOTTINGHAM


"Friend to the Mag: Alsace’s Three Steps to Taking the Stage, Pt. 1"

"Last issue, we introduced you to hip-hop artist and “Friend of the Mag,” Alsace Carcione. We gave you a glimpse of who inspires her and her take on the Dallas hip-hop scene. This time around, we are going to look at Alsace’s three steps to taking the stage.

Step 1. Getting the Mind Right
Before every performance, Alsace rehearses in the mirror alone to help prepare. She puts in a few hours of rehearsal time at home and is constantly listening to her music.

Most importantly, Alsace always prays before taking the stage. “I say a prayer before my performance because without God none of what I do would be possible,” Alsace said.

Just like any artist, Alsace gets nervous from the anticipation of performing. “I feel anxious and ready to perform,” Alsace said. “I [am] ready to take my performance and music to the next level.”

She avoids psyching herself out. The fem-cee takes a deep breath and attempts to see herself on the stage, performing for her audience, hearing her fans and giving them her art. Then the confidence sets in and the nervousness fades out. After having her Red Bull or hot tea, Alsace puts on her VA-fitted hat to represent her hometown and is ready to rock the crowd.

Be sure to check back here for the next installment of Alsace’s 3 Steps to Taking the Stage. For more on Alsace, follow her on Twitter or friend her on Facebook." - Malcolm S. Lewis


"Oaktopia – the Little Festival that could"

Andy’s Bar was a venue that caught our attention. Featuring some of the sharpest hip-hop around. We were treated to another performer that stole the show, Alsace Carcione. Alsace is a female MC and hip-hop artist who really brought the house down. With lyrics that speak to the strength of being a female and being independent in a heavily male dominated industry it was a breath of fresh air. Alsace showed us that a lady can throw down some mad rhyme and is a force to be reckoned with too. While quickly becoming a veteran of the local Dallas hip-hop scene, many well known MC’s, both male and female, would do well to take a note from the passion and energy that we saw Alsace put out on the stage this night. - Sofa Kings News


"INDEX FEST 2014, DAY TWO"

Alsace Carcione, a local rapper, was unknown to us at the time we saw her, but she proved herself within minutes. Her set started late, allowing the droves of festival-goers to make their way from the main stages at the fest grounds to various venues along Elm St. When she began, she worked herself up instantly, and in turn did the same to the crowd. She ran through several tracks from her catalog and announced the release of a new album, Embryonic Paradigm. - Radio UTD


"Alsace Carcione Takes a Stand for LGBTQ Rappers in Dallas Hip Hop"

Alsace Carcione’s life has been one long, uphill battle. As an African American woman, the cards were stacked against her from the beginning. Being openly gay only made things that much harder — and that was before her stint in the military, before she got laid off from her job, and before she found out her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

But Carcione’s biggest challenge may be one she chose for herself: a career as a rapper. Hip-hop is already a notorious boys’ club, and it’s even harder to be accepted as a lesbian. But at 31 years old, Carcione is still pursuing her dream, pushing twice as hard to prove that she’s just as good — if not better — than the boys.

At the tender age of 7, Carcione — who was born Tracy Thomas and grew up in Virginia — says her cousin Omar wrote a rhyme and asked her to sing it. She instantly fell in love with hip-hop. At that point, she began a musical exploration that continues to this day. She cites TLC and Missy Elliot among early favorites, but her first, real rap love was an artist you might not expect.

“Around that time I found my dad’s records and the one that caught my eye was Kurtis Blow’s Tough,” Carcione says. “Most people will say Bun B, MC Lyte — no, my favorite MC of all time is Kurtis Blow because it was literally the first album I got ahold of that was rapping.”

Fast forward several years and Carcione, who joined the Marine Corps, had a good friend who was just returning from Iraq and retiring with a nice fat paycheck. The friend decided to drop around $10,000 on recording equipment. It was then that Carcione decided to reinvest herself in music.

“I actually recorded my first rap song in California, in the Marine Corps barracks of Camp Pendleton. And if you know anything about the Marine Corps barracks, we got like the crappiest barracks of all,” Carcione explains. “So, it’s almost like the projects of the military. There’s nothing but cement walls. It’s like a jail cell and we just recorded it right there, in the middle of it.”

In 2004, Carcione moved to Texas and within two years she was signed to LGBTQ record label Illicitlife Entertainment, fronted by Nik “CEO” Harper. Carcione has since struck out on her own, but she and Harper remain friends and Harper says Carcione is one of the best artists she’s worked with. “This little, skinny kid with glasses came up to me at the club and was like, ‘Hey, can you listen to my CD?’” Harper says with a laugh. “So, I took it and listened to it and was like, ‘Man, this kid’s got something.’”

While making the rounds as a member of Illicitlife, Carcione noticed that female performers were few and far between in the local rap scene. Occasionally she had a hard time getting on bills or working with certain artists, which she attributes to her male counterparts’ fear of being shown up by a girl, rather than her musical abilities.

“I have felt that I have been unfairly charged because some artists are ‘prettier’ than I am, that people will give those artists shows or sign them before they’d look at me — and I do feel like it is because I am a lesbian,” Carcione explains. “And I’ve actually had people tell me, ‘Hey, the world’s just not ready for you yet. You’re not going to get there.’”

One ally who can back up this theory is local hip-hop guru Joel “Bum Theary” Chapple, who has seen this social stigma at play firsthand. “It’s totally harder for female artists to be taken seriously within the rap community — especially in a place like Dallas where we have such a tough local culture,” Chapple says. “I guess it translates from social stigmas and how society sexualizes women. I mean, look how long women have had to fight to get a chance at more equality with everything.”

There is such a thing as a successful, openly gay artist — take God-Des & She or Siya, for example. The challenge isn’t coming out as an LGBTQ artist; it’s avoiding being perceived as a novelty. “Some artists choose to stay in the lane of the LGBT community. I refuse to stay in that lane — or any lane,” she says. “My music is too universal, so they may try to put me in a box and tell me that I can’t do this or that, but I’ve been doing this since 2004 and I’m still here.”

Furthermore, it’s not just an LGBTQ-related stigma — it’s also an issue for non-traditional or non-gender conforming female artists. “You see Nicki Minaj or Iggy Azalea, but you don’t hear about Rapsody or Lyric Jones,” Carcione says. “These are women that are just sincerely dope. They’re not lesbians, but they’re also not overly sexual.”

Carcione strives to stay in her own lane musically as well. Hers is a style that’s hard to nail down, a mash-up of classic hip-hop, neo-soul, R&B and trap. Not one to shy away from controversy, Carcione’s most recent album Cryptic Conundrum is socially conscious, sensual and positive all at once. “Black America” addresses race-related hate crimes and police brutality; then, just a few tracks down the line, you’re graced with the upbeat vibes of “Funk You Up.” She’s as versatile and eccentric a lyricist as you’ll find in Dallas.

While it’s clear that artists like Carcione still face some unfair struggles, Chapple remains optimistic. “I think for Alsace, as far as sexual orientation and gender, we’re in a pivotal time in which she can be a voice for gays and lesbians within the hip-hop culture. Because there’s still a huge stigma with that,” he says. “There are a lot of people that don’t want to accept it and think it’s ‘not hip-hop’ — and it’s nonsense. But I think she’s in a position to really turn people on their heads and force people to rethink their perspective on it.”

Life continues to present its challenges — Carcione makes frequent trips back to Virginia to help care for her mother and is about to graduate from Full Sail University this fall, all while holding down a job as a business professional and maintaining a long-term relationship — but doors are opening musically. She’s one of two female emcees competing in the DDFW Master of the Mic competition; she’s participating in a fundraiser to raise awareness of mental health issues; and she’s opening for Snow Tha Product at Trees.

At last, Carcione appears to be gaining acceptance in the rap community — not as a female emcee or a lesbian rapper, but as a legit hip-hop artist — which is exactly what she’s been striving for. “As far as Alsace goes, I don’t even think about her as a female; I just think about her as an MC,” Chapple says. “She’s a ball of fire.” - The Dallas Observer


"Rapper Alsace Carcione Is Figuring out Her New Normal After Deaths of Mother and Grandmother"

DFW rapper Alsace Carcione flew into 2017 like a bat out of hell. The original winner of the Master of the Mic has already won multiple awards, written loads of new material and was gearing up to release several new projects.

All of that was put on hold when her mother and grandmother died within weeks of each other. It was then, for the first time in the artist's life, that she fell into dark place — one where music, the thing she loved most, became a chore. Over the next few months, with the help of her friends, family, and other artists, Carcione was able to find herself again. On April 20, she plans to show us exactly what that looks like with the release of her new album, New Normal.

Carcione is no stranger to hardship. The Virginia-native grew up as an LGBT person of color in the South, joined the Marines, fought the music industry’s boy’s club for a seat at the table, and — maybe hardest of all — watched her mother battle cancer twice for more than 10 years. But when she flew out to Virginia last January, she had no idea that she was about to lose two of the most important women in her life — within weeks of one another.

“My grandmother was a woman who lived unapologetically," Carcione says. “She was going to do what she wanted to do, no matter what.”

Growing up in the South, Carcione's grandmother Catherine "Cat" Haywood moved to New York in her teens — or as Carcione put it, “as soon as possible.” Haywood lived modestly in the Red Hook projects of Brooklyn while working for ABC and visiting her family often.

Carcione says Haywood insisted everyone call her “Grandma,” and made sure she was everyone's grandma. She would spontaneously take her grandchildren shopping and bring along their friends, so they wouldn’t feel left out. Haywood loved living life, she loved her family, and in her heyday, she even loved to party.

“She’s the only woman I know who’d go to the grocery store and fill the cart up with top-shelf liquor — you name it, she bought it,” Carcione says with a laugh.

Carcione’s mother, Nadine Guy, was also someone the rapper says was filled with love. As a church secretary, Guy supported her children in all that they did — and she led by example, working for more than 10 years to get her college degree. Carcione says her mother maintained a quiet strength, opened her heart to everyone she met and continuously moved forward, regardless of the obstacles in her path, which included cancer on two separate occasions.

“My mother is the reason I have the sense that I have," Carcione says. "She’s the reason I do what I do, and she was always there. She raised us to love each other. Even through her struggle, she’d be smiling at you and ask you if you needed anything.”

But her mother didn’t just stress the importance of love and dedication upon her daughter — she also taught her that women are just as strong and capable as the rest.

Carcione, who has been openly gay for years, recalls making a conscious decision in her younger years to be more masculine, because she didn’t want to go through some of the things she witnessed her mother going though — struggles she associated with presenting as feminine. It wasn’t until years later that Carcione realized that being a woman doesn’t equate to being weak, because her mother and grandmother were two of the strongest, bravest women she’d ever met. “I knew I was gay, this is who I am; I’m not defined by my sexuality," she says. "It’s just an everyday struggle that I don’t have to be so aggressive. I can let my guard down.”

On February 17, 2017, Carcione remembers being called to the hospital by her father, who’d informed her that Grandma Cat was close to dying. When she got to the hospital, she was met in the hallway by her father, who had tears in his eyes as he led her to her grandmother’s room. Grandma Cat died that day, surrounded by family, including Carcione.

That following Friday, during her grandmother’s wake, Carcione received a text message from her stepfather, urging her to come back to hospital for her mother. Carcione was met in the same hallway as the week prior, this time by her stepfather. Shortly thereafter, Carcione’s mother died.

“I kissed my mother that day on March 9 — got to Texas about 6 o’clock, recorded a song for Friday’s Foolery — and by 9:30, my mother was gone,” Carcione says. “So, music for me [at that time], just, it kind of became a chore for a little while.”

With the support of her partner, the woman Carcione refers to as her “queen,” she submitted her work to multiple outlets and festivals — making pivotal connections with Revry, an all-inclusive, queer streaming outlet, OUT Web Fest, and is scheduled to perform at this year’s Dinah Shore Weekend, along with another DFW artist, Snow The Product. In addition to that, Carcione began working on a new album and enlisted the help of other local artists including Topic, Sikwitit, KEYZdashSHAWN, Jeremy Biggers and Da Dreak, to name a few.

New Normal is something a little different than her previous projects, Carcione says. While fans will hear styles familiar to her other records, New Normal will have more lyricism, metaphors and soul. “The music that was chosen for this is tribal, almost," she says. "There are bridges, and bars, and change-ups.”

Carcione will perform April 20 — a date that has traditionally been known to bring out the chillest of vibes — at Club Dada for the release of New Normal.

“While I’m trying to lift people up, people will be getting high," she says. "When you get high, just come in the joint and listen to some good fucking music. I’m going to be at one of my favorite venues in Deep Ellum, Club Dada, and I’m just praying for no rain so we can perform outside.”

Looking back on the last year, Carcione is proud of the woman she’s become and the artist she continues to be — and she credits a majority of that to the love shown to her by her mother and grandmother.

“In today’s society, we don’t get to experience it much; we don’t get to experience what unconditional love looks like," she says. "Everybody’s love comes with a condition: 'I’ll love you if…' But they showed me unconditional love.” - Dallas Observer


"Seven DFW Rappers to Watch in 2017"

Alsace Carcione
DFW Master of the Mic’s first-ever champion, Alsace Carcione, has been has been on our radar for some time now, but 2017 might just be her best year yet. After winning the MotM, Carcione traveled extensively, going on a mini-tour with Joe Budden and performing with Jarren Benton, and spent some time with family in her home state of Virginia, where she performed at Norfolk’s legendary NorVa Theatre.

Now back in Dallas, Carcione promises three new videos and singles. She’s also planning to work with the D.O.C., which was part of the prize package for winning MotM. But her main focus has been to switch up her sound by working with different producers, such as Sikwitit and Ish D, on her upcoming EP releases and mixtape.

“In order to go to the next level and to reach those higher heights, you’ve got to bring in those people who are going to push you harder or, you know, to piss you off hard enough to make you do something that you normally wouldn’t have done,” Carcione says with a laugh. “So, I’m looking forward to getting pissed off by one of these guys, getting into the studio and making a masterpiece.”

Carcione’s work in the past has varied from traditional hip-hop and rap to neo-soul. But she says these new projects will display something entirely new: her emotional side. “People are going to get to see my vulnerability as an artist and how I break down too," she says. She has been known for her confident and unapologetic demeanor. “I feel like that’s going to help somebody else.” - Dallas Observer


"Meet Alsace Carcione of Be What The Ordinary Fear in Arlington"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alsace Carcione.

Alsace, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a musician, an emcee, a writer and a performer. The company of Be What The Ordinary Fear started with me and my partner, just needing shirts for my performance. We wanted to stand out and I thought what it meant to be extraordinary fearless. This is something I embody as African American lesbian in the hip-hop community every single day. I have to be fearless in the pursuit of success. I have to be fearless when I encounter different stages around the world and I have to be fearless when doing most things that are completely male-dominated and drive. My music is a constant reminder that I have been what ordinary people fear, to inspire those who are destined to excel and be greater than even their own imagined potential. My brand and music stand for this.

Has it been a smooth road?
It most certainly has not been a smooth road. In 2014, I was laid off the company that I had been with for ten years and shortly after that, we found out my mother had cancer for the second time. This time it came back more aggressive. Simultaneously, my grandmother was starting to take a turn for the worse. I spent 2014-2017 flying back and forth between Texas and Virginia, mostly caring for my mother and helping my father care for my grandmother as well. In 2017, I lost my grandmother on 2/17/17 and on March 9 I lost my mother. I witnessed them both or their literal last day on earth and it has stuck with me. It was then I felt my passion and purpose slipping from me and I could not tell if this was still what I was meant to do. I was finally afraid, I could not be fearless in these moments. Although I was strong, I had to realize that I had to be weak and allow the very real feeling of losing them take over, but not conquer. I now live in their legacy and continue to make them proud. Knowing that they left me with all the tools I needed to survive on this earth. My bond with my father is strengthened even more as we continued to talk every day. It is hard, but the music lives on and so does the brand.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I most proud of being able to inspire all those from gym rats, musicians, artists, teachers, Air Force educators and beyond. The conversation piece that sparks up when speaking about what does Be What The Ordinary Fear means to someone else. Or how does my music tie into this all? My music has inspired those to call their mothers and fathers and love one another. My music inspires those to be exactly who they need to be. The brand makes you push harder towards a goal that you may seek as you strive to Be What The Ordinary Fear. We are set apart by truth, dedication, and honor. We want to inspire you and grow relationships with those we come in connection with.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
This city is amazing. I miss my hometown of Virginia, but this is home for me. Dallas is a great way to not only network and meets people in your field but outside of the field; it is also a great place to hone your skills and develop other talents. This is just a great space and time to be here in this city. The DFW area is full of talented artists. I would most definitely recommend those starting out to start here, as there are many lessons to be learned here. - Voyage Dallas


Discography

The Adopted Chyl of the South 2007
The Appetizer Before the Meal 2010
Embryonic Paradigm 2012
Cyrptic Conundrum 2015

New Normal 2018

Photos

Bio

Alsace Carcione, is an American rapper from Portsmouth, Virginia. 

She is an independent female emcee and songwriter with crazy adlibs, witty intellects and inspirational word play. She has opened up for The Game, Pharcyde, Tech N9NE, Snow the Product, Slum Village, God-Des & She, Luke James, Devin the Dude, Jarren Benton, Bodega Brovas, Pharaohe Monch, Big Daddy Kane, and MursDay & Ces Cru. She also had the opportunity to open for Joe Budden on the Texas "All Love Lost" tour in 2016. 

Along her journey, she has performed at various LGBT pride festivals: Dallas Southern Pride (2012), Austin SXSW Outlander Festival (2013), Seattle PrideFest (2013) and Pittsburgh Pride (2016). Alsace Carcione has also performed at Oaktopia Fest, Thin Line Film Festival, 35 Denton Festival, and Boomtown Festival. She has also published three amazing videos entitled Time Travel (2013), Ain't Goin' (2014), and Black America (2015). In 2015 Alsace Carcione was crowned Dallas' "DDFW Master of the Mic" by judges Erykah Badu, D.O.C., and Dourrogh.

Being one of the greatest phenomenon's to happen to the culture of Hip Hop, Alsace began her career as a verbal scientist & toxic lyricist. Her first significant career break through came with the release of her mixtape "The Appetizer before the Meal: B.A.M.F" in December 2009. The Appetizer before the Meal: B.A.M.F. marked her first work with timeless tracks like Fairy Tales, Highly Unlikely, On top of the world and Cliché. She continued to build acclaim with the release of Embryonic Paradigm, in November 2012. Embryonic Paradigm showcased her ability to breakdown barriers, blasting through walls of doubt, surpassing her peers, all the while continuing to reinvent herself and the sound of Hip Hop & Neo-Soul music. Amongst her great accomplishments she created her own clothing line with the Slogan "Be What The Ordinary Fear" which launched in 2014.

Being known for her intricate rhyme patterns and metaphors, she embodies the challenges and is ready for what is sure her time. With that being said in 2015 Alsace released her third album “Cryptic Conundrum.” Too Fresh Production best described this album as being “Eclectic. If there is one word for Dallas-based female emcee, Alsace Carcione’s, newest project it is eclectic. She has enriched the Dallas music scene with her distinct style. Her most recent project, titled Cryptic Conundrum, portrays the versatility of a well-rounded artist. From the lyrical content, to the beats, Cryptic Conundrum tells the story of a conscious trailblazer making her own path through her struggles and successes.”

She cites her mother, Mahalia Jackson, MC Lyte, BO$$, Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliot, Lauryn Hill, and Queen Latifah as the biggest influences on her music. Alsace continues to grind and work hard because patience is a virtue and great thing's come to those who wait. She has plenty of drive, ambition and talent to last a lifetime and she intends on using her God given talent to the greatest of her ability. Alsace discovered music was not only away of life but a wonderful way of self-expression. She is extraordinarily fearless!

Band Members