Born in Chicago and raised in the city’s roughest projects, rapper/songwriter Chella H, aka Jennifer LowEnd, turned the peril of a fatherless household and a mother battling drug addiction for the majority of her childhood into an escape through music. “I have a real sound. That’s the sound,” says Chella, who began songwriting with the purpose of reaching her peers’ souls at a young age rather than to fit into a specific genre. Not long after tapping into her creative rescue, her brother went to prison, again leaving her without a man in the house. Chella survived, living her life on the streets, peddling drugs and boosting stores in her teens. “I used to work regular jobs too, but I always got fired once they pulled up my background record,” she notes lightheartedly, adding “I always have been hustling and trying to stay above the water.”
By the time she was 15 and on her own, she was pregnant with a son and determined to steer him on a different path. Though it was an odyssey that saw her lose her brother and the father of her son in the same week, a heartbreak she had never previously experienced but one that moved her to withstand by truly honing her skill to conceptualize, create and connect. Circulating controversial mixtapes The Abortion (2011), The Morning After (2012) and The Realist Bitch In It (2013), Chella’s passion and gritty-yet-alluring story began to grab Chicago, creating a vast fan base in the process. While Chella, as confident in her curves as she is her credibility, notes that she is “real blunt,” she’s also found a parallel of fun that creates authenticity you immediately sense in her voice.
With her name continuing to blossom around Chicago, Chella collaborated with hip-hop artists Soulja Boy, Lil Dirk, Freddie Gibbs, Shawnna, King Louie and producer Zaytoven. Simultaneously, she earned features on platforms like MTV, BET, Complex, Pitchfork, Vibe, Fuse TV and many others. Chella has etched out a niche as one of the more magnetic and lyrical women in the game ahead of the forthcoming release of her No Filter project, which she loves because of her growth. No Filter tempers some of her more sexually-driven content of the past in favor of what works. The result being more detailed and fun storytelling -- including a personal favorite ‘The First 48,’ a saga that will double as a mini-movie -- which Chella says helped produce her “most personal project” to date.
On “Options,” one of the tape’s singles, Chella, pulling from a phone conversation with an overzealous admirer in need of being reminded of his place, gives the bold energy to an everyday situation that has become her signature. “I was in the car with my friend when I was writing it. I was on the phone, checking this dude ... [Thinking] ‘He must not know I have options.’ So we just kept cracking jokes about options and I ended up going straight to the studio,” Chella recalls about the radio-played song, which was remixed to include verses from Trina and Kash Doll.
Chella H’s realism, sense of humor and consistency have allowed her to gain attention as an independent artist, earning support from Chicago’s top radio stations (WGCI, Power 92). Chella also formed the WWA project, a Chicago supergroup comprised of four other Chicago female artists. Chella is the street’s favorite for a reason. Not only for her authentic, relatable , well-timed music but because she is the glowing underdog who has eclipsed obstacles to become more than music. And Chella, nor the streets, are shy about reminding you.
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