The heat is on in Clovis rap music scene

By Jesse Wolfersberger: Freedom Newspapers

When Clovis native Christine Oborny decided to start a record label, she didn’t have to dig too deep to find a name.

“I get on stage, and I guess they expect me to sing,” she said. “I start spittin’ and they’re like, ‘Wow.’”

Oborny, 25, is the founder and an artist for Jaw Droppa Records, LLC.

Oborny raps under the nickname Heat. Again, a name that fell in her lap.

“The first or second song we did,” Oborny said. “It was some kind of verse like, ‘They call me heat ‘cuz I burn it up.’ And ever since then, they call me Heat.”

Heat is releasing a solo album next month, “The Jaw Droppa Show.” She’s hoping her label’s first release will create a buzz and generate some revenue so she can release more albums by local artists on the label.

“I’m not too crazy about being famous,” Oborny said. “I just want to make money and push other people’s records.”
Oborny said there is plenty of talent in Clovis, and she has a few artists who will bring national attention to Eastern New Mexico.

“Nobody’s come out of New Mexico yet,” she said. “I tell people these people are from Clovis, they’re like, ‘No way.’ I just want to put Clovis on the map really.”

She said “dirty Curry,” a nickname for Curry County in the hip-hop scene, has its own distinct style of rap.

“It’s a southwest style,” Oborny said. “In Atlanta, they get crunk, they’re doing party music. Down here it’s more about your lyrics.”

Dominic Gutierrez, Oborny’s manager, said, from an ability standpoint, the label’s potential is huge.

“Talent is basically everything,” Gutierrez said. “If you don’t have talent, you don’t have nothing.”

Oborny said she decided to create a label because putting an album out is a double-edged sword — you can’t get a deal without a record, and you can’t get a record without a deal.

“No offers were being put on the table because we hadn’t put nothing out,” she said. “So I got the idea together. I saw how Jay-Z and Damon Dash did Roc-a-fella, and that’s how you make money.”

Roc-a-fella records is a prime example of a grass-roots organization that turned into one of the biggest labels in the country.

The label is currently run out of her house, but she is hoping to move to a bigger space in downtown Clovis. Oborny said one of the biggest challenges she’s facing is trying to get investors.

“There are a lot of people who are like, ‘Oh, I’ m gonna do this for you, I’m gonna do that for you,’” she said. “But when it comes down to crunch time, 90 percent of them fall through.”

Oborny is hoping her album will draw in potential investors.
She’s performed all over the country, but she said the response in her hometown has been mixed. Oborny thinks because she grew up here, and worked at a local restaurant, people in Clovis do not take her seriously, yet.

“They’re like, ‘Oh, that’s just that waitress,’” she said. “People know I rap, but they haven’t heard it.”