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You Should Know: Puerto Wiccan

Radio Milwaukee had a chat with “ Puerto Wiccan,” the stage alias of rapper Maikayla Gutierrez. She is currently training to become a mortician and that might give you an idea of what makes her music unique. Describing herself as a “dark lyrical underground female MC from the South Side of Milwaukee,” her lyrics cite pyramids, aliens and other realms. Relatively new to the scene, we learn more about the artist and her involvement in local arts organizations.

Puerto Wiccan | Photo by Darrel Robinson

Do you have creative outlets outside of music?

I’m not just a local rapper, I’m also a local artist. I have my own brand, Infinities Essential Oddities at Altered State of Mind (a local metaphysical shop). I feel like it throws people off like, “Whoa. A Wiccan can rap!”

When did you start rapping?

In a serious way? About two years ago, but I’ve been writing since I was in middle school. I used to do metal in middle school, but I ended up getting inspired by hip-hop and more lyrical people.

What happened two years ago that pushed you to focus on rap?

There was a slow period of time when I was working with another South Side producer, but I was in high school. Then I was working two jobs, then in college. Trying to balance my college life, work life and music life was really overwhelming. Now that I’ve moved out and I’m more settled and stable, I felt like I can make something worth my time and other people’s time.

  You mentioned the South Side, what was the hip-hop scene like? Where you involved in the scene before you were rapping?

Kind of, I knew a lot of people who rapped. I was like, “Dang, I write. These are low key some bars.” I started networking, joining Milwaukee rap artist groups on Facebook, connecting with local artists to collab. It was more for fun back then, but then I felt, “Wow this is something I really care about. “

For a while I was working at ArtWorks for Milwaukee. I used writing as a coping strategy and I brought that to the table. They let me host my own writing group with children. Honestly, that’s what made me so serious about writing. It’s something pure and authentic.

I feel like the South Side of Milwaukee is a vibrant community  -- I feel like in other areas you don’t know your neighbors…

Literally everyone knows each other on the South Side. Everything is so close together; everyone knows each other, works together. Have you heard of the Hip-Hop Chess Club? It’s run a lady named Raquel, she’s the rapper Rockz, and the producer I get my beats from Super Ego. They came up with this program where kids would come to play chess and it would teach them the rules of life. There were different people there teaching how to be, there was free food. It was a safe space to connect and make music. People would cypher because of the beat-making. It was awesome. Quarantine ruined it for a hot second. I’m sure when things calm down it will still be a thing.

Puerto Wiccan | Photo by Darrel Robinson

What are your plans post-pandemic?

I’m going to keep writing and dropping singles. Even though the community has been really stagnant, I feel like dropping videos is really important because people are home all the time. It’s like, “Wow, visuals.”

How do you feel your music is evolving?

I would usually send my music to other people for words of advice before dropping. I feel like that’s really helped my growth as an artist, communicating with other artists, bouncing ideas off of them and myself. Finding new ways for growth. Constantly posting clips, even things unrecorded that I’m writing in my room… that in itself brings more attention.

Watch the video for "Big Drip" by Puerto Wiccan below: