We Luv Kierra

Kierra Luv. Photo by Leon Laing.

The day and location where I met Kierra Luv and her mother were symbolic for hip-hop in Harrisburg.

I chose to photograph them at the Regal Great Escape Harrisburg Mall Stadium 14, one of Luv’s favorite hangouts. We met at the mall’s food court on Dec. 30. In another part of the city that same day, Club XL hosted a retirement party for Michael Albert, owner of Mr. Mike’s Records.

In the ’90s, I met Wu-Tang Clan’s ODB, a former Harrisburg resident, at the mall’s food court. I also spotted the legendary Biggie strolling through the mall in the ’90s. Videographer/photographer Luie Viisuals filmed Luv’s video for “You Lied to Me” at the Harrisburg Mall.

Born Tianna Kierra Hernandez, Luv is the first Harrisburg-based rapper to gain national attention. On Nov. 7, Cardi B, the Billboard chart-topping superstar, posted Luv’s video on her Instagram page. In the video, Luv spits her own bars over Cardi’s “Money.” With hunger in her eyes, Luv gave a memorable performance while wearing a signature silky. Her Instagram followers ballooned to 1.5 million as a result of Cardi’s cosign. Like ODB, A$AP Rocky used to reside in Harrisburg. Rocky was one of the celebrity rappers who contacted Luv after her viral video.

“Every achievement starts with an idea,” she tells vigoronline.com.

Hip-hop runs through Luv’s veins. Her grandparents hail from the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop. Luv, who looks and talks like her mom Pamela Rodriguez, credits her mother for inspiration.

“My mom is like mad cool,” she says in her No Jumper interview. “I’m like real close with my mom because she’s the like only one that’s there.”

Wanna know more about Luv?
Age: 16.
Ethnic background: Puerto Rican and black.
High school she attended before she started cyber school: Central Dauphin East High School.
Her mom has a nice sneaker game. Here are some of Luv’s favorites: Louis Vuitton sock sneakers. She also likes Nike and Gucci kicks.
One of goals for next year: “Definitely doing shows.”

Before Luv’s success, these non-rappers from Harrisburg worked with national recording artists:
DJ Barron Earle: Produced and toured with Nappy Roots.
Jack King III: He was a member of The Soultronics (a group of backup singers for D’Angelo’s Voodoo Tour) from 1999-2001. From 2012 to 2017, King sang backup for Justin Timberlake.
Dennis Jenkins: Grammy nominated and multiplatinum music producer. He produced Justin Bieber’s “Die in Your Arms” and Ariana Grande’s “Honeymoon” and “Only.”

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