How many white female rappers can you name? Yet West Coast rhymin’ tsunami Johanna Phraze ain’t settling for novelty status, instead making waves with the quality, honesty and variety of her work – boldly bringin’ it fresh while forever flipping the script.

“I’m an artist, right, so I just listen to the beat – I feel how it makes me feel. I close my eyes, visualize what displays, and I go from there,” explains the Tulsa, OK native who relocated to L.A. three years ago. Initially a protégé of rap maverick Johnny Polygon (guest on Nas’ 2008 tune “Black President”), Johanna co-wrote her debut album, Diamonds and Grenades, with producer Blake English (J-Lo, Kelly Rowland, Brandy etc.), plus a song apiece with writer/producers Abai and Dan Chase.

“I started out as old school hip-hop style, but now it’s like super-sonic, turbo-electro,” Johanna, a songwriter since age 3, continues. Her lyrics veer from dirty to deep and back again. “It depends on the beat – I talk a lot about sex; I talk a lot about partying; about dealing with death; dealing with people who are drug addicts.”

This creative dichotomy is reflected her album’s split-personality sound and title. “It’s split between heavy stuff – almost metal/rock tracks and some heavy bass tracks … the ‘grenades’. And then the ‘diamonds’ are the club tracks; the super-happy tracks.”

Subject matter shifts from the senseless killing of a close friend (”Tornado”); to mind games (“Remote Control”); to the self-explanatory (“Bump That”). “That one is my favorite,” she enthuses. “That’s like the stuff I do up in the clubs when I get everyone dancing, everyone moving around.”

Indeed for Johanna, a veteran of theatre and poetry slams, the stage is where it’s at. “I love looking into people’s eyes and taking them on an adventure, y’know? I feel like I give a lot of females a sense of empowerment – like they can do whatever they want to do. I’m a girl rapping; I don’t care what you think – whatever.”