"because the music business
is still run by men
like every business
but we can sing like a sonofabitch
make them twitch around their eyes
make them apologize"
Monday, January 11, 2010
January 19th DESSA'S FULL LENGTH "A BADLY BROKEN CODE" comes out. AND I CAN'T WAIT. This woman is a REAL writer, and just so happens to have a sick flow and lovely voice. I think this post on her blog explains why I love her so much: People with microphones (who are girls) On New Year’s Eve Sims, Paper Tiger, and I had the pleasure of sharing a stage with F. Stokes and Kid Sister in Madison. Before the show, Stokes asked me to write up a little piece about being a woman in hip hop. My little essay follows:
My membership in Doomtree has been the largest single factor in my career as a hip hop artist. I make music with with smart, funny, good-hearted guys who aren’t particularly concerned with the fact that I’m a woman. So my gender hasn’t played a very large role in my process of making music. My gender has, however, affected the presentation of that music.
The fact that I’m female seems to be more interesting to listeners and critics than it is to the people I work with. And I think I understand why. Women are rare in hip hop and novelty is interesting. My private fear, as a person who hopes to have a sustainable career as an artist, is that people might become interested in me for the wrong reasons. Youth is brief and beauty is fleeting, and I don’t want to tether my reputation to variables that are so temporary–and that are completely distinct from my art and from my character. The challenge for me has been to find a way to work as a rapper without diminishing my gender (in effort to fit into a pretty masculine environment) or exalting it (for some easy coverage). It’s a surprisingly fine line, and honestly I’ve made missteps on either side of it.
The other primary challenge is probably even better known to actresses than to rappers. It involves trying to understand the motivations of men who profess to be interested in professional collaboration. To be totally frank, I’m a little nervous that this paragraph will come off as whiny–but it’s an honest account of my experience, so here goes:
As an artist, it’s marvelously exciting when someone you admire offers you a professional opportunity–it’s one of the best feelings in this line of work. As a single, female artist in her late twenties, one of the worst feelings you can have is when you realize that someone has offered you a professional opportunity because he’s hoping for a romantic encounter. The artist part of you feels disappointed because the proposed collaboration was not motivated by a respect for your art. The female part of you feels insulted for being deceived. The human part of you feels embarrassed for having hoped…and then been duped. Repeat this experience at a regular interval, year after year, and it’s hard not to feel a little jaded about the way that people work.
But all said and done…I love being a woman. And I love being an artist. And I’m privileged to live in a culture that allows me to be both in almost any manner that I please. The challenges are offset by the genuine responses that I get from listeners, and by the thrill I get working with the other artists in Doomtree.
She's playing w/ P.O.S. and Astronatulis @ DC 9 March 6th! MUST GO!
Free Music is great! BUT you should delete these files after 24 hours - they are the property of the artists. If you download and end of up enjoying please support the band by going to a show and buying merch!!! and tell all your friends as well!!!