We introduced you to author-turned-rapper Joy Deja King's debut mixtape, Boss Bitch Music, earlier this month. But who is the vixen behind the music you ask? Get acquainted with Ms. King in VIBE's exclusive interview with the NY native.
VIBE: From books to rap music, what’s a typical studio session like for Joy Deja King?
Joy: I don’t like a lot of people in the studio when I’m recording. Like me and the engineer, and maybe one other person is all I need. Because when you’re doing music that’s true to you, there’s so much going on in your mind. You want to make sure you get it right.
Do you write in the studio? Or do you write your lyrics and then come to the stu or both?
Both, I would say both, yes, I would definitely say both. I can hear a beat first and it will inspire an idea
You must have a crazy process being that you’re also a successful author.
You know what, it’s like I’ve always been writing but I never thought I would be a writer. Which I think is kinda crazy. I would always would write, but it was nothing like I thought like ‘This was going be my career.' When I started writing, it just flowed naturally, I could tell it was something I was supposed to be doing.
Did you start out doing stories first or were you doing poems first?
Poetry, and I would always even write these little songs when I was young. My sister would always laugh at me. Like I had this big Barbie Land set, and I would just sit down there for hours and just make up these stories with my dolls. Even my dad tells me I'm crazy because I have all these stories running around in my head. I only write when I'm inspired, I don’t even force myself anymore. Like If I'm not inspired then I don’t do it, because I write so much better when I just let it come naturally.
Now with this mixtape, what was the process like?
It took a while because just like the first book I ever wrote this music has all my passion in it. I was basically stepping into territory that I wasn’t really familiar with.
Obviously, you’re not afraid of the B-word . You definitely make it your thing. But I mean some women are extremely offended by it.
They need to get over that. I can’t even take credit for treating and embracing the “Bitch” term because actually ever since I was little I loved Jackie Collins books. She was my favorite author. And she has a book, called “The Bitch.” It is what it is.
Yes, and people don’t know this. And let me tell you, I think it’s because of the success of my own success of the series but she republished “The Bitch,” and she rewrote it and everything. It just came out in 2012, real talk. Jackie Collins. And she had this other book called, “Spoiled Little Bitch Girl”, which came out a year or two ago. And I’m just saying like Pop culture, they embrace bitch as like a badge of honor. It’s so great. But in urban culture I think it’s different because men have used it in a derogatory way. It’s a word that is only as powerful as the meaning behind it. And so if a man is speaking to you and is using that term in a derogatory way, don’t address him. Don’t acknowledge it. So I use it in term to me that’s very empowering. That’s the beautiful thing about America, freedom of choice, if it don’t work for you then you don’t have to say it or use it. It works perfectly for me.
What’s Joy Deja King’s exact definition of a bitch?
“Babe in total control of herself. “ That’s why like I even call my EP “Boss Bitch Music” because I can really say that I’m a “boss bitch” because I run everything of mine. I'm self-made. I write all the checks. I do everything so I really am that boss bitch so I have every right to call myself that. And so I think that a lot of times so many people throw that term around but they’re really not that boss bitch. And I do own it because at the end of the day, real talk, my ‘Bitch Series’ is like one of the most popular urban book series ever.
Do a lot of women share personal stories with you at ‘Meet and Greets’?
I don’t do a lot of signings anymore but when I used to I mean they loved it. And like I still get emails and stuff like that. My books, like they entertain you, but they always have like an underlining message, all of them do. I don’t ever try to preach to anybody I try to entertain first.
Do you think or would you want to see any of these made into movies? Is that the next step for you?
Of course and I do and it is, there’s no doubt in my mind my books are gonna become movies but again there’s a process for me as far as building my brand and crating this mini empire but movies are definitely. I mean I’ve written over 20 books. I have enough product for nonstop movies, we can go on and on and on, and I'm looking forward to it.
But right now, music is your main thing?
Honestly, I’m a tell you. I always wanted to do music but my book stuff just took off first. It just took off and when it took off I mean I was so blessed because I mean writing is not really a career where that’s all you can do, most people that write books have other jobs.
Well, your music definitely caught people’s attention this summer with your single and video with Cash Out. How was that experience?
It was just a fun experience. It’s meant to be a summer time to make you feel good. Cash out is really dope. He’s very professional and has great energy. I felt the song needed one last special touch so we made the collabo happen.
I know you also collaborated with a rising ATL rapper, Trouble.
I love Trouble! [Laughs] One track we did is called “Outrageous” and the other one is Bad Bitch. I'm definitely gonna do a video for “Outrageous.” But actually I'm also thinking about doing one for “10 Bitch Commandments”, that’s like my shout out to Biggie’s “10 Crack Commandments”.
That’s a pretty hefty title. Did you use Biggie’s original beat
No, no, no, we used a fresh beat but I love “10 Crack Commandments”. It’s like one of my all time favorite records. I truly believe that it’s not all about selling drugs
Those things are applicable to a lot of different professions.
And that’s why my “10 Bitch Commandments” is for all my females. If you use those 10 Bitch commandments, I promise you, you will be successful in whatever you decide to do, whether its flipping burgers, walking the strip, I don’t care what you do if you use those 10 Bitch Commandments you will be successful, so its for my females. That was like my shout out to Biggie for that.