Chella H's journey is different. You can see it in her eyes. The harsh realities that have shaped her would easily defeat the weak-hearted. You can hear the authenticity in her tone. The streets crowned her and the game needs her. You can feel it in her music. Chella H is the ‘Realist Bitch in It’ and she fully enjoys her title. VIBE sat down with the rapper that the Windy City calls the "First Lady" to get an unfiltered look at the new girl on hip-hop's "must hear" list. --Chris Harris
What does it mean to be the "First Lady of Chicago"?
The First Lady of Chicago was something that was really given to me. I’m the people’s choice, meaning that I am the female representation of Chicago. As far as female rappers. I be showing all the girls love in the Chi and they show it back. So I just ran with the First Lady title. Michelle Obama, she lives in my hood.
I think she lives in the White House now…
Yeah, but she still lives there in Chicago, too. They still got that house, security fence outside, when they come it’s real. Obama – we knew him before then and he still comes back to his same house. We fuck with Obama for that.
Is she an inspiration to you?
Yeah, I fuck with Michelle. I love Michelle, that’s my bitch. They call me Mi-Chella Obama and that’s cause I’m the First Lady and we’re from the same hood. She’s a black woman doing her thing. She has her nigga on lock. Obama, he’s doing his thing. I like positive role models who don’t get in trouble. We need them because it’s like kinda the opposite with me. Not saying that I’m a role model but my story is different. Sshe grew up different and I’m just like the bad girl. The spokesperson for bad girls
You also have your own movement, R.B.A. Can you break it down?
R.B.A. means Real Bitch Authentic, Real Bitch America, and Real Bitch Association is my movement. Again it was given to me. Everybody’s like ‘Oh Chella is so real.’ I say a lot of stuff that the females think but they scared to say the shit. If you listen to some of my stuff its like 'damn did she say that?' Did she say 'she accidentally slipped on a dick, but it happens?' Real Bitch Authentic is just something I came with and rolled with it. Like the mermaid mafia, RBA, Mermaid Mafia is the same thing.
There’s a lot of up-and- comers from the Chi, but also established artists like Lupe, Kanye, Common, – do you feel like you have a bit of pressure following up behind those guys?
Not really, because for one, our stories are different. Lupe, I don’t know exactly where he’s from. I know his content and his story is different. Kanye grew up different. I love Kanye, but he grew up different. Again, our story is different. Common, he' a positive rapper. I like that, it’s just not nothing I’m in my car playing. We like to hear that real bitch shit.
So you don't feel any pressure to rap about certain things as a Chicago artist ?
Not in that way, my pressure is just staying alive, keeping bills paid, getting myself on and making more money to get my people on, that’s my pressure. I don’t feel like whatever the next person doing, I have to follow up to them. I know what I’m a do in the female game hasn’t been touched yet. That’s something I do know. That’s my biggest competition is myself.
Lupe's song “Bitch Bad,” what do you think about that because it feels like you guys have contrasting terms and meanings for the word bitch? I feel like it’s more of a term of endearment and positive for you, but that's not how he feels.
Well the thing is, he’s a man so he don’t know better. He’s just doing what he thinks works for what he’s saying. That shit is out the window. It’s 2013 now. So as far as me calling myself a bitch or females calling ourselves a bitch, that’s our choice. He’s a nigger. There’s some things that he does that people may feel like, that’s bitchy. I don’t go around like ‘oh he’s a bitch that why he don’t like me.’ I don’t look at it like ‘oh, why are you saying that?’ I really don’t give a fuck. We in two different lanes. Again, I don’t know Lupe's music. Most people who listen to my shit, don’t listen to Lupe. We respect him because he’s from Chicago. I love all Chicago people but I’m not a fan. Fuck Lupe, no I’m just joking! [laughs]
So, you're the "Realist Bitch In It." I want to talk about that, why did you choose that title for the mixtape?
Again, I didn’t choose it, that’s something that people just started saying when they tweet me or Facebook me. One thing about me is that it's bigger than music, like the First Lady shit and the "Realist Bitch In It." People actually love Chella. They are the ones saying 'we love you! You the realist bitch in it!' When I seen it so much I just started to run with it. That’s my motto. I’m just keeping it 100 at all times. No moral music. Actually, my music is gospel. When I put my shit out I like to have it in the gospel section because it’s the truth.
It’s not biblical but …
Right, but see gospel means authentic and true. That’s really what gospel means. See, you learning a lot from me today. Gospel means the truth, so it’s not biblical no, but it’s the truth. That’s why I rap that out.
I guess that title also implies that you’re realer than other females in the industry. Who would you say that you’re better than?
I wouldn’t say better than, just more authentic, more genuine, more natural, and more real.
You said that you’re opening up a lane that no other has touched, what do you mean by that?
It's the real bitch lane, as far as what I’m just telling you. Saying things that others won't say, talking about how I grew up because a lot of bitches grew up just like me. No father, baby young, momma on drugs, kidnapped thrown in the trunk. That’s just real shit that I talk about and it hasn’t been touched on really. Everybody hit it a little bit, maybe in different areas, but there’s nobody that’s coming out with this type of music. "The abortion" was my first real mixtape. So it was like, abortion means here... I go with the definitions: termination. It was just terminating all the bullshit in my life.
I also saw the Real Bitch 101 series, so I was already learning from you before you even came here. What was the inspiration behind the tutorials?
I just like to teach my females, life survival tips. Webisodes to keep it going. A lot of females like them, niggas do.
As a rapper, you definitely want to be someone that’s giving off knowledge as well as rapping. Do you want to be teaching as well.
Yep, that’s what I do, I’m a motivational speaker. I’m the first lady so like I said its bigger than music.
Stay tuned for part 2 of Chella H's exclusive VIBE interview