What are your thoughts on the Lil Kim/Nicki Minaj situation?
To me, it’s sad because it’s not enough chicks rhyming as it is. I don’t think any chick needs to be dissing the next one. Kim may feel a certain way but if she wants to let everybody know where it all started, then she needs to just make music. There’s nothing that she can do that’s gonna convince people to stop liking Nicki. She just needs to get on her game and make music. Everybody loves her. Everybody respects her. She already commands that queen of rap title without even making music so imagine how much more she could be doing if she was consistently making music. That’s all she needs to do. And Nicki needs to ignore everybody right now and continue doing what she do. Everybody needs to be making music. There’s no need for beef. Make the music and let the people decide and blog it out.
How do you feel about Nicki as an artist and her contributions?
I think she’s doing her thing. I know she’s done a lot of groundwork and she was grinding for a minute before she popped off. That’s everybody’s goal⎯to work hard until they eventually pop off and it happened for her. I’m happy for her. I don’t have any negative opinions of her. I don’t have any negative opinions of any chicks.
The million-dollar question lately is where are all the female MCs and one of the themes that constantly comes up is a lack of unity amongst women. What’s your take on that?
To be unified or to be non-unified ain’t even a question. Everybody just needs to be making music. It doesn’t have anything to do with are we getting along with each other or not. Everybody just needs to be making music. You can’t expect people to ride out with you for the rest of your life if you ain’t made an album in 10 years. I’m fortunate in that I still have fans for me 10 years later. I feel like smacking myself, like, I should have been doing this. But we’re women, our tolerance level is different. We go through estrogen changes, don’t feel like being bothered with this that and the third, and we be having other things going on⎯especially with the mothers so it’s not as easy for us to ride out as it is with the dude. But I think chicks just stopped making music or something.
"I ultimately want to be known as the girl that can rhyme better than most of the dudes"
Why do you think that’s the case? There was a period where a lot of chicks were being acknowledged but now most are either underground or indie and not getting mainstream love at all.
Largely in part because I don’t think there’s enough balance in what’s getting promoted and what’s getting played on the radio. The scale just tips too much one way and I think once corporate America took over hip-hop, it became less about chicks just rhyming. It became more image driven and I think that really hurt the females because everybody rhyming doesn’t look like Beyoncé [Laughs]. It still needs to be a fair playing field like, are we rhyming here or are we just looking at people. I mean, I think this has happened in hip-hop period. It became less about what people were saying and more about what they’re wearing or what they look like. I think it’s real bad because at the end of the day, they’re only hurting those types of artists. Once it becomes strictly an image thing you start jeopardizing careers. It’s like you’re not allowed to gain weight, you’re not allowed to get old. Now, you can’t be a KRS-One, or a Jay-Z, or a Nas because you don’t look cute at 40-something rapping anymore regardless of whether you got the skills or not. So I think once it became image driven it hurt the longevity of rhyming. Hopefully my album will help turn that around because I’m here to rock. I’m rocking in some Converse, let’s go! Line for line, let’s go!
Any advice for other female rappers who are trying to get their names remembered?
My advice would be to stay true to yourself and don’t diss the next one. Let them put themselves in the air then you just come kick away the chair, in the words of Jay-Z. Be nice to your fellow constituents. Nevermind what’s going on to the left to the right to the front to the back of you. You make your music and let the people argue for you.
People are always going to judge but at the end of the day, what do you want people to take away from Rah Digga?
I want people to remember me for rhyming. Forget what I got on. Forget what you know about me. I want people to be like, “That girl can rhyme her ass off!” That’s all I ever wanted from the time I came out. I was fortunate enough to achieve the success that I had with Busta Rhymes and my whole FlipMode experience but I ultimately, wanna be know as the girl that can rhyme better than most of the dudes. I initially thought this album was gonna be like my Stillmatic for Dirty Harriet but now that the album is over and done with, I’m feeling confident enough to call it a Illmatic album. I can’t wait for the public to hear it, then they can stop arguing about who’s the best.