As you all should know by now, I love seeing female rappers on the grind because they're so misrepresented right now. One of my favorites from Miss Rap Supreme, Byata has definitely been on the grind since the show. I had the opportunity to talk to her this morning, very early. So I thank her for being willing to talk before the birds even chirp. Her interview will kick off the 7 Days, 7 Interviews! So here it goes...
Glennisha: How are you?
Glennisha: How has it been since the show?
Byata: It’s been pretty much a hustle. I’m grinding a lot and a lot extra than I would before the show. It’s a lot of notoriety.
Glennisha: Well first off congratulations! Even though you didn’t win Miss Rap Supreme you were basically like the second runner up. So you came a long way. There were a lot of talented women on the show but, you made it to the top two. How does that feel?
Byata: It’s feels good. Rece definitely deserved to win. I got a chance to gain a large fan base from it.
Glennisha: How did you hear about Miss Rap Supreme?
Byata: I use to wait tables at this restaurant and the producer of the show would come by and listen to me spit a lot.
Glennisha: What was the experience like to be in a house with so many other females who obviously had the same passion as you?
Byata: It was interesting to see different girls from different places come together and vibe. It was really cool and inspiring to me. It kept me motivated. It kept me on my Ps and Qs every second.
Glennisha: I was listening to the lyrics on your song “Hush Lil Lady”, which happens to be one of my favorites, and you made references to your father leaving and using drugs, your mother not really being there, and not having any friends. So was it kind of being in a state of solitude that pushed you to start writing?
Byata: It was a lot of pain that pushed me to writing. When I first started writing everything that I wrote was very painful and dark. I remember I use to call my Dad up and tell him to listen to my poetry or rhymes and he would say “Why are you so dark and why are you so gloomy”. I remember that. That was definitely why I started writing, to release pain. Then later on I started using everything else as an inspiration, not just pain. The solitude definitely came into play, just being alone, and just vibing with the energy of the universe.
Glennisha: Who inspires you?
Byata: Lauryn Hill was a big inspiration to me. Now days, Will.i.am is very inspirational to me. I like 50 (Cent). I like him because of his flow and I’m inspired by it. Tupac most definitely. Biggie and then outside of Hip Hop people like Pink, Janis Joplin from back in the day, The Doors, and The Beatles. I just love music period so I get inspired by a lot of different things.
Glennisha: What’s in rotation on your IPod or your CD player right now?
Byata: (Laughs) Everything. I got a little bit of house music. I got a little bit of hip hop music. I got a little bit of 80s. I like 80s music a lot. So when I’m jogging on the treadmill I definitely have a bunch of different array of songs coming through.
Glennisha: I think that the representation of female emcees right now is crazy. For instance there were only 2 nominees in the female rapper category at the BET Awards this year that actually had full albums out and 2003 was the last year that the Grammys even had a female emcee category. How do you feel about that?
Byata: I feel that the women are not taken seriously as artists. A lot of it has a lot to do with maybe the way that they portray themselves. Not all of them but, some of them. I feel like a lot of them either burn bridges or just don’t act right. There is also no alliance with females. There is a lot of drama. We’re not taken seriously because of that. I feel like females should be nominated and getting awards because we work just as hard and it’s actually harder for us. I think all of that will change really soon.
Glennisha: BET just had an all female panel for America vs. Hip Hop. MC Lyte was the moderator but, there wasn’t a female emcee on the panel and of course up for topic of discussion was the way women are portrayed in hip hop videos. So let me ask you, how do you, being a female rapper feel about the way women are portrayed in hip hop or music videos period?
Byata: The majority of the videos that I see women are portrayed as toys. It’s pretty much fat asses, big titties, little shorts, and bouncing going on. We just look like pretty hot toys that are on the TV shaking our ass. I don’t have anything bad to say but, if that’s what a female wants to do then that’s how she portrays herself. It’s not something that I would do or have in my video unless I’m making fun of it. Whatever floats your boat to be honest with you. I don’t hate on anything really but, it’s not something I would do.
Glennisha: You were the first white female rapper to ever appear on 106 and Park’s Freestyle Friday. Have you ever had any issues with you being not only a female rapper but, a white female rapper?
Byata: Yea. I didn’t get signed by two major labels because of the skin color that I have. Five years ago when I was shopping my shit labels were very scared to sign a white girl. They didn’t know if it would go or if it was a gimmick. They didn’t know how to present it the right way. So that kind of fucked things up for me when it came to getting signed. Now days I feel like it’s an advantage for me because I’m different. I’m unique. It’s like I’m a minority when it comes to the Hip Hop game. So, it’s like ok. I walk into a room full of Hip Hop heads with the way I’m dressed and the way I look and cats wouldn’t expect me to spit but, when I do the whole color thing goes over. People don’t look at me anymore like “Damn that’s a white girl”. I get praised for my talents period so I kind of like it now. I use it as an advantage for me now. Back in the day white girls couldn’t get no love.
Glennisha: You’re Russian right?
Glennisha: Do you happen to know what the hip hop scene is like in Russia?
Byata: Oh yea. I actually have been to Russia. I did a show out there and hung out with some hip hop heads from Russia. They’re into it. It’s funny because they have the underground scene where they spit for real and then they have the Pop Hip Hop scene where they dress like Hip Hop artists in America. It’s interesting but, it’s there and it definitely exists.
Byata: I would love to do some music with Timbaland. I would love to do something with (Dr.) Dre. If I could sign with anybody I would definitely sign with 50 (Cent) because I’m digging his whole swag and his business mentality. I think he would be able to put me out there the right way. I’d love to work with Gwen Stefani.
Glennisha: Oh. I love Gwen!
Byata: Yea! Definitely I’d love to work with her. Any talented muthafucka that can inspire me I’d work with honestly. Just like that. If the music is right, I’m on it.
Glennisha: You have an album out right now titled, “Undefined”. Tell us a bit about that.
Byata: Undefined is something that I put together. It’s a collection of songs that I have recorded over the years. I figured my fans were going to be looking for some music when the show aired. So I just got my material together and the best songs that I had and just put them out. They’re not really mixed or mastered. They’re recorded straight onto the CD. I gave it to you guys raw like that. It’s the raw me. It is what it is. You either love it or hate it. That’s just what it is. I called it undefined because it’s so many different styles of Byata that they can’t be defined. I can’t just say I’m this way or I’m that way. So I just decided to label it undefined and let the fans define it.
Glennisha: Do you have any upcoming tours or shows?
Byata: I’m working on a college tour right now. I’m trying to get that together. Basically that’s pretty much it right now. I’m talking with a booking and management agency. I’m trying to get my whole circle together and start creating a really big buzz.
Glennisha: A lot of people may not know but, you were in Spike Lee’s movie He Got Game. Will we get a chance to see you on the big screen again?
Byata: Yes you will. I’m actually shooting a movie starting August 16th. I’m shooting this movie called the Rothstein Diamond. I’m the leading character in the movie. It’s going to be in Sundance (Film Festival) 2009 or 2010. It’s definitely nice to get a leading role. I didn’t expect that so I’m very blessed to have that.
Byata: Thank You.
Glennisha: This is something that I personally would love to see but, do you think that you could ever get together with other emcees from Miss Rap Supreme and do like a compilation album or something?
Byata: I would love to. It’s definitely something that I’ve asked about before and reached out for. A lot of girls are just busy doing their own thing. I don’t really have the time to set the whole thing up myself and start getting tracks and sending them out to chicks. I have to worry about my own shit but, I put it out into the atmosphere, I definitely did. I would love to do some shit with Nicky, Rece, Ms. Cherry, and Lady Twist. I think that’s it pretty much with the chicks in the house. We’re all taking care of our own business. One of us is going to have to get out the hot seat and say, “Alright, let’s do this”. I don’t know. Hopefully it could happen but, like I said everybody is busy doing their own thing.
Glennisha: Thank you so much for your time Byata and for participating in 7 Days, 7 Interviews. I’m so looking forward to seeing and hearing more of you. Continue to hold it down for the ladies!
Byata: Thank you, mama.
*Audio Coming Soon*
You can purchase Byata's album, Undefined @ http://cdbaby.com/Byata
For booking visit www.Byata.com