Interview conducted by: Sam Frank
Rasheeda, the female MC hailing from Atlanta, Georgia has been cranking out hits since the early 90s. She has always ruled as the Queen of Crunk but she has also established herself as one of the sexist women in Hip Hop. Her latest album, Dat Type of Girl includes her new single, My Bubblegum and it is quickly climbing up the charts. Rap Industry had the chance to meet with Rasheeda to get a little insight about what it means to be that type of girl.
I was listening to the song Georgia Peach today, but on your other album of the same title. You have another album that has some of these songs on it.
Rasheeda: Yeah, I do. That album was actually a previous release. We decided to go with another label called Cat Records and they just fell apart in the whole process so then not a whole lot of those were out there for people to hear.
So, Tell me about the new album. Whats your objective with this album?
Rasheeda: My objective is for people to know that when they pop the cd in the player that Im that type of girl. Thats why the album is called Dat Type of Gurl. Once they pop that cd in then theyll come into the life of Rasheeda, and I couldve said that type of lady, but that type of girl sounded better. Basically, I call the album my ghetto street fabulous classy album. Ya know, where Im just kind of saying a lot of things that we havent really been able to put out there as women, and at the same time, putting different experiences that Ive been through, relationship stuff, and putting it out there.
What do you think about women in Hip Hop? Do you feel there is more of a need for women in Hip Hop?
Rasheeda: My main thing is that Im not trying to go out here and just talk about sex, and thats it. I wanted to put a twist on it, and make it like a classy, sexy, dont you wanna taste this Georgia peach, the type of girl you wanna chew on my bubble gum, and make it kinda fun, and also, come across as a classy, fun, you know, sexy. You can keep all your clothes on and still be sexy as hell. And of course, being an independent black woman in a male dominated industry, I just wanna come out here and stand up on my own two feet. [I wanted other rappers to know that] I can hang with you all on the lyric tip, but I can be sexy as hell. I can drive the fellas in, but the ladies all with me understand that and thats the difference with being a female artist. Its a line between being sexy and classy with it, and being able to do other music that women can relate to, and can feel like, hey, she sounds just like me, just like me talking to one of my homegirls on the phone. Thats really where Im going with it and thats just being myself.
What do you think about the whole Don Imus situation? The reason I bring this up is because I heard Snoop Dogg talking about how when people in Hip Hop use the word hos they are actually talking about women who are gold diggers. Not like women who are scholastic achievers.
Rasheeda: Exactly, if the shoes fits type of thing.
Yeah, but when I listen to you it sounds like I am listening to that woman who is educated. After hearing songs like Georgia Peach or Type of Gurl it felt like you could definitely hang lyrically with some of these [more famous] guy rappers out there. How old were you when you started rapping?
Rasheeda: I was really young. When I was really really young I would just watch Hip Hop artists, the old school artists, and just be like, man, look at them and look how they tellin their story, and it seemed like I was right there with them, in their hood, when things were going on in their records that they were talking about. I used to just look at the television and say, hey, I love they way hes talking about his hood and everything thats going on. Damn, I wanna tell my stories. You know, whether its really in-depth or its just about some straight up fun s**t like you wanna taste of this Georgia Peach or he gonna watch me bend over and touch my toes. Hip Hop has totally influenced me, and one thing I always wanted to do was stay true to myself and the music. I didnt want to say, ok, Im gonna do this record because this is what I should be saying. Nah, Im gonna do what I feel and be the independent, strong woman that I am, get out here, and do the music that I feel comfortable with. Ive grown as a woman and a mother.
How many children do you have?
Rasheeda: I have a six year old boy.
Rasheeda: As far as the bitch and ho type of thing, its just a if-the-shoe-fits-then-wear-it type of thing. You cant cover up or take away the fact that when people step out the door everybodys not like hi, how are you!!! (speaking in a overzealous tone). When somebody gets mad, or when certain things go wrong, the first thing a lot of people, black; white; Mexican; whatever say, That bitch, that mf. Its just the realities of it, and what we have to do, as parents and as people, is teach our kids right from wrong. We gotta teach, and at the end of the day, we also have to learn how to separate certain things.
Talking about people that you listened to when you were growing up and their stories, who did you listen to growing up? Who do you look up to as a rapper?
Rasheeda: I kinda changed when Hip Hop changed. When it was all about the west coast I thought I was just all about the west coast.
Like Dr. Dre?
Rasheeda: Like Dre, N.W.A, Easy E, Snoop, and all of those [artists]. Ive been a fan of just Hip Hop from Public Enemy.
I covered Public Enemy a few weeks ago and Chuck D was on his game.
Rasheeda: Totally. I mean, Jay-Z, Pac, Biggie, Nas. A lot of artists. As the years go by and things just kinda change and evolve, I feel as though I am a true artist to it, and I look at everybody like, wow, I have to come in and not have people just think okay, shes kinda cute, ya know, shes gonna try to get over. No, I really want to come at you and let you know I can be lyrical.
Did you write the lyrics for this album?
What was the inspiration for the first single, My Bubble Gum?
Rasheeda: Its just a little something we say in the south.
Where in the south?
Rasheeda: In Atlanta. Its just a little thing that we do, ya know, (in a sexy voice) you wanna chew on my bubble gum? Its that type of thing, again, keeping it fun and tasty (followed by a laugh). My next single is called Type of Girl, and when I wrote that record, in my last verse, I said, Im the type of girl who gonna ride when you need one/ Im the type of girl who gonna chew on my bubble gum. When I said that, and then I also said, Im the type of girl you wanna take to your mommas house, and when I heard it after I finished the record I was like, damn, I need to make a hook out of those two lines right there.
That explains where you got the bubble gum from. Thats really cool.
Rasheeda:Thats where I got it from. I mean, a lot of times as artists, we may take stuff we play on verses and turn it into a hook, but when I heard that I was like, huh, I know the girls feel me on that s**t.
Because youre putting older songs on this new album how do you choose which songs to put on and leave off?
Rasheeda: I put my favorites on, and then I also put on my top downloads. Ya know what Im saying, like my top myspace hits. I just did it that way because a lot of the Georgia Peach album didnt get out there. I felt like the album was really hot, and so many people have not heard these records.
I myself found it very hard to purchase the Georgia Peach album because a lot of stores didnt carry it. One thing I did notice on the Georgia Peach album is that you sound very south, but according to your bio it says you are from Decatur, Illinois.
Rasheeda: I was born in Decatur, but Ive been in Atlanta almost all my life.
Who in Atlanta would you ever like to collaborate with?
Rasheeda: Andre 3000.
Have you ever thought about getting on his animated series, Class of 3000?
Rasheeda: I should do that. That would be hot. I havent worked with T.I. yet, but I have worked with Jeezy, Nelly, Jazzy Fade, Pastor Troy, Ying Yang Twins, a lot of people. I think right now T.I. and Andre 3000 are two people I havent worked with. I wanna work with Ludacris as far as doing a record together, but weve worked on songs together.
Who would you like to tour with?
Rasheeda: I would love the chance to spread myself real thin, doing something a bit more alternative, like, tour with a Fergie; some female stuff. That would be really hot. But Id also love to go out there with Lil Wayne and Jeezy, and get in where all the track voices are at.
What other female artists would you like on the bill? I mean, you mentioned Fergie, but who else interests you?
Rasheeda: Ciara, Rihanna, I would just mix it up and be on some real hot women stuff.
I attended the Video Music Awards in Tokyo last year and Rihanna was there and everyone loved her.
Rasheeda: Ive been to Germany a lot. I toured about 21 cities in Germany and it was great. I mean, in every club the fans were ridiculous.
Were you touring on your own or opening up for another act?
Rasheeda: I would tour solo. I sometimes went out there for a week or for a few days and hit different cities every night. Some of the clubs were straight German clubs and other ones were Hip Hop clubs.
Out of the places youve toured, where do you like the best?
Rasheeda: Im really liking Dallas, Texas a lot. I just got in from Houston this morning, and I havent had any sleep. I had a show last night where I performed at 2:30 a.m., left the club at 3:30 a.m., and then got on my 5:45 a.m. flight this morning. Ive been going all day. I did Dallas on Thursday, Waco on Friday, Houston over the weekend, and now Im here.
Are you still feeling the energy from your last show?
Rasheeda: Yeah, Im still crunked. Im sure by midnight Ill pass out.
Other than Hip Hop, what other music do you listen to?
Rasheeda: I bump the hell out of Justin Timberlake.
I like that song Damn Girl. Would you every want to work with Timberland?
Rasheeda: Hell yeah! Id love to work with Timberland. Timberland is dope.
Have you heard his new album?
Rasheeda: I heard some records and I really liked them.
What other beat makers do you like?
Rasheeda:I like Timberland, Pharrell, and, someone who Ive known for years and is doing extremely well, Polow The Don. He did Rich Boy, Fergies London Bridge, and The Pussycat Dolls.
Are you afraid of ever losing translation because people are listening to the beats and missing what youre saying?
Rasheeda: Thats something I really work on because I always try to make sure that I come across extremely strong and dominant on records. Even when Im trying to be laid back on some sexy stuff, I definitely dont like for that to happen. And I think that if people listen then theyll totally get it because Im not too lyrical where its off the cliff.
Youre not in outer space like Rakim?
Rasheeda: Im not out of the universe with it, but ya know, just totally relatable. You get me.
When you decided what track to use as your first single were you aiming for the lyrical tip or something that bangs hard in the club?
Kind of both. To be honest, I felt like, from a young girl to an older woman
can relate, but its also something you want to ride and listen to in
your car. But at the same time youre listening to it like, hey, I am
that type of girl, you wanna chew on my bubble gum and take to your mommas
house, but at the same time, when you hear it in the club and have some drinks
standing there with your girls, the first thing youre gonna think is:
Thats my s**t.