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new Lady of Rage interview! good read speaks on pac and old death row days

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  • new Lady of Rage interview! good read speaks on pac and old death row days

    The Lady of Rage’s time came at last, in 1997, with Necessary Roughness. Though critics praised the album, the headless record company didn’t support the project – allowing the album to break a flawless label history of Gold and Platinum. In the year following, added to the murders in Rap, Rage retreated to her native, Virginia.

    With acting roles in Next Friday plus other appearances, Rage stayed busy – but removed from her past. With a few guest verses, compilation work, and several AllHipHop Rumor updates, a return to Rap had been long projected. Last week, a mixtape, “VA to L.A.” was released, and AllHipHop.com quickly delivered Lady of Rage to our masses – touching on the past and the future.



    PART 1

    AllHipHop.com: “Unfucwithable” on Doggystyle All-Stars was the last big piece of work I remember of yours. What have you been up to the last two or three years?

    Lady of Rage: I’ve been up to: working on album; trying to get a deal. I’ve been working on myself – my spirit and my outlook on life.

    AllHipHop.com: On your outro, you mention that industry people are not always returning your calls. How has the search for the deal been going?

    Lady of Rage: With Boss Lady Entertainment [the company behind the mixtape], we really haven’t gone full steam ahead as far as actually pounding the pavement for a deal. [As far as the phone calls], I’d see certain artists or producers out and say, “Is there anything I can do for your?” and [we’d exchange numbers]. When I’d call or follow-up, it’s phony. I hate it. I hate it with a passion. I hate the runaround. After I call a person four or five times, I don’t call ‘em anymore. I hold grudges. I shouldn’t, but I take all of that stuff personally.

    AllHipHop.com: Mixtapes mean different things for different artists. For you, what is the best case scenario as a result of this mixtape?

    Lady of Rage: The best case scenario is that Jay-Z would hear it and want to sign me. The next best case scenario is that people will know that I’m still doin’ this, my skills haven’t dulled or anything, and I’m free agent. Whoever comes with the best offer to me will definitely not regret it.

    AllHipHop.com: I think the average Hip-Hopper would see you wanting to get signed, and say “Why not Snoop? Why not Dre?” Why not?

    Lady of Rage: As far as Snoop, yes – we were supposed to do business together, but things didn’t work that way. I think the distributor wasn’t sure if I was or wasn’t still signed to Death Row, and didn’t want the hassle. As far as Snoop, it’s not anything personal. As far as Dre, I would love to work with Dre – but I don’t have any contact to him. He’s a hard guy to get in touch with. I don’t think I have any burnt bridges at all. Even with Suge, I saw Suge a while ago when I was at Death Row [offices], and he knows I’m venturing on and stuff. Even if he offered me a deal, if it was right, I might go that route. I’m just trying to get the best thing. This is my second time around. My first time, I came out in the midst of turmoil as far as Suge going to jail, Dre leaving, ‘Pac getting killed – and in the midst of that, [Necessary Roughness] was released with no type of marketing or promotion.

    AllHipHop.com: I’ve always been intrigued by your album. In 1997, Death Row released more albums in one year, than they have in the last seven or eight. I had heard specifically, that your project was salvaged by DJ Premier because it was old material on the cutting room floor…

    Lady of Rage: That’s news to me. I didn’t know all that. I don’t know if Premier saved the project. But I know Premier, was definitely one of the artists I wanted to work with. I wasn’t allowed to work with many of the producers I wanted to. I had to work with what I had.

    AllHipHop.com: How does Necessary Roughness sit with you today?

    Lady of Rage: I wish it could have gotten more exposure. Those lyrics on there…I feel if that whole album was remixed, and put out right now, it’d [do well]. I feel that I’m still a dope lyricist, and as far as females are concerned, if I’m not in the Top Three, there’s something wrong, and as far as males, if I’m not in the Top Twenty, lyrically [something’s wrong]. That’s how much I believe in my music. I could be under false pretense, but I don’t think so. If everybody could’ve heard Necessary Roughness, then they’d know, “Wow, she really is a dope MC.”

    AllHipHop.com: This was 1997. “Afro Puffs” was three years prior. Why was the “strike while the iron’s hot” motto not used?

    Lady of Rage: When I first came to Death Row, they told me my album was going to be the next album put out after The Chronic. Then they said Snoop’s, but after Snoop’s mine. Then came Above The Rim. So, I kept getting pushed back. I don’t know if it was a male thing or not. “Afro Puffs” I believe, could’ve gone platinum as a single. Also, when I write, I don’t write like Snoop and Daz and everybody like that. I don’t feel like writing in the studio ‘cause I don’t like a lot of people around me. I like to be at home, in my room. I was slower than the rest. I really don’t know.

    AllHipHop.com: The chemistry with you and Dre was so right, but so minimal. Is there unreleased material from those days?

    Lady of Rage: Oh no! Like I said, when I write – I don’t do anything extra. I do what I have to do, that’s it. If I die tonight, you wouldn’t get another album from Rage.

    AllHipHop.com: One of the little known moments was the b-side to “Dre Day,” called “Puffin’ on Blunts and Drankin’ Tanqueray.” This freestyle with you, Tha Dogg Pound, and Dre was classic. Tell me about that moment…

    Lady of Rage: Those days were just…I don’t know if magic is the word. There was just a vibe. Dre used to make beats, and I would always walk in and say, “I don’t like that beat” – from the gate. I was always the one complainin’. But when I walked in that day, and I heard that track, I was like, “I like that!” Blunts and Tanqueray were circulating, and we just did it. I’m at a loss for words. I think I got [The Quotable] in The Source that month for that. I’ve gotten that twice. The other was, “Microphone Pon Cok.”

    AllHipHop.com: A lot of artists do crazy things to get kicked off labels. It’s rumored that you did a number on Death Row’s lobby. Is there any merit to that?

    Lady of Rage: [laughs] Well… I don’t know if I did a number on it. I went up there one day to pick something up. I’d been going up there all the time. Suge was locked up at the time, things were run differently. When I got to the lobby, the guy there told me I needed an appointment to go upstairs. I was like, “I need an appointment? For what?” All I got was, “Things are different now.” I was insulted by that. I’m one of the artists, one of the reasons this office is here, I feel. I didn’t sell millions of records, but I was on those things. This is mine’s like Dre’s, Snoop’s, Suge’s, whatever. I said, “Can you go get the package for me?” When he went upstairs, I picked up something and I broke some things up, and really give them a reason for not lettin’ me in here. I never went back again until I couple of months ago. I was just mad. I was pregnant, I was mad, that was slap in the face.

    AllHipHop.com: What was it like on the recent visit? And why would you go back to Death Row?

    Lady of Rage: I went back because my daughter’s father works up there. I didn’t go back there for business or anything. I went up there for that. Suge was in the parking lot at the time. I hadn’t seen him since he got released. We spoke to each other like, “You look nice,” and that was it. No, “What the Hell you doin’ here?” None of that. That [lobby] incident, I don’t believe Suge had anything to do with it. I told him about it. I wrote him a couple letters – told him how I was upset about different things, and I didn’t wanna be on Death Row anymore. That was it. He said that whatever I wanted to do, he was with me.

  • #2
    PART 2

    AllHipHop.com: When you left Death Row, what was your relationship like with Rap?

    Lady of Rage: Basically, I was through with it. After Tupac died and Biggie got killed, it took the love away from me. It seemed like it was turning to something ugly. I didn’t wanna be on stage performing with someone and because you have beef with this guy I’m performing with, you taking aim at him – and I’m skipping along singing, and I get killed because of somebody else’s animosity for who I’m with. I didn’t like that. DMX’s album is what made me want to get back in this.

    AllHipHop.com: Which album?

    Lady of Rage: The first two:It’s Dark, and Hell is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood.I was listening to him, and I was like, “Yeah, that’s how you do it!” I was in awe with him. I’m gonna do this s**t. They need me. I like his single now with The Ruff Ryders, “Get Wild” too. I can relate to his passion for it. I rhyme with conviction, and that’s how he strikes me.

    AllHipHop.com: I need some clarification though. You’ve got this line on a song on the mixtape: ”Arrest me if ya catch me, playa / I was locked on Death Row, so misdemeanors don’t impress me, playa,” Are you dissing Missy, who is also from Virginia like you?

    Lady of Rage: I’m glad you asked me about that. When I did that song, I didn’t think about it. I didn’t think people would take it as a diss. When I went to Virginia, two people asked me if I was dissin’ Missy. When I got back to California, one person asked me if I was dissin’ Missy. No! Not at all. I would love to work with Missy. Beef is not my thing – unless you do something to me, personally. It had no reference to Missy at all. I admire her work, plus she’s from Virginia. That’s not my style.

    AllHipHop.com: Tell me about your relationship with Tupac…

    Lady of Rage: My relationship with Tupac was… I don’t know what it was. He thought I didn’t like him. What I didn’t like was the vibe that seemed to have come with him to Death Row. Because he was beefin’ with Biggie, he wanted me to diss Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown. Before that, he told me that I was the weak link on Death Row…

    AllHipHop.com: He told you this to your face?

    Lady of Rage: Yep. Because at [1995] The Source Awards, when Suge said all that stuff, most of the people from Death Row stood up, I didn’t. I didn’t agree. When Biggie, Junior M.A.F.I.A., and Lil’ Kim came out, I stood up. I liked the song. I’m the type that – you can’t make me dislike somebody ‘cause you don’t like him. So I said, “I don’t think that makes me the weak link, I think it makes me the strong link. I’m an individual.” He thought I was the weak link – okay, that’s fine. Me and Foxy Brown never had any type of beef. Secondly, me and Lil’ Kim used to talk on occasions. I liked her stuff. He said, “You not my homegirl?” I said, “Yeah, I’m your homegirl.” He said, “You not gonna diss someone, they tried to kill me!” I said, “Why don’t you see ‘em face to face.” He said, “I’m not trying to kill the motherf**ka, I’m tryin’ to kill his career.” This is what he told me – he didn’t wanna kill Biggie or Puffy, he just wanted to make it bad for them to make money.

    We had another incident. We were always coming to stuff. In the studio, he was always coming in on my time. I told him that. He said, “When I call up to the studio, and they ask me what studio I want, and I tell them, they say, ‘Okay, it’ll be ready for you.’” I went to the office. They were like, “What it is, nobody wants to tell ‘Pac no.” I’m like, “What about my stuff? It’s just not important?” There was no answer. I told [‘Pac] what was said. The next time, he was like, “You need more time?” He was trying to work with me. He was more concerned. He asked me if I was gonna be on the One Nation album. He’s like, “I got East Coast mothaf**kas on there, we need you.” I said, “Aiight, I be on it.” That’s why I wasn’t on his album. I didn’t want to be in any controversy. That’s how I played it.

    The Saturday he got shot, they went to Vegas, they came over. I was staying at Suge’s house at the time. Everybody left from there. I can’t see too good. I’m supposed to wear glasses but I don’t. I believe he waved at me, but I don’t know. After I got in, I was like, “Damn, was ‘Pac wavin’ at me?” I never got to say bye to him. He never came back. Other than that, he was a cool guy. I remember he told me, “Rage, I don’t like big girls. But there’s something about you I do like.” I said, “Yeah? Okay.” He expressed hisself. He didn’t bite his tongue and I didn’t bite mine neither. I guess we had a respect for each other.

    AllHipHop.com: Was “Big Bad Lady” on your album an actual collaboration? Or did the label do that?

    Lady of Rage: Yeah, he did that.

    AllHipHop.com: Your comments on Lil’ Kim are interesting – the friendship. I remember on Charli Baltimore’s first album, you were on a posse cut called, “Thorough B*tches.” I always thought that was an answer to “Ladies Night”…

    Lady of Rage: Oh, I don’t have a clue! Wow. I was invited to do “Ladies Night.” Uh, the powers that be, being that they had creative control and all that, I couldn’t do it. “Thorough B*tches,” Jacob [York] asked me if I’d be on the track. I never thought of it as an answer or anything. I think DaBrat was on [both songs].

    AllHipHop.com: Is it true that Chubb Rock was really instrumental in your discovery?

    Lady of Rage: Yes he was. Not my discovery. At the time, I was working and living at Chung King Studios, and he was doing he thing. One night I was in there writing a rhyme, and I caught him peeking at me. He asked me if I wanted to be on a song. At the time he was going on the road. He gave me keys to his apartment and money for cab fare for nothin’ – I didn’t have sex with this guy, never touched him. It was a genuine concern like, “Wow, this girl is living here – washing up in the sink. There’s no hot water.” Sometimes I’d eat the food left at a session. I did that. I remember meeting a lot of people through Chung King: Charlie Brown, Puffy, Mary J. Blige, all of them. I read an article on Madonna a long time ago that said she lived in a shelter in New York. If living homeless or living in a shelter would get me to the status that Madonna is, no problem – I’ll do it. I initially was working with the L.A. Posse, they were working with LL Cool J. Dre heard the album, wanted to get in touch with me. Suge called, wanted to know if I wanted to come to L.A. Chubb Rock didn’t trust it. Ice Cube had left and got Yo-Yo. He didn’t know if they were trying to recruit a girl in they camp to go against Ice Cube and Yo-Yo. “But Dr. Dre? Dr. Dre!” Two months later, [Chubb] came out to L.A., told me he was bringing me back with him. I said, “Let me wait a lil’ longer.” Two months later, “Deep Cover” came out, and got the ball rollin’.

    AllHipHop.com: It went uncredited, but your first verse was actually on Chubb Rock’s The One album?

    Lady of Rage: That was me [as] Rockin’ Robin!

    AllHipHop.com: Touching on acting briefly, was your character in Next Friday at all a reflection of the Lady of Rage?

    Lady of Rage: No. Rage is not that character. When people meet me, “Don’t beat me up.” I think my rhymes – my style of rhymes is so hard. I separate Rage from Robin. When people meet me, they getting Robin – they expecting Rage. Rage is when I’m really angry, when I’m on stage, or when I’m writing. I’m not like that in person. I tend to play these roles very well. If I had my ideal role, it’d be showing a range of emotions. But I can’t knock what gets me from point A to point B. I don’t wanna keep doing those roles, ‘cause I don’t want to be – typecast. In two or three months, I’m gonna start auditioning again. I would love to be on The Wire though.

    AllHipHop.com: Lastly, Jean Grae is a staff member of AllHipHop. On your outro, you shouted her out. What do you like about Jean?

    Lady of Rage: She reminds me of myself. Conviction, a passion. You can hear it in what she’s saying. She’s not rhyming about her diamonds, or what anybody else is rhyming about. Because I’m not rhyming about what everybody else is, I might not get too much play. But the people that’s checking for the realness, they know Jean Grae. The [women MC’s] I didn’t mention [on the mixtape outro] are because they’re not underground, or they didn’t come to my mind. They blew up. I’m mentioning the ones that didn’t blew up. DaBrat blew up, Eve blew up, Foxy blew up, Kim blew up, Missy blew up. I’m [shouting out] those that didn’t. But, in time – in time.

    AllHipHop.com: Where can fans get the mixtape?

    Lady of Rage: Very soon at www.bossladyent.com [as the site finishes construction, [email protected]

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks
      "The world is changing and there are new opportunities for those who are ready to join forces with those who are stronger and more experienced" -Lucky Luciano (1897-1962)

      Comment


      • #4
        nice read

        Comment


        • #5
          Was it her on Chronic?
          ..Friend of the People

          Comment


          • #6
            fat bitch

            Comment


            • #7
              lady of rage is easily THE best female rapper out...just that after readin this interview, it sounds as if her skills are limited, but she was great on doggystyle

              "Grand, slam, yes I am
              Kickin up dust and I don't give a god DAMN
              Cause I'm that lyrical murderer
              Pleadin guilty, you know from my skills I'm about to be
              Filthy large, Rage in charge"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JSO
                Was it her on Chronic?
                She was on "Stranded on Death Row," but that was not her saying that funny shit on "Bitches Aint Shit" that was Jewell. And she was on the intro and "For All my Niggaz and Bitches" on Doggystyle.
                "The world is changing and there are new opportunities for those who are ready to join forces with those who are stronger and more experienced" -Lucky Luciano (1897-1962)

                Comment


                • #9
                  props good interview

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lady Of Rage is probably the most skilled female rapper I know of, though I hear good things about Jean Grae, but I haven't heard much of her material... but props, great read
                    Defeating me is humanly incapable/My thirst for blood is gruesomely insatiable

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