We don't hear enough from the other side of rap; The Female Emcee. Today we will be sitting down with Renegade The Rapper. I think there may be a bar in her name.
We will be asking all the tough questions, and getting to know one of the best LadySpitters I've come across.
Go get a snack and a drink, this one's long. Enjoy!!!
(Q) How old are you?
I just turned 25.
(Q) Where were you born/grew up (area only unless you want to be specific)?
I was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington. It's the only place I've ever lived aside from 3 years in Blaine, WA by the Canadian border when I was in middle school.
(Q) What was that like?
Vancouver in the early 2000s was bleak and lonely, but comforting because it was and still is the only home I really know. It's become a lot more lively and cultured over the years, but I do worry about it. A lot of Portland's problems are coming here. Crime is increasing a little bit. And in addition, there are not a whole lot of rehabilitation programs to help with the homelessness and drug addiction issues that are only getting worse here.
People are doing drugs in front of kids at public parks. Just the other day I saw an angry mother, with her kids, screaming at a woman shooting up heroin in front of a large group of men, women, and children at a Saturday market. It's sad, but I do have a lot of hope.
Our city workers here are great and our community is trying to get more involved. However, don’t get it twisted; Vancouver is a great place to be. It’s a really cute city. Great food, great coffee, great beer. Great small businesses. Cool people. It’s lovely. And overall it is still very safe.
(Q) In school, were you an overachiever?
Well, I was, until I dropped out after freshman year.
(Q) What was the music scene like when you were in school?
In middle school, I was a band geek and we played a lot of jazz, orchestral, classical music, marching band music and even some rock covers too. On top of that most kids were listening to 30H!3, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" on repeat. I loathed every bit of it, at the time. I was only into rock and classical music at the time so I turned my nose at any hint of pop or mainstream back then, although as I grow older my tastes expand quite a bit beyond what they used to be.
(Q) Do you remember your first experience with music?
Yes. I had a little Yamaha keyboard. I remember it had pre-recorded music in it you could play, so I would turn that on in front of my mom and pretend I was doing it to try and make her laugh. Which she did. I remember taking that same keyboard to the room my older sister and I shared and trying to play the keyboard by ear to U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" on the radio. Around that same time, I remember my older brother and me having singing contests and singing Linkin Park mostly, and terribly. But it was fun, and it helped us escape what we were going through at the time.
(Q) When, did music become important to you?
It never wasn't important to me. It's always been an obsession, infatuation, and a necessity. Possibly even a fetish.
(Q) Was there an artist(s) that had influence over you wanting to create music?
Chopin was my first big motivator. I taught myself piano seriously at age 11, and Chopin was like a magician to me, the way he played and composed. To this day, few artists can blow my mind like Chopin.
Then at 14, I developed an obsession for 80s synth pop, particularly a band called Tears for Fears, and then also Depeche Mode. I started using my abilities to play guitar, bass, and the drum pad and vocals to make some sort of alternative indie songs. I remember one I did called "Wallflower", it's on Soundcloud somewhere under a different name.
But the biggest motivator I've ever had to make music is definitely Eminem, but why he's the biggest motivator for me to make music is a long story.
(Q) What artist(s) do you look up to?
So many. In no particular order, the most influential artists/music groups of all time to me are Chopin, Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, Amy Winehouse, Eminem, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Chuk D & Flava Flav of Public Enemy, All of Alice In Chains, and All of Linkin Park.
(Q) When did you decide you were going to be a rapper/first drop?
So here's the part where I tell that really long story about Eminem.
I was about 15, and the depression I've always had pretty much my whole life just got so intolerable that I secretly decided I was going to attempt suicide; by swallowing a whole bottle of Tylenol PM. That just seemed like the easiest way to do it for me since I'm too squeamish to cut myself or anything like that.
However, my dad was gone, I believe at a meeting or something, and so I peeked into his room and discovered the bottle was empty.
The nearest store was closed, so I decided to wait until tomorrow when the store opens to buy a new bottle and do the deed.
That night I could not sleep; so at about 3 in the morning or something like that, I decided to get up and entertain myself one last time with some Youtube. Don't ask what compelled me to do this, but I searched "Eminem" on YouTube. I didn't even listen to Eminem. I just heard his name a lot. That same day, Rap God had just dropped. So I clicked. My mind exploded, and my face melted off dude. I had never felt that type of energy, adrenalin, and competitive spirit. I never felt so alive than that moment hearing that song when I was at rock bottom in my head.
So then I clicked on more of his songs, and suddenly it occurred to me that I'd grown up listening to this man since I was a child and completely forgot. I had remembered suddenly when I was a toddler, about 4 or 5, and my older cousins that lived with us were listening to D12's "My Band", Eminem's "Hailey's Song", "When I'm Gone", and "Cleanin' Out My Closet".
I had memories of me begging my mom to let me listen to Eminem with my cousins and her forbidding me from ever listening to him, so I'd sneak into the basement with my cousins to listen. All this nostalgia came rushing back with every song, like "Oh, I remember this one, oh I remember singing to that".
I remember just bawling my eyes out from all the emotions & nostalgia and newfound hope. And that was that! My new mission was to be the best artist I could be, to be honest, and to be a better rapper than Eminem. Which I realized I long time ago is a really stupid goal to set for yourself, but I guess that also means I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life because I don't think I'm ever gonna get there, but I'll keep trying just for the Hell of it.
At least that goal to be the best and the level of motivation he has given me has been the thing getting me out of bed for the last 10 years. Nowadays I see that I have a million other reasons to get up every day, but had he not convinced me to stick around way back when towards the end of 2013, I never would have had or noticed I had those million reasons to live in the first place. I actually feel scared when I think of what could have happened to me, or what I could have done to myself, had he not popped into my life like that when he did. I'm scared right now just talking about it.
(Q) How has the grind been when it comes to writing/recording/performing?
It's been rough. I need help. I've been battling a lot of mental & physical health issues that make it difficult to stay motivated & have energy. I work a full-time job at a business I help manage.
The music culture in my city, especially for rap, is practically dead, so performing is difficult. I only know of a couple of places I can do open mics here, but getting venues is almost out of the question. It's hard to build a reputation and momentum here.
I have thousands of songs written, but I'm such a perfectionist that recording them quickly is a challenge, cuz I re-record the same shit a million times and still am not satisfied. Then I overdo it so much I get tired of the song.
Plus I do this all on my own for the most part aside from the beats, so outsourcing engineers are expensive and tricky, and doing it myself is time-consuming. I feel like I'm always behind on the music I wanna release. I know it's brilliant for the most part, but getting that brilliance out of my brain and into the mic and the DAW and then onto Spotify & YouTube, that's the challenge that wears me out. Outsourcing without assistance, it's hard.
I feel stuck, I feel lost, and I feel like I'm floating around aimlessly, it’s chaotic in my head all the time trying to manage everything I’m trying to do with my music career, but I'm embracing it regardless. Going with the flow. Even if the flow is hard right now. I’m going with it.
(Q) Do you work or are you doing music full-time?
Yes. lol, I work full-time for a health/supplements company that I've been with for 10 years. My dad started it, and now we've merged with another incredible company with the best people. So I get to slang super-powered supplements as a Senior Ops Specialist, and at night I get to be Renegade. I've never had a normal job, but I've also never not worked even before I had a job, I was always working on something, usually music, drawing, or trying to learn something new.
I actually have a problem, my family and friends have also had this issue with me over the years, and I have a hard time not working. My mind doesn’t let me relax. I constantly feel like I’m supposed to be in the studio, or working on something related to my music. It actually drives me insane.
(Q) What artist(s) are you hoping to work with?
I have a laundry list of them. But there are 3 that stand out; I don’t think a single day has gone by since I was 15 that I didn’t think about working with these dudes. Marshall, Curtis, and Andre. The 3 Muskateers. Eminem, 50 cent, and Dre. The holy trinity. Yes, they’re some of my favorite artists, but really what I think it is is that they have the most passion and the best attitudes, or their attitudes resonate with mine. Plus they’re literally my childhood heroes. They say to never meet your heroes, but I have met one of my heroes before and it was awesome so bring it on.
(Q) Have you performed live in front of a crowd, if yes, what's your favorite event or one that will have a lasting memory?
Yes, on a very low level. I performed in front of 500+ people playing original piano pieces several times, I've done plenty of open mics but the only legit "crowd" I performed my rap music for was for a Coast 2 Coast competition at some joint in Seattle.
To be honest, the competition was weird. I was already expecting to lose or get a lower spot like the top 3 or 5, but most of the artists competing had asked the hosts to please turn the mic up as nobody could hear the other rappers over the beats, and instead, they handed us a different mic at the same low volume. So nobody could hear anybody else hardly at all. The winners literally lip-synced over their pre-recorded music.
Meanwhile, I rapped my heart out, with no pre-recorded vocals, didn't miss a beat, was practically screaming so they could hear me, the crowd was going WILD, this one big dude was banging on the stage at my feet screaming "YESSS!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!" but the judges had the audacity to give me one piece of feedback with that quiet ass mic: "You need to project more." How's this for projecting, Coast 2 Coast?
(Q) What's your favorite food?
Ethiopian Food is my favorite of all time. All the various spiced meat, and veggie dishes they have with the injera bread; oh my God. After that, it's sushi. Particularly a spicy tuna hand roll with avocado, and spicy mayo, then tamales with way too much sour cream and hot sauce, which I indulge in very frequently for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
(Q) What's your favorite genre of music?
Definitely a tie between Romantic-era piano, 80s synth pop, and every single subgenre of Hip Hop/Rap. I love the old school, the new school, and everything in between. I just appreciate rap in general, and all it has to offer.
(Q) If you had a chance to wine and dine with a celebrity, who would that be?
I think the real question is, which one of these celebrities wants to wine n dine me? Also, I hate wine. I’d love to work with artists like 50 Cent and Eminem as I mentioned before like actually make music and stuff, but I don’t think they drink wine either. So no wining and dining for us I guess. I will dine though. I love a good dinner. Love waffles. Love coffee. Love food.
(Q) What is the mission or goals with your music?
Lots of goals. I wanna have a career singing in front of large crowds of excited people first and foremost. Make incredible music videos that I help direct that become a staple in music history.
I won't lie, making music I enjoy, are my biggest goal.
I also wanna make a lot of money, passively and otherwise; not only because I like having financial security, and stability, which is a thing I've lacked most of my life. But alongside that wealth, I wanna have such a big platform and loud voice that I can make a bigger, positive impact on the world around me.
I don't think I'm a particularly selfish or particularly generous person for having any of these goals, but these are the goals in mind. All of these goals are part of the mission which is ultimately World Domination.
(Q) Do you think you'll be doing this all your life?
I know I'll be doing this all my life. This gave me life in the first place.
(Q) Anything you want to say to the readers, upcoming projects, collaborations, or anything.
I got a new album coming soon with JustChris the Producer, who is one of the most amazing producers I’ve ever heard of in my life.
I am so honored to have the privilege of creating this masterpiece with him, and it's gonna be out of this world.
Thanks in advance to everyone who listens to it, supports it, and us when it drops.
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