When we speak about female MC’s, depending on what era you’re from or what you have been exposed to, you may get different images in your mind as to what one should do or look like. I think we are now embarking on a scene where artists are really showing that at the end of the day its about being good at your craft as opposed to how little you have on. The artists have finally made a pact to themselves to deliver quality music.
Straight out of Brooklyn, I introduce to you Nemiss. This female MC is someone that definitely delivers quality Hip Hop that will appeal to all generations. She has been putting in work on the underground for sometime now, opening up for the likes of The Roots, Gang Starr and Common. As well as being a part of the music scene she is well known as a presenter for JumpOff TV. If you are like me and just yearn to hear some real artistry and skills then make way for Nemiss…
Kwaku: Hey thanks for taking the time out to do this would you like to introduce your self and let the people know what you’re all about?
Nemiss: That’s right pleased to meet you I really should tell you my name, I am Ne-Miss, rapper… hip hop soul lyricist and entertainer. Also some people know me as the hostess of the hip hop London and New York based Look Back show and interviewer for Jumpoff TV. Most know me as a lyricist some know me as a concert dancer and theatre live performer. Geminis multitask baby!
Kwaku: One of the things I found quite striking is the way you rap, and some of your lyrical references like ’93 till infinity’ I don’t mean this in a stereotypical manner, but we don’t get to see or hear many female rappers who have skills being pushed to the forefront why do you think this is and does this bother you?
Nemiss: I don’t know the reason that you don’t hear these women or me. I can guess through my experience. This may sound a little crazy while some men support my skills some men are threatened by my abilities sometimes at the same time! Some men are jealous. People close to you and far from you can be very jealous I guess to some extent it is human and nature but some extents are really out of control especially when it comes to the male ego.
Kwaku: When did you get into Hip Hop?
Nemiss: To answer that we have to talk about Chicago my hometown. I grew up on 86th and Constance on the Southside of Chicago. I kicked it at all the Chicago hip hop hubs… Hyde Park, Navy Pier and the North side Lincoln Park, the richest neighbourhoods in the Chi and Cabrini Greene, the infamous poorest project in the Chi, they were and still are right next to each other by the way. I represented the culture to the fullest from break dancing to cypherin’ to watching Anacron, RhymeFest and Kanye West battle at Euphonic parties that I was too young to be at.
Kwaku: Do you find it tough being in an art that is predominately male, how do the fellas treat you?
Nemiss: In the words of James Brown, this is a man’s world what I’m going through in my career is what every woman is going through in theirs. The “male dominated” rap industry is a microcosm of a male dominated world but I’m smart as hell and I known how to manoeuvre so I’m not worried.
Kwaku: This is a question that I ask a lot of artists and I’m sure you get asked this one a lot, how do you feel about where Hip Hop is today?
Nemiss: Its cool I like where it is the variety is coming back, the late 80s and early 90s are coming back but I am going to take it to the next level on some 3000 beyond.
Kwaku: Could you break down the meaning of your name Nemiss?
Nemiss: Is a Greek mythic creature the Goddess of vengeance, ruler of thought. Comes out of Nemissis but I’m NeMiss it is also a town in Egypt and it means crown.
Kwaku: Where do you draw your musical inspiration from what did you grow up listening to?
Nemiss: I grew up listening to the Alkaholics, MC Lyte, the Roots, Wu Tang, Tribe Called Quest, Common, and Mos Def.
Kwaku: As a young female coming up in the game who did you look up to in terms of female MC’s?
Nemiss: Eve, Yo Yo, Rage and MC Lyte.
Kwaku: Is there anything that really frustrates you about the game these days and what do you feel is missing?
Kwaku: Name three of your favourite foods that you can’t do with out?
Nemiss: Enchiladas con queso! Olives, and pad Thai.
Kwaku: Do you have a crew or do you work alone?
Nemiss: I roll with musicians and a few organizations: Luv4artmedia and Jumpoff TV based out of UK. I host a TV show on Jumpoff that’s had the likes of RhymeFest, Joe Budden, and a host of other underground MCs.
Kwaku: I really Love your joint Stamina its one of my favourites you pack some real tight flows in there, could you break it down a little for us what inspired you to write that?
Nemiss: The inspiration of Stamina was when I went to Los Angeles; I kicked at a Spot in Santa Monica called Zanzibar. We were in Los Angeles for a total of 48 hours. We kicked it hard so that where the song kind of talks about my addiction of the night life my whole persona when I am living the night life. I almost lost my ID when I was out there and I had to get on a flight the next day. It was crazy I was throwing a fit because someone stole my wallet. Ludicrous was in the building that night and he must have thought I was crazy. My boys each from Subatomic Sound System kept me calm and my boy who is choreographer in LA announced over the speakers I was from out of town they eventually found my wallet in a can. With my ID 🙂 The night life is crazy.
Kwaku: Would you say you still love that old classic sound or do you prefer the more modern stuff?
Nemiss: I am into modern shit, but I like the old school too. I am not stuck in the 90s although we are headed back to the nineties.
Kwaku: How much has your environment influenced your writing, would you say you’re an abstract artist, conscious or both and why?
Nemiss: I am abstract, adaptable, I am always trying something new on my Mackie, my laptop, my Maudio etc.
Kwaku: Is there any type of message that you are trying to convey to people?
Nemiss: Let’s Get Free.
Kwaku: Do you think that Rap music influences the kids to commit violent acts, or do you feel its unfair to blame Rap music for this, if so why?
Nemiss: Rap always gets a bad wrap. I personally think that anybodies upbringing starts with family, usually people who do bad things do them because they received some bad guidance growing up. Music is powerful but God is even more powerful and if you don’t have God instilled in you than you bound to be swayed by anything.
Kwaku: Have you been exposed to many artists outside of the United States, do you feel the USA is a little closed off in regards to music out side it shores?
Nemiss: I have been open to music from off shores like Zap Mama, Corrine Bailey Rae, Kano, SADE my home girl etc. I think the USA is a little pompous when it comes to that.
Kwkau: What projects are you currently working on and what can we look forward to from Nemiss?
Nemiss: Look out for SupaLovely. I also will be making appearances on the R&B soul singer and keyboard player Chris Rob’s album in the next few months as well as soul sensation Boo Boos Cousin. Also peep The Look Back Show, Jumpoff TV; New York and London based.
Kwaku: What would you like to say to the readers and do you have any final shout outs?
Nemiss: What’s up to my crews Jumpoff TV and Luv4art. com Check me out on Myspace. com/nemiss.
Thanks for taking the time out to do the Interview I really appreciate it much love!
Written by: Kwaku