***2010 addendum-i’ma leave my original intro, and add the questions that she didn’t want to answer, which tells more than it don’t. also, when asked “how often do you floss?”, she answered: N/A.***
One of Canada’s most respected cultural commentators George Stroumbolopolous said that he left the nation’s music station, Muchmusic because the focus had shifted too much from the music to the people behind the music, and finally to the people who auctioned off the gum of the people who made the music on Ebay. The same observation can be made of the musical genre that so many of us hold dear, that hip hop, and that shift in focus, whether it be for commercial reasons or not, can be seen as how she lost h.e.r. way. It’s ironic that the one who created that last reference is now slanging waffle shirts at a GAP near you, but such is life.
The line between intent and content has been blurred, the personalities and the lifestyles have taken centre stage, and the history and the struggle of the movement have been told selectively and co-opted. In an era where cats believe they need to talk circles around you in and out of a cipher, and internet nerds have appointed themselves the knowledge police who enforce the “rules” as they see fit, I came to expect a certain amount of candid conversation from Bahamadia. It’s true that if given the chance, a man in her exact situation (one of the finest, most consistent lyricists of all time who has never gotten the shine she deserves) would take the opportunity to wax verbose, but consider this: would it even be plausible that hip hop would ignore a male emcee of the same calibre as Bahamadia? I know I risk pissing off some heads, but honestly, think about it. Nor am I making this a case simply one about gender, but I’m implicating myself as buying into the hype a little bit. Here’s what happened, when I was schooled by a Queen who truly lets her music speak for itself, and keeps her bizness hers. Respect due.
>> Rap is what I do, and there is no balance. This is my life so to me, it’s one in the same.
>> J (Dilla) was an extremely talented person whose spirit will definitely live on through the music he manifested while with us physically. It was a blessing and an honor to have worked with him.
>> Creating music is a spiritual process in my opinion, therefore I believe that as long as I am willing to constantly release what’s in my heart from an honest place, I’m good. As far as the music community (in Philly) appearing to be “close knit”, at the end of the day those of us who function in the industry on any level are business people. Mostly, it’s about how much of an asset you viewed as in each situation.
>>Everything has it’s season. Currently my aim is to continue doing what I do artistically and let the chips fall where they may. I believe that at the right time I’ll link with the right people with the same vision and things will pop. In the meanwhile, the motto is and always will be to keep it moving.
>>It’s just about getting your mind right in the sense of understanding that the minute you decide to release art professionally as a career you are a commodity to the world. Once you get that understanding locked down you just adjust and act accordingly.
>>I respect Prince’s musical achievements as well as his business acumen. Depending on a mood, a chick could zone out to any one of his joints (smiles).
>>Eve is a very nice person and she’s doing her thing. I am not longer with Goodvibe. I live wherever I’m at. I never met or knew Left Eye.
>>I was pretty much a loner in school, though I did play a little softball and I was in a few music and art classes. HIP-HOP and a supportive family saved my life. I live out the lessons and morals I have learned because everyone’s watching.
>> I pay attention to current events whenever I can stomach it. “Beautiful Things” was my message to the media. It wasn’t completely intended “to take our attention away from the news”….
>>Despite it being a show that received excellent ratings, Bahamadia’s B-sides, my radio show on 103.9 WPHI was just cancelled out of the blue.
>> I just do me (laughs).
what i still want to know…well, at least “no comment” is better than the tom shimura snub:
Do you feel that there is a direct relationship between the availability of high sugar food choices, the lack of athletic facilities/options for active living, and poorer communities?
What’s your take on the rash of dance shows exploding everywhere like the Ebola virus? Movies like “Take the Lead” or “Step it Up” that show flashy hip hop dance moves as a way out of “the ghetto”?
Will you comment on the war? What about war in general, and how most every country in the world (short of Costa Rica) has an army?
What are your two bits on this idea of “conscious” rappers and “keeping it real”? How about the evolution of hip hop to grow and encompass other things that some “purists” have a hard time digesting?
Speak on appearances and how important it is to “making” or “breaking” one’s career. Da Brat went all “glam-sexy”, Lil’ Kim messed up her face Michael style, and even Missy went and lost all that weight. How does this come into play in your own life/career?