Jean Grae "R.I.P (feat. Styles P & Talib Kweli)" (2011)
A few years ago super-talented New York hip-hop lyricist Jean Grae threatened to quit the music business altogether. Luckily for hip-hop fans everywhere, who treasure the relatively few positive female emcees in a male-dominated field, that temptation to call it quits passed and Ms. Grae stayed in the game and continued to both perform and record (she is in good company on Talib Kweli's label Blacksmith Music). Currently on tour she headlines Oakland's New Parish tomorrow night, September 7th, on a bill with Mr Len from Company Flow and local (by way of NY) DJ Ren the Vinyl Archeologist kicking things off, along with host Flossafee.
A while back I caught up with Jean Grae to ask her about her once thinking of quitting, and also what it is like to be a female in such a male dominated genre? "It's really hard to not quit. It's gonna be eighty times harder than the dude next to you," she said of being a woman in rap, adding that "It's definitely a difficult place to be and it definitely requires a thick skin. And sometimes it's hard and sometimes you want to quit." But she noted that having good supportive and positive people in your immediate circle and a "love of" what you do, makes it all fall into place.
Jean Grae headlines tomorrow, Wednesday September 7th, in the East Bay show. Doors 8pm. Tix $15 The New Parish is located at 579 18th Street near San Pablo in downtown Oakland More Info