In Advance of 2nd Annual Women's Empowerment Show, CMG of The Conscious Daughters Reflects on Her Pioneering Career

Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2016 01:51pm | Post a Comment

Presented by and Venus Rising, tonight's 2nd Women's Empowerment Show at Oakland's Starline Social Club promises a "celebration of Women's contributions in Hip Hop" with a showcase of the Bay Area's best talents, including co-headliners DJ Pam The Funkstress and CMG of The Conscious Daughters (TCD). These two pioneering women in Bay Area hip-hop, whose histories date back three decades, will be joined on the bill by a generation of women artists who look to them as role models in a traditionally male-dominated field. Hosted by Breathless and Charity Clay, tonight's show features Ryan Nicole, Yani, Fem Deadly Venoms, and DJ Deeandroid. While the ratio of women to men in hip-hop has always been unbalanced at least today there are more hip-hop artists overall so the number
is larger. Women DJs in hip-hop, from when Pam TheFunkstress started out as DJ in The Coup, have always been a minority group. Same for emcees like Carla "CMG" Green whose history dates back to the mid-eighties when she would stop by the El Cerrito High studios of KECG to hang out with her future TCD partner in rhyme, the late Karryl "Special One" Smith who tragically died in December 2011.

In advance of tonight's Women's Empowerment Show, scheduled during Women's History Month, I caught up with the Bay Area hip-hop pioneer Carla "CMG" Green to reflect back on her long career and her role as a female in a male dominated field, her top favorite female hip-hop artists of all time, and other things too including one that comes to mind during this presidential political season.

Amoeblog: Is America is ready for a black woman president? 

CMG: America is ready for Michelle Obama!  Hell yeah we're ready.  We're ready for a woman president, we're ready for an Asian American or Latino president, the time has come for more change and diversity. Hallelujah!

Amoeblog: What about the ratio of male to female hip-hop artists over time?

CMG: Female MCs have been outnumbered since the beginning of hip-hop. As we do in every other profession, we have to work twice as hard as our male counterparts in order to be recognized.  It’s that extra strength about a female MC that makes her stand out and shine.  The fact that we have one female rapper who has been carrying the torch for over 5 years is sad.

Amoeblog: As one of the pioneering Bay Area women in hip-hop are you automatically a role model to younger artists coming up?

CMG: I do feel that I am a role model to the up and coming young ladies because they know I have lived their dream and I am honored to share my experiences with them and teach them about the early days of how this wonderful thing called hip hop got started and how I was lucky enough to be raised on the pioneers of the first rap records and then was able to come out and blow up during the 90s era.  We need more role models who are actual MC's and who have a genuine love for the art to teach the young ones.

Amoeblog: How important for women artists in 2016 is a showcase like tonight's Women's Empowerment Show? 

CMG: We as women need to support each other.  And, as the nurturing beings that we are, we need to look out for each other and take the time to mentor young women, help our children become positive citizens, and help each other reach our own goals.  A showcase like this is great platform for us to network, mentor, trade connections, and support each others' businesses.

Amoeblog: Is this Digital Age, in comparison to previous decades, a good time to be an independent artist?

CMG: Yes and no.  If you’re an independent artist with a huge following and hit songs, then this era is great for you!  If you’re a starving artist just starting out, then it could be good for you too because you don’t have to tour all over the country, like we did, in order to blow up.  You could just have a great song and video and been seen and heard all over the world.   However, back in the 90s, we actually made money by selling music. We sold CDs, vinyl, and cassettes and collected royalty money for radio and TV.  Today, and ever since Napster, music is free.  Only mainstream artists or those who are really getting paid.

Amoeblog: Looking back to the nineties in hip-hop what is it from that era in hip-hop that you miss the most? 

CMG: I miss the hunger.  I miss the originality. I miss the spontaneity.  I miss the rawness.  I miss the artists who truly had love for the art of hip-hop, and not just wanting to be in the spotlight. 

Amoeblog: As hip-hop becomes so universal with a never ending flow of new young artists has become a generational music with different ages having different tastes? 

CMG: I hope so!  We are heading into the separation of “Golden Era” and “New Era" hip-hop.  It’s crazy to see this happening because we were the pioneers and to have to sit back and watch what you, in a sense, created go bad, is difficult!  But at the same time, when we started out, our elders were looking at us crazy too!! Full circle!! LOL.  But real talk, some of these kids ain’t so bad, a small group of em!

Amoeblog: Last question. Favorite female hip-hop artists of all time?

CMG: Sha-Rock, Sparky D, MC Lyte, Queen LatifahLauren HIll, Missy Elliott, Lil' Kim, Special One of Conscious Daughters, and Nicki Minaj (for her first album).

The Conscious Daughters "Something To Ride To (Fonky Expedition)"

Relevant Tags

Cmg (6), Women's History Month 2016 (1), Women Hip-hop Artists (2), Carla Green (2), Women's History Month (41)