Jwl B (left) and Shunda K of Yo Majesty
It’s no wonder that Tampa-based hip-hop sensation Yo Majesty
is known as a bit of a party band. Song titles such as "Get Down on the Floor,"
"Grindin’ and Shakin’" and "Party Hardy" — not to mention
band member Jwl B’s penchant for going shirtless at live shows — certainly
further that idea. As do lyrics such as "Bootylicious, very yummy, in my
dictionary, honey" (from "Booty Clap").
But that doesn’t mean people don’t take Yo Majesty’s music
seriously. The group won early acclaim with their 2006 debut EP, featuring tracks
such as "Kryptonite P—-" and "Club Action," even if
unenlightened DJs commented that the group was "too gay." The band
also garnered a cult following.
Yo Majesty’s new record, Futuristically
Speaking … Never Be Afraid, will be released in the U.K. later this
month and worldwide in September. The band just performed at the Michigan Womyn’s
Music Festival on Aug. 8, and in the fall these frequent globetrotters head to Brazil.
Shunda K, who turned 28 at the beginning of August, is
perhaps the more serious of the band’s members. She’s hoping to resume graduate
study (in business with an emphasis on e-commerce) as soon as her busy schedule
of performing, recording and producing/managing other acts lets up. And at the
beginning of next year, she’s moving one state over to Georgia, where she said
she’s "looking forward to taking over the ATL, ’cause that’s the hip-hop
In the meantime, she spoke with AfterEllen.com about her
band, her music, her fiancée and God.
Photo credit: Karl Walter/Getty Images
you can clear up some confusion for me: I’ve seen you listed as a duo and as a trio.
Shunda K: We were a trio, but Shon B
is no longer with the band. It’s just me and Jwl since last August. It’s been about
a year, but they just be getting the stories mixed up all the time and slipping
our lives around. They write about us with one name but with somebody else’s
story. It’s crazy.
AE: Is there anything
you want to set the record straight on?
SK: Yeah. The song that I did with
Peaches is not called "Raspberry Cocaine." Raspberry Cocaine is
another artist that I’m working with on a project. But I did a song with
Peaches called "Buck You Like a Billionaire," so I want to clear that
up. That’s pretty much it for right now. There’s some other stuff, but it’s not
even worth going all the way back.
AE: It seems like you
guys play at a lot of music festivals.
SK: Yeah, we do play a lot of them.
I like it. It’s the opportunity to appeal to the masses. And the more people we
can appeal to at one time, the better.
AE: Do you find new
audiences that way?
SK: Yeah, we do. Being able to just go all over the world — this is a
global vision. It’s not just meant for Tampa or the United States; this is for
the whole wide world, this message.