Interview With Bree of “Miss Rap Supreme”

 
 

"Don’t hate when you
find I turned your wife out."
Bree, a contestant on VH1′s
Miss Rap Supreme, threw that line in
the face of veteran rapper Too $hort during a lyric battle in Episode 3 of the
reality show.

At the end of that episode, Bree was nearly voted off after
finding herself in the bottom two of the remaining rappers. During that
elimination challenge, viewers saw the 23-year-old fighting to stay on the show
by performing a rap that ended with the line, "If women ruled the world,
there’d be a lot of lesbians."
But according to Bree,
that’s not how she ended her rap. She had four more bars that were cut out, and
the editing made her appear "weak."

The editing also made her appear
to be a lesbian, but Bree was not at first interested in acknowledging her
sexual orientation to AfterEllen.com. After our interview with
Lady Twist, Bree
agreed to speak with us, and this week, after she was eliminated, she talked
with us about her experience on the show, her disappointment with Lady Twist
getting voted off, and her previous aspirations to be an Olympic boxer.

AfterEllen.com: You had a promising career as a boxer. You had Olympic
aspirations. What made you quit that sport for hip-hop?
Bree:
Well, I actually never quit it, I just pretty much put it aside. I
was training way too hard. I was training seven hours a day. It was so much
physical work. It didn’t give me enough time mentally to just focus on music. I’m
actually still gonna box. I’m still gonna do it on the side. I did it because
it was taking too much time from my music, and right now my music is my
priority.

AE: How did hip-hop become a passion of yours? You’re 23 years old.
When did you start?
B:
You could say Tupac. That was the beginning. That’s my biggest
inspiration. I’ve actually been in music a long time. I played the saxophone
for many years. I’ve always been into writing music and poetry since I was 11 years
old. It’s always just been something that I love to do. But what really got me
into writing, deeply and poetically, would be being inspired by Tupac’s music.
That was the biggest inspiration in my music career.

AE: Is that because you’re from the West Coast? You grew up in L.A., right?
B:
It has nothing to do with where I’m from. It has everything to do with
what he speaks about. It has everything to do with how he speaks, the way
people view him and how strong of a person he is, just by his words and just by
his music. When it comes to inspirations and influences, he definitely takes a
major role in my music. A lot of people say that they can hear it when they
hear my music.

AE: Well, you were pretty young when he died. How did that affect you?
B:
It was pretty devastating, not only for me but for the world, because
you saw somebody who was more than just a powerball in music, he was a
powerball politically, all-around. So it was difficult for many people.

AE: Who are your hip-hop icons besides Tupac?
B:
I love Eminem. I love Nas, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, people who have a lot
to speak about. I’m more into the rappers who that speak mentally rather than
just talk about clubs. I’m not into the club scene. It’s not my style. So
people like Nas and Eminem, Mos Def. Those are the people I value a lot in
hip-hop.

AE: What about other California rappers, especially underground and independent
rappers like Medusa, Mystic or Melange Lavonne
, this young girl who is in L.A. right now doing her thing on the
underground scene. Do you cross their paths or have they been influential to
you at all?
B:
The female hip-hop artist that’s underground that I admire the most is
Jean Grae, but she’s in Brooklyn. She’s in New York. But man, hands
down that chick has so much fire — I mean unbelievable. I think it’s amazing.

On the West Coast, I
would say a lot of the guys on the West Coast are doing a lot. You know, even
Game. I love Game — he’s not underground, but there’s not too many people that
are coming around from the West Coast right now, you know. Maybe a few years
ago or 10 years ago there was a lot of people, Snoop and Dre and the whole NWA
clique, but now there’s not too much coming from the West Coast. So that’s why
I’m here. I wanna bring that, bring that back.

AE: You were yet to be born when hip-hop got its start. How important
do you think it is for young female rappers to familiarize themselves with
older hip-hop artists like MC Lyte, Roxanne Shanté, Yo-Yo and Queen Latifah,
who were rapping before many of the contestants on the show could even talk?
B:
You’re pretty much asking how important it is to know about them?

AE: Exactly.
B:
Oh, I mean it is very important to know about any hip-hop history,
whether it’s a man or a woman. You need to study up on that. Period. Just
because you need to know how it even originated. I think it’s very important,
especially female hip-hop artists — you see how the game began and then compare
yourself. Are there things you need to work on? Change?

Looking at people like MC
Lyte and Yo-Yo — I mean especially with them coming from the West Coast — I
think it’s probably more important for me to take a look at them because they
came from where I’m from. It’s good to know where it all started, especially
from females and how the industry has changed for female rappers from then till
now.

If you look at the female
rappers back then, they were wearing the baggy clothes just like me. They were
wearing the baggy clothes and the baggy shirts ’cause that was the style. And
now it’s show whatever you possibly can ’cause sex sells, and in a way it’s
like I’m still dressing the way they were back in the day. And it’s working for
me though, it’s definitely working for me.

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