Interview With Bree of “Miss Rap Supreme”

on

“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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