Atlanta’s Indie Scene: 10 Women in Hip-Hop You Should Look Out for in 2011 & Beyond (Part 2of2)
In my previous post, inspired by the realization that females in Hip-Hop are under credited, I introduced 5 amazing women who I considered to be in the TopTen of Atlanta’s most influential Women in Hip-Hop. Thank you for all the comments and feedback. Please keep it coming.
And so here now is the conclusion of my list of the 10 Women in Hip-Hop You Should Look Out for in 2011 & Beyond:
6.Taj Anwar-Jackson (Multi-tasker)
Taj Anwar is a model, community organizer, philanthropist, political motivator, Hip-Hop promoter, social commentator, mother & wife. She has worked with the FTP Movement, Mothers of Black/Brown Babies, and Crew Love. Anwar is known to speak on, and challenge the issues of the inner-city community such as police brutality, education and environmental justice. In addition, she is a part of the Think Conscious Collective and a member of the Atlanta Zulu nation chapter. Taj was raised in Atlanta, on the south-side of College Park. Upon finishing graduate school and pregnant with her second child, Taj went on to create & establish Mothers of Black/Brown Babies after her negative experience with the governmental assistance programs for families. In 2002, while still a graduate student at Georgia State University, Taj vowed to make a change, after graduating college. In 2004, she put M.O.B.B. in effect. She began going to various public housing projects giving out food & hygiene care packages to families in serious need. She assembled these packages at home and hand delivered them in her truck. She used her experience and closeness to Atlanta’s local hip- hop community, to make more people aware of the work she was doing & resources she offered. Currently, the organization continues to serve families through emergency food & clothes drives. In a nutshell, Taj is the definition of “perfectly partying with a purpose.”
Sa-Roc comes to us ATLiens, by way of southeast Washington DC. She emerges from city known for it’s hodgepodge of poverty stricken hoods, extremely strong radical movement, and untimely loyalty to cultural preservation. This is the very cloth which Sa-Roc was torn from.
Alongside being a product of Afrikan-centered parents, Saroc developed a rebel-soldier type mentality from a very early age. She grew up on the soulful tunes of Jimi Hendrix, Gil Scott Heron, and Earth,Wind & Fire. Her neighborhood musical soundtrack was a fusion of sounds from gogo, to rock, to hip hop. This mixture of music became the foundation for aural quest and the breeding grounds for real difference in sound & music concept.
In 2002, Saroc met Atlanta Hip-Hop producer and Zulu Nation Member, Sol Messiah. Not too long after that, she began her long-term relationship with Hip-Hop’s microphone. Armed & ready with the secret lessons and musical instruction of Sol Messiah, Sa-Roc developed a sound that was 1 part hood poetry, 2 parts otherworldly, alongside being extremely original & flavorful. Her subject matters range from melanin to pyramids, or real lyricism to Women’s rights. Saroc is mastering composing metaphysical equations over very soulful & melodic hip hop tracks, designed by the genius producer Dj Sol Messiah. Sa-roc’s mission is to stitch knowledge of self into the great scheme of Hip-hop music. She seeks to create more than just a couple of albums, but a full-fledged and very in depth: musical movement. A cultural griot, and representative of the “Ladies of Lyricism”… Saroc intends to reinstate & uplift the art of emceeing to it’s past days of glory and honor, and get closer to the throne and legacy status… a few songs time. Sa-Roc is definitely someone you should meet… If, your a Hip-Hopper in Atlanta!!!
8.STACY EPPS (Emcee/Singer)
Stacy is a definite rare groove vocalist and emcee that delivers a powerful heavy message which compliments hip-hop’s hard- hitting beats. Raised as a military child, Stacy started her career accompanied by diverse global perspective, along with law degree from the University of Southern California. In the past ten years she’s established a global reputation for sound perfection in the underground Hip-Hop and R&B community. She also has worked with some of the culture’s dopest acts: Madlib, MF DOOM, OH NO, Wildchild, J Rawls, Methuzulah and Scienz of Life. She has also worked with producers such as Apex, Diamond D, Jay Dilla, Kareeim Riggens and Everett James. She continues to stay connected with the pioneering messages of Fela Kuti, Miriam Makeba, Bob Marley, Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, and KRS-One. She amazingly pours out the essences of Alice Coltrane, mixed with the left-side of Bjork, the ambience of Radiohead and the drums and swing of J-Dilla. Her musical physical body is made up of influences as almost diverse as her fusioned heritage. Stacy moved to Atlanta after graduating from the University of Virginia with BA’s in African American Studies and Sociology in 2001. Shortly after, Stacy’s more than original style impressed MF DOOM, who featured her on King Geedorah’s Take Me to Your Leader (Big Dada, 2003) and the song “Eye” on Madvillainy with (Stones Throw, 2004) albums. Her phenom album, ”The Awakening ” was recently released, featuring the smashing single “Floatin” produced by Apex. Stacy is a originator and destined for respect, recognition, & real good music!!!
9.Khalilah Ali (Emcee/Poet)
Originally from Youngstown, OH, Khalilah is a child of the Boom-Bap Hip-Hop generation and has worked her way into the title of “conscious lyricist”. Khalilah strives to unveil and expose hip-hop to a wider & broader audience. Her deep interests in postcolonial and feminist studies allows her to envision and manifest a world that deals with the effects of hegemony. Devoted to hip-hop Khalilah Ali (aka LuLu Valentine aka Comrade Flame aka Sophie Meiss the Black Socialite) has been rapping since she was nine years old. Khalilah won numerous battles in the school yards of Youngstown, Ohio at a very tender age; competing with even the most seasoned male emcees. Sometimes compared to Nas because of her ability to weave a street tale and still control lyrical dexterity, but not forget to mention her Lauren Hill likeness with her heartfelt renditions of emotional matters. Check for her current mixtape hosted by Atlanta hip-hop icon Dj AppleJac, “Ancient Immortals”, will position this poetic genius in that league of extra extraordinary company. Khalilah’s 7 song EP includes paying homage to the grim realities of growing up in the former steel worker town of Youngstown, Ohio. She metions the loss of the cities economic vitality & the subsequent fall of the once thriving Mid-American city she was raised in. Khalilah gives a reality based portrait of life for the working and impoverished class. Khalilah shares the power of the woman and holds the ability to be self-determining & empowering. Khalilah is exactly what the games been missing, “meaning”!!!
10.Richelle Scales (Live Musician/Pianoist)
Richelle Scales has been playing piano since the age of 5. At the young age of 14 , she was accepted into the N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC. Where the focus was set on classical piano and music theory. From the ages of nine to seventeen, she played for Church (Sunday school) and junior choirs in Winston-Salem. Throughout high school, she won numerous statewide competitions in NC, and had her first piano student by age 16. Richelle has always loved animals and decided to major in Animal Science upon entering NC A&T State University. Richelle now works at Emory University as a research specialist. However, by night, she is an active musician in several bands as well as performing as a featured solo artist in various venues in Atlanta. She plays a variety of musical genre including classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, reggae, opera, afrobeat, and jazz. In the three years that she has been involved in the Atlanta music scene, she has played for a number of churches and has accompanied several HBO Def Jam poets and various local artists. She has performed at Wind Down Wednesdays at Centennial Park, the National Black Arts Festival, the Annual Hip-Hop Film Festival, and corporate events for Bank of America and Citizen’s Trust Bank. She has worked with troubled inner city youth in programs such as the SIMBA Program (Atlanta Juvenile Detention Center), and HARAMBEE II (urban youth program). Richelle recently held the duel role of keyboardist and musical director for the all girls band “Under the Radar”, masterminded by internationally known spoken word artist, Queen Sheba and appears in the video “Natural”. In addition to fulfilling her roles as musician and research specialist, Richelle Scales is also the proud mother of two. Her hope is to spark the interest of playing live instruments in today’s youth. Her long term goal is to set up music programs that will teach children how to play the instrument of their choice and the value of creating good music. Richelle is more than just a simple board player, she is the driving force behind Hip-hop’s music scene… not to mentioned: skilled beyond imagination . She’ll surely succeed in all the she seeks and accomplish more than she set out to!!!