We got the exclusive to chat with one of the stars of the new show, The Sisterhood Of Hip Hop, Siya as she talks about the show, her musical influences, being an openly gay rapper, and so much more.
Check out the interview.
Let’s talk about the show. What ultimately made you decide to take the reality tv direction, how did the opportunity come about?
Siya: Well, T.I. is the executive producer. A few years back he was recording talking about me and my talent and then next thing you know I was meeting with him to talk about the show opportunity. It was a blessing that I never expected. I was surprised that he was willing to take the chance with me knowing how different I was compared to the other girls. Let’s just say he sees something in that he believes the world is ready to witness too.
How has your experience been working alongside the other ladies?
S: It’s been great. They all f*** with me and have love for me. They have all accomplished some great things and all live in a lane by themselves. I love how opposite we all are yet have many things in common. We all share a common goal and that is to knock down some damn doors. Early on I bonded with Diamond and Bia due to having similar life struggles. Nyemiah is from Queens and we had already done a few shows together prior to the show. Brianna Perry is like everybody’s little sister she’s so sweet and innocent but when she raps it’s a different story.
Often times, reality shows are associated with drama. What can we expect from the overall energy and message from The Sisterhood of Hip Hop?
S: You’re going to have to tune in for the juice but I will say we are all on the same page as far as wanting to be uplifting for women and to give hope to those who have lost it when it comes to female MC’s.
You’ve mentioned that one of main reasons you were inspired to do business with Tank was his respect for your image and lack of judgment. Tell me about your experience working under his direction.
S: He is like a father figure. He always has my best interest at heart no matter what. He is amazingly talented and respected in this game. He’s a vet and still works just as hard as my young a**. He never once asked me to change my image in fact he commends me for standing my ground. He bigs me up to everyone he comes across. S*** I remember with my last tape, he went on Fairfax in L.A with me to hand out cd’s because that’s how much he believes in me. We are a good team plus there’s that wow factor when he shows up to a meeting with a female gangster rapper.
What’s your perspective on the current state of Hip Hop? Female MC’s?
S: Hip Hop is ran by the younger generation and I admire that because these young kids are open minded to new things and value change. There’s plenty room in the game for newcomers who actually have talent though. As far as female MC’s they are not my competition but I do want to open doors for them by taking some of these male rappers out of the equation.
A salute is definitely in order from the LGBT community. Do you feel any pressure on the topic of acceptance from the mainstream hip hop audience?
S: I never felt pressure because at the end of the day I’m comfortable in my own skin felt and I don’t owe anyone an explanation when it comes to my sexuality. My music should be the focus anyway and there is not one person who can deny that I have the talent it takes to win I’m breaking barriers f*** who don’t like it.
You’ve accredited Bone Thugs & Harmony among others as a musical influence in launching your career interests and Lady Gaga for inspiring your individuality. Who are some other artists who have made an impact on who you are today?
S: DA BO$$ and Lady Rage for sure. Just how they stood out amongst the boys and the aggression in their music, real female gangster rappers. Aaliyah was also a huge influence for me. I loved her soul and the fact that she wasn’t afraid to try something new as far as her sound.
Let’s talk image, which has always been a vital focus in the industry especially with women. Has it been more difficult for you as a female to go against the grain when it comes to sex appeal?
S: Hell yeah but at the end of the day I’m not changing a f***ing thing. I came this far in the game without selling out why would I do it now? Nowadays no one cares about what you look like. Our generation only cares about the music and what you can offer to their lives. Are you relatable? Do you really rap about s*** you did or been through? I’m really about the life I speak on. I worked damn hard my whole life and I refuse for anyone to dictate to me how I should look. I’m open to do things but putting on heels and a dress are not one of them.
Any other projects we can be on lookout for in the near future?
S: Of course an album for sure. I’m also going to buckle down and start penning some s*** for other artists. I want to spread my talent as much as possible.
Lastly, your content is your message. What do you hope it will say to the culture?
S: That it is ok to be yourself! Never sell yourself short and always stand behind what you represent. I am open with my sexuality but at the end of the day I’m simply a dope mc and that need to be acknowledged. No matter what you go through in life it is always for a reason. Never be ashamed of who you are once were or what you once did because it only make you who you are today.
Since Siya is a fan of Bone Thugs & Harmony, you could check them out at this year’s The Source 360 Concert that would be taking place on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at Barclay Center. Follow the upcoming female rapper on socical media on Twitter at @siya and on Instagram at @iamsiya
-Shelavon B. (@ShellyBTheDiva)