We all bitch about how hip hop is slowly becoming a caricature of itself, which in some ways, it really is. But one area that hip hop is really lacking is the female MC’s. In the golden age, you had MC Lyte, Monie Love, Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shante and a grip others. They could hold their own with the dudes. Then something happened. They figured out that sex sells and when I say “they” I mean the labels and shit. The Lil’ Kim’s, the Foxy’s, along with others that just strutted their shit on the mic with no real skill or meaning. These days besides Jean Grae and a few other underground ladies, there isn’t many making noise. Until now.
Amanda Diva is one of the more talented MC’s I’ve heard in awhile, and not just as a female MC, I’m talking overall. She’s a “Jack Of All Trades” kind of woman. She’s a singer and filled in as part of the R&B group Floetry, she hosted MTV2′s “Sucka Free Hip-Hop”, she’s appeared as part of Russell Simmon’s “Def Poetry Jam” and is a well respected spoken word artist. She truly does it all as a modern day renaissance woman. There is more than a just a pretty face to this female artist, she is very attractive on top of it all, but that’s only half of the half. She recently released her “Life Experience” LP, that was blessed with a guest apperance by Q-Tip on the DOPE “40 MC’s”. “Supa Woman” implores a smooth Caribbean tinged track that has radio hit written all over it (and that’s not a knock) . The production and the lyrics sound almost Native Tongue-ish in nature. She has recently shared the stage with Talib Kweli and Lupe Fiasco, she’s really making some moves. Things are starting look better in the terms of female artists, I see big things in the future for Amanda Diva.
AMANDA DIVA NEEDS NO MAN’S APPROVAL
Multi-talented poet, journalist, on-air personality, scholar, singer is this year’s quintessential artist
The steady disappearance of female emcees in hip-hop has rendered singer/songwriter/emcee Amanda Diva restless. “When the
removed the Female Rap category, I knew something had to be done,” says the 26-year old Grenadian American. “Whatever I do, I’m gonna bring it back.” That’s just one of her goals for 2008.
The other is to remind the world exactly what a dope female emcee is. And she won’t be riding any man’s coattails to do it.
She doesn’t have to. An accomplished poet, journalist, radio & television personality, scholar (she has a Master’s degree in African-American Studies), singer, and rapper, Amanda Diva is definitely the best kept secret in female emcees. Her numerous gifts and abilities are what make her the quintessential artist.
Just look at her achievements: she hit the scene as a spoken word poet on
in 2002 and 2005 and went on to host the Sirius Satellite Radio show “Breakfast at Diva’s” on HipHopNation/40 from 2003-2008. Around the same time, she became the “face of hip-hop” as host of ’s “Sucker Free” programming from 2004-2005 and has interviewed the likes of , Nas, , , T.I., , , , , , and more.
Channeling her magnetic media personality and sage lyricism into one vessel, Amanda released the poetry mixtape It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop, The Mixtape: Vol. 1 in 2004. Two years later she followed up with the critically acclaimed Still Sucka Free Vol.1, of which Scratch magazine wrote: “Amanda is a fresh breeze…Not only is her pen as sharp as OJ’s knife, but her storytelling game is up there with the best of them.” (Feb ’07)
Now, after a brief stint replacing “Rhymstress” Natalie Stewart of the Grammy-nominated R&B duo
(Amanda toured on the 21-city Floetry Remix last year), Miss Diva has released the seminal EP Life Experience, the first installment in her “Experience Trilogy” series. Issued by her own DivaWorks Inc. imprint, the “Experience Trilogy” is a set of EPs each with their own themes of “Life,” “Love,” and “Live!”
With production spanning from legends like Clark Kent to newcomers like Don Cannon of the Aphill
iates, Life Experience is full of soulful tracks with production reminiscent of golden-era Hip-Hop. Amanda fearlessly paints pictures of the experiences that have shaped her and allows listeners to see both sides of her artistry — the emcee and the songstress (yes, she sings!). She flaunts those emcee skills in the Caribbean-spiced song “SupaWoman:”
Woman with a plan/ that’s me
Southern bred/ blood of the Caribbean sea
Hear it in these words I speak clearly
I’m more than just for males to study gynecology
To be a dope emcee/ devoted my time
To writin and reciting rhymes
But before I broke my notebook’s bind
I had to break the box and open up my mind…
Indeed, Amanda Diva has something to say. And she’s saying it for women, for hip-hop, and for the world. Now just let any man try and stop her…