Mana: It's actually a win when another sister gets on because it's expanding the field and allowing more emcees to get on.
MC Sha Rock: Absolutely! When you have a project like SHEmovement, anybody should commend it. I can't stress it enough. If you're intentionally degrading other artists, instead of helping them move forward, how can you talk about supporting the Hip Hop culture?
Mana: A gentleman asked me if it's hard to support Hip Hop due to the heavy misogyny. How would you answer that question?
Sha Rock: This is the thing; there are many elements to Hip hop and people get that confused. Not everybody supports all elements. Rap is just one element of Hip Hop. When you ask if I support Hip Hop? I tell them I support the fundamental elements of Hip hop. If you ask me about rap? I support some rap that women do. What I don't support is women allowing other people to disrespect them. Regardless of what you do or how your getting it you NEED to command respect as a woman.
The key is, in order to command it, you also gotta give it. How you present yourself is exactly how they're going to treat you and you have to stand your ground. It’s hard to defend yourself when you are portraying a negative image.
When someone asks me about rap and not culture, I try to make them rephrase the question. I support the Hip Hop culture; I don't support all rap but I will listen to it. I listen because I want to see how a person thinks, what makes them tick and whether they wrote their lyrics or not. Everyone has a right to speak, whatever it is they want to speak. Freedom of speech gives you the right to make any kind of record you want to make; that's the art of rap within Hip Hop. However, you need to know when your lyrics become controversial or disrespectful to other women, then as a woman you’re going to have to answer for it. How you answer is on you, because that's what you have to live with. I support women being able to say what they wanna say. I just feel they need to be conscious of what they're g saying; because people will hold you accountable, the fans and the Industry alike.
Mana: How do you think the Hip Hop industry has changed? MC Lyte talked about the decline of females in the game. Even with the males what do you think has changed the most about the game.
Sha Rock: I think there's an era for everything. When I was coming up in the game you had a whole slew of ladies. But I think as women, we sell ourselves short. We've allowed people to dictate how we move. I get what Lyte was saying, about one or two females being in the limelight. But you shouldn't let that stop you from moving, just be aware that's how the industry is right now. The industry is not going to put a lot of money behind women because they don't think women could carry the weight. They will put money into...I don’t want to say it...ooh, let me say it...They will put money into a whack ass rapper not bringing anything to the table but some simple ass s#*t, Instead of bringing a female that can handle her own and can engage a crowd. That's the first time I ever said that, but I had to say it.
The music industry evolves every single day so if you sit around and wait for that record company to back you then that's on you. You have to create your own avenues to be heard. You can easily do that now days. You don't need a record company behind you. YOU DON'T NEED IT. It’s done in all different ways, and in all types of styles. If you're hungry enough, you're going to find a way to be heard.
There were certain avenues that weren't available in the 70-80's. I think women have it easier now, then when I came into the game, or when Roxanne Shante or Lyte jumped on the mic. With social media, and all the distribution and promotional opportunities out there, it's a lot easier to get exposure.
There you have it! Words from a Legend! So what has Sha Rock been up to recently? In 2013, she was appointed as the National Advisor for the Cornell University Hip Hop Library. True to the culture, Sha Rock feels the position will allow Hip Hop to continue to have a voice. She is also promoting inception of the Universal Hip Hop Museum in 2017.
Bigger yet, she wrote the book! "Luminary Icon"; which gives a front row perspective from someone who 'lived' through Hip Hop's beginnings.
To find out more about MC Sha Rock's new music, speaking engagements, and her book 'Luminary Icon', check out he info below. We at SHEmovement would like to thank MC Sha Rock again for blessing us with such an incredible interview......Peace