With the abrupt retirement of Jean Grae, in addition to Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, and Trina dealing with stagnant progression and lackluster come backs, while Remy Ma is looking at serving serious jail time role models for young women in hip-hop seem bleek. Unless we depend on Miss Rap Supreme to send us a dynamic individual which from the looks of it seem impossible as the media ceasing discussions and rhetoric about Obama’s connection to Former Pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright. However if you Google Stacy Epps you may be refreshed with an woman who embodies the characteristics, persona of Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill combined. The well traveled Atlanta emcee has lived through all of the different images and artistry of women in hip-hop culture and rap music. With her strong spiritual connection to God and her passion for music Stacy Epps will be heard by many for years to come.
Q: Do you ever wish you would have been involved in a hip-hop era where women were more celebrated for their talents as emcees and dancers versus now when they’re more glorified for their physicality?
I know there is a reason why things are as they are. God has in his plan to allow the woman’s voice to be heard. The Queens will arise in hip-hop very soon. If I can be any part in helping make that happen, then I am blessed. We need healing within hip-hop, and the sisters will come through to make that happen. But we must come together and make it our issue, our cause to be heard. We must refuse to be silenced any longer! I see this happening slowly and surely. I have faith in the positive changes that will happen!!
Q: When did you write your first rhyme?
In the womb, God ordained me with the rhyme and I wrote lyrics on the walls of my mother’s placenta. Haha!!
Q: Did you always know you wanted to be involved with music?
I always loved music and music has been a part of my life forever! But as I grew older I learned how seriously music affected my life and the power and energy that can be created and transferred through song. I knew I had things to share with people and that music was an amazing way to communicate messages and spirit.
Q: Their hasn’t been a female emcee/singer that has garnered so much attention and acclaim since Lauryn Hill. How has she influenced your career?
She inspired so many of our generation by showing a strong sister communicating her rhymes with the best of them. She epitomized elegance, sophistication and power in a woman. Her art is amazing and I have tremendous respect for her. I was excited to hear her new mixtape. We are all looking forward to another release from this talented sister.
I am also so inspired by so many of the greats like Alice Coltrane, Dorothy Ashby, Miriam Makeba, Ella Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker, Dorothy Dandridge, Billie Holliday… Those I look up to Bahamadia, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shante and my peers Georgia Anne Muldrow, Muhsinah, Invincible, Yarah Bravo, Mauikai, Emoni Fela and so many others. I am excited about things right now because the sisters are really doing their thing and there is going to be a beautiful movement; we are in the stages of building right now!! Amazing!
Q: Your music is very different from what is currently coming out of Atlanta besides Outkast and B.O.B. Do you find it hard finding yourself in that type of market?
No, because I am found. I am a child of God and the world and one place cannot hold me. My history of traveling throughout life has always left me as an outsider. I was always a newcomer. Atlanta is one place of millions. I have love for the entire world, this is one city that is a part of that world. Atlanta has a special place in my heart, because my immediate family is here, so I will always come back. I love the southern hospitality and the chill ways that people move. There’s a time and a place for everything.
Q: What are you bringing to music and it’s culture that may or may not be missing but you are trying to elevate?
I hope to bring humility, light, love, healing and truth through sound. To learn how to create these feelings in song. Creating music is a journey, because you never know what you will create. As a sister in this music, I hope I can be a positive role model for the younger generations, that I can be a source of inspiration in some small way and to give hope! Through hope, vision, faith and energy we can conquer all things.
Q: “Floatin” is an awesome record, what was the inspiration behind that song?
Really, the beat was named “Floatin” by Apex the producer. That often happens when we work together, his beat titles, so accurately describe the feeling in the beat that I flow with it. It just touched me, especially in that time, because that’s how my life was. When I recorded that album, I was on a journey, I didn’t really live in one place, I was traveling from city to city interacting with different people, performing and writing. So for me, there couldn’t have been a better song to describe that experience of constant movement.
Q: Who are you working with on your album?
I am deeply indebted to Apex who helped me so much through this album. He produced about four tracks and executive produced the album. We recorded it in his studio as well. Muhsinah produced a track and sang with me on it. S1 from Strange Fruit Project produced a track which features Bilal Salaam on guest vocals. Finale from Detroit is also on the album. Other producers include Flying Lotus, Nick Speed and Slugabed. Everett James, a multi-instrument musician, also blessed me with an all live instrument remix of “Floatin”… stay tuned for that. The album is entitled “The Awakening” and will be released in July… please stay tuned for that.”
Q: What have you learned most about yourself since deciding that music would be your career?
To always stay true, and that its bigger than just one artist or the next cool fad; it’s about building a movement with a purpose that we can all benefit from. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s deeper than that. The goal is to build a legacy, a solid foundation that our children and future generations can enjoy. We are here for the long run.
Q: If there were one thing that you hope people would take from your music, what would that be?
A direct connection to God while good feelings flow from within when they listen.
To learn more about Stacy Epps please visit www.myspace.com/stacyepps