Likwuid is a super talented emcee who I’ve known for a couple of years but didn’t really get to interact with her until last year. She is celebrating the release of her third album, Gummy Bears & Champagne, tomorrow night at Broolyn’s Wealthy Ho$tage. For more info on that you can check her out at www.Likwuid.com, but before you head over there, check out this piece she submitted based on questions I emailed her in relation to her identity as a female emcee (next time I’m going to talk to her in the flesh!):
When people ask ‘where are the women in hip hop’, you may or may not hear mention of Likwuid Stylez. However, if you do come across a Likwuid fan, you may never hear the end of the rave reviews. “It’s cool, I prefer quality over quantity,” says the self-proclaimed Queen of the Queendom.
The emcee/songwriter is not only a member of two of the most unique hip hop-esque groups in the NYC music scene: GNU (an all girl trio that blends electro-techno-hip-hop robotics) and Rebel Starr (the founders of Neo Quantum Retro Music), she is also a DJ who has performed all throughout NYC’s trendy spots.
Gangstarrgirl.com took a few moments to get up close and personal with the lady emcee bold enough to wear a gas mask on stage and cool enough to stage dive into a crowd when spectators least expect it.
Who is Likwuid?
My friends call me L for short and L is for Love. Through all elements or situations, Likwuid changes form but always remains. In the words of Bruce Lee “water can flow or it can crash, be water, my friend.” That’s what I embody.
What makes you the Queen of the Queendom?
The title “Queen of the Queendom” implies that there is a world full of Queens out there, and I’m ushering them out the gate for more recognition. The word “queen” is used to encourage an alternative view for women in hip hop as opposed to the derogatory terms that are often expressed.
How did you become an emcee (share the first time your wrote a rhyme or heard a rap song, etc)?
The minute that I heard KRS-1’s “Sound of the Police” and he compared an officer to an overseer, I knew that I had to use words as a means of expression.
Why do you think people only seem to look for the same femcees (Nicki Minaj, Trina, Eve, etc) and claim that femcees are a dying breed when there’s a whole host of marketable talent that still exists?
It’s too often that folks make general assumptions as oppose to doing actual research on hip hop as a market. Since Hip Hop is traditionally a male dominated industry, most folks assume that sex appeal from female artists is the only sure sale. They fail to realize that the first femcee to go platinum was Da Brat. (And anyone that knows hip hop is aware that Da Brat was known for her lyricism and talent.)
Honestly it’s a vast misconception.
Women in hip hop face a complicated set of issues from misogyny to objectification to separation mechanisms…we’ll have to schedule another interview to dig into that topic.
What has gone wrong in hip-hop as far as women are concerned since Lauryn Hill disappeared (or whenever you feel the downturn occurred)?
The diversity and balance is missing in hip hop. Would we have been able to appreciate Lauryn as much if Trina wasn’t around? Would we appreciate Lil Kim as much if there was no Khai? My point is the option of variety and the gift of choice grants us all the luxury of preference. We need to have all women of different walks of life represented to balance out the positive and the not so positive images of women. After all, what’s Madonna without a Celine Dion? What’s a Taylor Swift without a Lady Gaga?
What do women in hip-hop have to do (that goes for rappers, writers, producers, etc) to start getting the respect that once used to be there?
It is my personal belief that hip hop in general needs to have more pride. It is imperative to know of one’s past before beginning their journey to the future. Just as jazz musicians study Dizzy and Monk, hip hop artist, especially women, must be aware of our roots. We should be familiar with, and appreciate those from Miss Melody to Foxy Brown…we must appreciate both Jean Grae and Lil Kim.
We must have a TRUE passion for music and artistic expression; while encouraging those who may have a different style than our own. People always ask me about Nicki Minaj as if I’m suppose to dislike her or her music. And I’ll be the first to say, I enjoy a lot of her lyricism, I dig her style, and I almost believe that she’s an evil genius. Although our styles are completely different and exist on polar opposite ends of the spectrum, I still appreciate what she does with her craft. She’s in her lane and I’m in mine, there’s no reason why we can’t both ride this wave of music expression.
By the way, hip hop has always been in debted to women since it’s embryo stages…Cindy Campbell (Kool Herc’s sister) actually put together the event where Herc was spinning when hip hop was birthed. ( That had nothing to do with the question, but I felt like saying it. Hip Hop you OWE us!)
Thanks so much Gangstarr Girl for this interview opportunity. This is only a peek into my brain, so I hope that we can chat about more of this stuff in detail real soon. I got a lot of projects coming out this year, Rebel Starr is dropping our EP to preview the album..expect the unexpected, GNU is dropping Camel Toes and Dildos, I’m dropping Gummy Bears & Champagne on Angry Chimp Music Group with DJ KStarr and Kodi M’chelle. My company Royalty Media Group is expanding…”we took the night” *Chelly voice*. So follow me, and keep up with the Loving! www.twitter.com/likwuid.