Image by Alex Antigua
When Kamala Harris was chosen earlier this month to be Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential running mate, it sent a clear signal that female power was going to be decisively employed to win the war this November against an oppressive administration—one that has repeatedly exhibited its hostility towards women.
So what better time to devise a playlist of the great women of hip-hop to provide the battle soundtrack? Which is exactly what NYC rapper Prema777 has done exclusively for BlackBook, assembling 83 (yes, 83) of the fiercest ever, and titling it Empress Emcees. The up-and-comer made some noise recently with the explosive new track “Nothing Free.” But her most recent single “Workin'” decisively proves the force of her talent.
And she’s keeping very good company on the way up. The single was produced by J Glaze (Lil Jon, A Tribe Called Quest); and it features a guest rap by Nitty Scott, of “Monster” fame. It’s taken from her 2018 album, appropriately titled Take Flight, which will be re-released in early 2021 on iNTeLLectual Entertainment via Dock Street Records, distributed through Tommy Boy.
Oh, Prema777 just also happens to be married to iNTeLL of 2nd Generation Wu / GFTD.
So you’re hopeful now?
We still have a ways to go, and part of it is giving flowers to those who paved the way first. I feel it’s important to recognize the trailblazers like Sylvia Robinson, founder and CEO of Sugar Hill Records, and Roxanne Shante; and once we begin that process we can then extend it into current times. Although the female population is growing in hip-hop and gaining clout, it’s still heavily sexualized. I feel it’s important to show the duality that we have, and honor the work ethic and successes more. We have a long way to go but we have made an impact.
What message do you want to get out through your music right now?
The message at this time I would like to get across is unity. Breaking through and sharing my story to give people inspiration and hope. That we are all strong and resilient human beings that have the power to heal one and other. Most importantly I lead with love and intelligence. It’s important for me to share my voice and journey because I really want to help with whatever I can In this world.