Monday, May 17, 2010

    Hip-Hop… Essence… Realness… There are the words that come into my mind every time I listen to Dynasty's music. This girl is thee definition of a “femcee”. Her music is a perfect combination of the best Hip-Hop traditions w/ something that the world has never witnessed before. And while most artists are trying to drop a hit, D~Y gives the world one classic song after another… 

Q: Who is Dynasty? Describe yourself in 6 words

Dynasty: Lets see... crazy, driven, gifted, playful, thoughtful... dope.

Q:  Being born in NY & living in Tampa, FL. How did it influence your style? Do you consider yourself to be an East Coast artist?

Dynasty: I def do.. I identify with the east coast sound…but I love grimy east coast beat. Love my hard drums.

Q: When did you first realize that music was your true calling?

Dynasty: I realized it was my calling in high school... that’s when I realized that I loved performing... but I realized that it was my TRUE calling around 2001 when I opened for Mos Def.

Q: You collabo’d/ performed with legendary people like KRS-1, DJ Premier, Wu-Tang to name a few. What did you learn from that experience?

Dynasty: I learned that anything is possible... months before each of those occurred, I would not have believed it if you told me. If you said, D~Y... Primo is going to play “Femcee” on his show... I’d say.... right, that’s a dream... but... the one that really changed me is rockin with KRS. They are all incredibly significant... but KRS really moved me.

Q: What's your most memorable or significant collabo to date, and why?

Dynasty: Actually... my most significant collabo to date is one that I can’t mention just yet... because it is not finalized and I don’t want to speak on it before I have it in my hands. Sorry!! But the cat will be out of the bag on June 5th when the mixtape drops.

Q: Is it safe to say that Dynasty is your alter-ego? If yes, then what’s the difference between D~Y & D. Maria-Eva?  

Dynasty: That's safe... D Maria Eva is the day to day Diana… while very much the same as Dynasty... there are slight differences. D Maria E puts on a dress and punches a clock daily. Has a good corp job… (Laughing) …all that. Sometimes holds back to avoid conflict… loves easily... and oftentimes cares too much. Dynasty is a beast. (Laughing) The similarity is that both are passionate, strong and silly. But when I'm in D~Y mode, I'm a bit more aggressive. I say what I want in my music. And I'm in your face when I'm on the stage w/ little concern about what people think.

Q: How did you get the name “Dynasty”?

Dynasty: Dynasty was given to me by a family friend when I was about 14... I needed a name. I was just "big Dee" (I had graduated from baby Dee... (Laughing). And he came up w/ Dynasty the "bounty huntress"... naturally, we got rid of that part.

Q: What is it that most people would be surprised to know about you?

Dynasty: I think people would be surprised to see that I'm a softy and sometimes overly sensitive when it comes to those who I really care about.. I'm so aggressive on the surprises people when they get to know me and see that side of me… But I'm showing more of that in my music lately.

Q: What do you love most about hip-hop & why?

Dynasty: I love that it transcends all boundaries. There are still some who think its one dimensional... but it’s quite the opposite... look at us connecting from across the world. Hip hop has put me in a position to say what I feel and talk about my life to people from all walks of life.

Q: How did you become involved in hip hop?

Dynasty: Das EFX made me start rapping. I just loved them when I was a kid. And me and a couple of my lil homegirls started saying their verses and switching it up a bit. Before you knew it I was writing my own stuff and spitting in the cafeteria.

Q: What does hip-hop mean to you? Could you define “hip-hop” somehow?

Dynasty: Well, we know the technical definition and the elements but for me, it is my outlet. My definition is: hip hop is a form of expression which allows Dynasty to keep her sanity…(Laughing). I could not imagine not being able to express in this way.

Q: Old school or new school… where goes your preference?

Dynasty: You know what… I'm in the middle. I'm not an ol' school head. There are joints that I love and appreciate and as I chill w/my team more I'm learning so much but I got into hip hop a lil later than many. I was a Black Moon, Smif n Wessun kind of girl. Then I was all about method man for a lil while, then Blackstar, M.O.P., late w/ Jay and Biggie...but I have favorite albums of theirs. But I wasn't really into hip hop when for instance Eric B & Rakim were huge, you know? I'm a lil later in the game.

Q: How long have you been emceeing professionally?

Dynasty: Hmm… how long have I been actually getting paid (laughing) …about a year and a half now. But I've been rocking crowds for years.

Q: I know you took a little break after college. Tell me ‘bout your lil’ hip-hop retirement?

Dynasty: I know right (laughing) unsigned emcee retires... Who did I think I was? You know... I was just going thru some things. One of them being rollin' w/ a crew who didn't really believe in me and I was jaded. Thought I could just leave it behind and move on. But, when I opened for little brother a couple of years ago it lit that fire again.

Q: Being a female emcee in the men’s game… is it an advantage or a disadvantage?        

Dynasty: Most would consider it disadvantageous. And I understand why. I'm not naked, spittin about what I'm gonna do to a dude if he gives/buys me this and that (laughing). I'm in a different lane. And when they hear the music they say "that's dope…what does she look like?"’s not like that for a dude trying to get on... but I have some strong dudes in the game supporting the movement. So I can't complain. I haven't yet felt any serious pressure from the male dominated industry. I earn my respect through the music. Perhaps one day I'll feel some kind of way about it but right now, while I'm heavy on the grind I'm indifferent and focused on the bigger picture.

Q: Female rappers aren't as successful as they used to be in terms of album sales, why do you think that is?

Dynasty: In my opinion, once we got introduced to female rappers who were all about sex and money the game changed. Those rappers were wildly successful... between that and male rappers talking about women in a sexual manner most of the time  I think most label heads feel that if its not sexed up to appeal to men its not worth pushin. And that's not to take anything away from these ladies. I respect their lane. But I see a change on the horizon.

Q: How do you feel about ghostwriting in hip-hop?

Dynasty: I'm not really feeling having someone writing your songs. I’d view you as more of an entertainer than an artist, which is cool but I don't think that you can claim to be an emcee if you're not writing your own material. Collaborating is a diff thing.. "Son, I'm stuck right here on this 13th bar… you have any thoughts?" Is different than..."Son, can you write me a song?" (Laughing)

Q: Do you think that freestyling is an essential skill for an emcee?

Dynasty: I don't think so. Some emcees are dope freestyle emcees. I'm a lyricist. I like to get a track and vibe with it. That’s my process. Never been the one to freestyle. My strength is in performing my songs.

Q: What do you think about where the rap game is right now?

Dynasty: I think it’s in an interesting spot. Seems that people are seeking something more right now… substance… not just entertainment which is great because it opens the door for an artist like me who doesn't come with a gimmick.

Q: How do you see yourself in the rap game? What are your ultimate goals?

Dynasty: My ultimate goal is to be able to write and perform for a living. That’s my dream...that's what I'm supposed to be doing. I wanna be the reminder. The one that makes them say... "Oh yea, I remember that there were dope chicks in hip hop who weren't always naked..." (Laughing). The one that makes it without compromising self and its been done before, so I know it can happen.

Q: Name industry people (artists and/or producers) you’d be privileged to work w/?

Dynasty: Man... I’d love to work w/ Mos, Talib, Erykah Badu, MOP... as for producers I’d love to work w/ DJ Khalil, name a few off the top of my head.

Q: How would you describe your music?

Dynasty: Genuine... I'm just a girl w/a gift. I’ll say whatever’s on my mind but you'll always be able to tell that its real, whether its about killin an emcee or love gone wrong it’s all me.

Q: What message are you trying to convey with your music?

Dynasty: My music encourages you to be who you are...period. That’s all I plan to be and it’s workin' for me. It’s best conveyed thru my motto...keep pushin and a line from my song "pushin"... "It ain't what you got its what you do that defines you"

Q: What are your upcoming projects?

Dynasty: My 1st mixtape drops June 5th! I'm so excited about that. Its called “Dreampusher” and it really touches on who I am as a person… not just as an artist.

Q: So as far as this mixtape, what should people expect from it? What’s your mind state? What kind of songs are you doing?

Dynasty: Its everything from your cocky emcee flow to a personal song about love to a song about how dudes should approach me. My mind state is all over the place. It’s a glimpse into who I am.

Q: Who are the artists & producers you’re working w/ on this mixtape?

Dynasty: I'm workin w/local artists who I really like and admire... Jinx, Aych, Mike Mass. Another local artist who has recently been signed and doing huge things by the name of Laws and I also have a collab w/ Tek of Smif & Wessun.

Q: Do you have any other passions besides music & hip-hop culture?

Dynasty: Theater. My associates is in theater arts. I def plan to get back into that one day. I've been an entertainer since I could walk and talk. (Laughing) It’s just who I am.

Q: Any shout outs?

Dynasty: Shouts to team D~Y for holding me down. I love my team. My DJ Sandman, Deacon, Jinx and several others who have been and remain in my corner. And shouts to everyone who supports me in any capacity from DJs to hip hop lovers like yourself worldwide. I have so much love for all of you. You motivate me to keep pushin.

Special thanks to Dynasty for taking time out for this interview!

The mixtape will be available for download on on June 5th.

 Till then enjoy D~Y's new single "Magnificent" available on iTunes & Amazon

I used 2 ♥ him

Common used to love H.E.R. & I used to love H.I.M. (Hip-hop Is My Muse) ... but true love never dies ... this is my L.O.V.E. S.T.O.R.Y.


About Me

They call me Janus cuz I’m a little bit of every opposition. I’m quiet & loud, happy & sad, cocky and shy, rough & ladylike… but most of all I’m hip-hop. I started this blog to share my thoughts and ideas with the world, so feel free to leave your comments and to holla at me. Welcome to my world! Follow me on Twitter