This past weekend, I attended the Ladies on The Mic Showcase in Dallas, Texas. It's always refreshing to be in a spot where dope female lyricists can rock the stage and have the men and women rockin with them, being inspired by them, and digging their LYRICS AND SKILLS and not just the outer shell of their beauty and sexuality. It takes me back to the first time I saw MC Lyte on stage, I looked around at all the men vibing with her and having true RESPECT for her, which was such a huge difference from the responses I noticed society had with newer female artists. Below is a cell phone video I recorded of Rah Digga dropping gems for the women in the game. It's important to learn from and study the OGz in the game. What Digga expressed was the same message that has been brewing inside me for so long and what Diva Demeanor is about.
This happened in a Dallas bar on the bottom floor (hence: underground) and the only ones in attendance were those who were curious or those who knew of these artists and had a deep and undying love for the true hip hop culture. Such a pure crowd. Meanwhile, others danced, drank and partied upstairs unaware of the history and substance going on right underneath their noses. I love the underground and grassroots feel of things. If we are being real with this, we would treat it as such. We wouldn't care so much about a huge production and paying big names for press and media coverage. We wouldn't spend so much time chasing fads, trying to look famous and glossing up our image for the masses. Is our shit even for the masses? No. It's for us. It's for the culture. If we are real about this, we would promote and share these simple cell phone captures of the beauty and power going on in the underground that can radically shift our culture to the place we desire. I see so many movements that claim to be grassroots or underground but operate like the mainstream. I don't believe its intentional. I believe we are trying to get our messages out and trying to be as big and visible and impressive as possible. But let's not forget that our power forever lies with the people, with the community, with the heart and with the message. Digga says it beautifully. In everything that you do, make sure you keepin it as gutta as you can. Stop allowing what the "mass corporations" (*cough* instagram models, gurus, people selling dreams in virtual courses, people telling you to pay for views, people telling you how to finesse the system) sway you. Stand firm in your truth. Be as grassroots and untouched by those greedy, slimy ideals as possible. Do it for the people. Do it from the heart. Hip hop needs to remain heart over hype. Real over manufactured. In whatever it is that you do, whatever unique contribution you bring to the culture, stay true.