Exclusive: Somaya Reece Speaks On Lack Of Latina Lyricists, "That's Why I'm Here"

Thursday, Jun 2, 2011 1:45PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

While Young Money's Nicki Minaj is helping keep female rhyme spitters in the mainstream, SOHH recently hit up Latina rapper/actress Somaya Reece to get her opinion on the absence of prominent Hispanic lady emcees in hip-hop.

Admitting she did not have a distinct answer, Reece proclaimed her will to lead the pack for Latina lady rappers.

"I don't know why, that's so crazy, I've been asked that in all my interviews," Reece told SOHH when asked about her opinion on the lack of prominent Hispanic femcess. "I guess it's me. That's why I'm here...We actually do have one, she's in the Latin world. You may have to Google her. Her name is Ivy Queen and she's like the queen of Latin rap. She's like our goddess of Latin rap and reggaeton. She's like a really ill spitter and it's crazy. She's an older woman now but she's somebody that's really big for us. I just know that I'm definitely putting it down for the Latinas and I'm doing a very unique style of music. I'm grateful that we had someone come out with a heavy Latin influence and then we had Big Pun, Fat Joe, Joell Ortiz. I'm happy that there's more of us out there but as far as [the lack of] females, I don't know why but I know that I'm here now." (SOHH)

Last fall, female rap veteran Rah Digga sat down with SOHH and cleared up the perception of female emcees becoming extinct.

"There's definitely a range of females who are doing things, but the only thing that really bothers me is when people say there are no females and that's not true," Digga explained to SOHH. "There are tons of females out there rapping. Everyone seems to look to the glamourous side of the females rapping but I think the media can control what females get exposure and things of that nature and they just don't. Everybody complains about why aren't there any females and why aren't they getting exposure, but it's because the media isn't giving it to them. Simple and plain. It's not rocket science. You know, pick one." (SOHH)

Digga also stated she does not subscribe to the idea of the number of hip-hop's female emcees being on the decline since the 1990's.

"While it is a male-dominated sport, I do think being with a clique or being the only female in an entourage, it does help give you that mainstream exposure," Digga added. "It especially helps if the clique is established but at the same token, I think you can also be a female, represent and do what you do on your own without that. I don't think that necessarily makes or breaks you. It just depends on how you define success. Some people are happy being completely at the forefront and taking turns with the rest of the females that come along or some define success of being at shows and knowing your fans are rocking with you. It just depends on how you define success. I think there are definitely a lot of females that are doing it, maybe not by the 'industry' standards but there isn't a shortage of female emcees. I just don't buy into that, 'where are all the females at?' [question]" (SOHH)

Last August, BET aired its first-ever original music documentary, My Mic Sounds Nice, analyzing the role of woman emcees in hip-hop.

Featuring interviews with music executives, journalists, artists (including Missy Elliott, Eve, Trina, Rah Digga, Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte, Yo Yo and Lady of Rage and Jean Grae) and Hip Hop moguls (Jermaine Dupri, Russell Simmons and Kevin Liles), the documentary "examines gender-specific differences in artistry, marketing, promotion and economics, explores why there are far fewer female than male MCs, and discusses whether there's still a place for women in Hip Hop." (Soul Culture)

Check out some recent Somaya Reece footage below:

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