Underground femcee Tiye Phoenix has denied intentionally going after Nicki Minaj‘s image and talent after televised comments made on BET’s “My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip-Hop” created a negative buzz.
For Phoenix, she said her remarks were made in late spring prior to Minaj’s recent collaborations and featured interviews.
“Television is really good at giving you sound bites so you don’t really get a chance sometimes to zero in and lock in on a specific word that a person says and upon just initial listen and not really intently focusing on what I said, you could walk away saying that I criticized the artist and the person and I didn’t…My commentary was specifically addressing progressiveness and evolution in hip-hop, meaning the next level and the next level in my opinion refers to new ideas, new concepts, new content, just a new platform all together…At the time when the documentary was taped, May of 2010, I was referencing in my mind, the Sean Garrett record [‘Massive Attack’], the ‘Bedrock’ verse, maybe a few sporadic verses I heard on some R&B songs and that was the conclusion I came to. A lot of people come to me that maybe didn’t like my comment, they reference music that’s been released in the last month. I said, ‘well, I can only go by the music I heard at the time with respect to my opinion as far as how progressive it was, or wasn’t.'” (BET)
In her segment, Phoenix is featured questioning Minaj’s talent as a female emcee.
“I don’t knock the sister because I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure on her just being the poster child for female rap in 2009 and 2010,” Tiye said in MMSN. “But in terms of the preservation and the continuation and expansion of the art form of hip-hop music and culture, I can’t see what she’s creating…when she goes in the studio. Meanwhile, females like myself we in the underground paying dues. Like, we’re committed.” (“My Mic Sounds Nice”)
Recently, Minaj talked with radio personality DJ Drama and defended her role as an emcee following the show’s broadcast.
“[I turned on the show right when they started talking about me, and I heard] ‘Yeah. they just Kim Kardashian with a mic in her hand,’…it’s funny in the black community, when you get popular, people forget that you were an underground struggling artist at one time. I saw so many of these girls saying stuff, ‘We grindin’,’…. Boo, I grinded for the past 7 years of my life and I’m not gonna feel guilty for anything I’m getting right now. They’re just uneducated about how many dues I’ve paid…..but I love that I was talked about on the show.” (Miss Info TV)
The program featured multiple female artists sharing their thoughts on the status of women in hip-hop.
Last night BET aired its first ever original music documentary special, My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women In Hip Hop – a new film directed and executive produced by Ava DuVernay, taking an in-depth look at the role of female rappers 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)