Rasheeda Talks Black Love, Power, Respect & Integrity
Originally published May 2012 on www.lovemyblack.com | Written By Jennifer Renee
"Rasheeda Talks Black Love, Power, Respect & Integrity"
Jennifer Renee, Editor in Chief of Love My Black, LLC, sits down with the Georgia Peach, Rasheeda Buckner to discuss being a Black woman in a male hip-hop dominated industry, Love and Hip Hop, Relationships and more.
At first glance, you automatically get the vibe that Rasheeda aka “Georgia Peach” is a boss and someone that you might want to take seriously. Lyrically, Rasheeda delivers sexually stimulated rhymes over a dope beat demanding attention and leaving her listeners anxious to hear more, but outside of the booth she is just your everyday down to earth chick whose personality and kind heart makes you feel as though you have known her for years.
Active in the game for over a decade, Rasheeda has maintained a respectable reputation by being true to who she is at all times with no compromise. Earning her respect as an independent artist, Rasheeda has released an impressive collection of albums which include her ever so popular Boss Bitch Music mixtapes. Following the recent release of the newest installment of the Boss Bitch collection Boss Bitch Music 4, we got the chance to sit down and talk with Rasheeda about what being a Black female rapper in the industry is like, her take on the current state Hip Hop raptresses, being a parent, having class and how to “keep it real” and still be… BOSSY.
Jennifer: What is the Boss Bitch Movement? We hear about it all the time in your music, you represent it to the fullest on and it seems that a lot of people have caught on to it as well. What exactly does being a “Boss Bitch” mean?
Rasheeda: Basically I just wanted to verbally instill a sense of pride in woman and make them feel that they are strong and powerful. I wanted to let them know that they can achieve their goals and dreams with integrity and move forward in life. When I say “Boss Bitch” it is definitely a term of empowerment. As women sometimes we lose sight of how strong we really are and how important we are. We make this world go around. We are mothers, we are wives, and we have our own businesses. I just wanted them to feel like when they listen to Rasheeda they can relate and feel good about themselves and who they are. I just want women to feel like they are that bitch, you know? Go for what you know, be the captain of your own ship, don’t settle and be a boss.
Jennifer: That is a very powerful message to send out. I see so many young women today who are lost and don’t know who they really are or where to go so it is always inspiring to see someone reach out and be a positive influence. This generation needs someone to step in and lift them up, empower them…
Rasheeda: Right, they need to know that you honey you are beautiful it doesn’t matter your build, complexion or anything like that. Understand that you are beautiful in YOUR skin. You don’t have to go change yourself just because someone else is doing it. God made you the way that you are…embrace it.
Jennifer: What does being a black woman mean to you? What does that embody for you?
Rasheeda: Being a black woman embodies so much to me, it means so many things because we are so strong and unique. It’s a blessing first and foremost and we are extremely strong and enduring. Everything isn’t always gravy for us, we go through a lot of adversaries and a lot of rocky paths being a Black woman in the workplace and just trying to make our way into positions of power but at the same time being a black woman, to me, is like it’s wonderful because if you have the goals and the knowledge to push your way through you can accomplish anything. In addition to all of that we raise men and that in itself is so powerful. We have the ability to create situations for ourselves…
Jennifer: There is so much more to us and we don’t see that represented a lot especially in the media or entertainment industry and for some reason that side us is not celebrated as much.
Rasheeda: I am going to keep it 100%, every black girl isn’t a video ho, or some section 8 having chick waiting on her next round of food stamps or her EBT to be filled. That’s why I push so hard to stay ahead because I want young girls to see that there are other options. You don’t have to go onto the internet and only see black woman portrayed as something that is bad or in a negative light. The sad thing is that (in the industry) you will often find all of the negative things being pushed instead of the positive.
Jennifer: Do you feel like we as black women are portrayed well or represented accurately, especially in the Hip Hop culture? Do you believe that we still have a voice?
Rasheeda: We have a voice, it’s a very small voice but it’s there. The way that our voice is put out there is somewhat cool, but it could definitely use some work. Just being real, we definitely need to get our voice out there more. The one thing that we rarely ever see in the industry is black love and the black family. You know, it does exist in this world. There are real families out there, but it’s not shown.
As far as Hip Hop is concerned, it’s a work in progress. I appreciate the fact that there are other females out there to represent for the women in the industry and be a voice. I can’t fill the void for every woman, not everybody is going to like Rasheeda.
Jennifer: When I was younger Hip Hop was turning from the pioneers like MC Lyte & Dana Dane to artists like Naughty By Nature, NWA & others that were a tad bit hard core. Two of my favorite raptresses coming up were Queen Latifah and Lil Kim. Queen Latifah put out U.N.I.T.Y when male rappers were starting to use the words bitch and ho in their lyrics on a regular. She basically came on the scene and said “BOOM, who you calling a bitch?” and that was our voice at the time. I love Kim for a totally different reason. I love her so much because at that time the industry was telling women that in order to be taken seriously you had to rock like a dude. Baggy clothes, fitted cap, Timberlands and rough with it. Kim came on the scene and said “F*ck y’all, I’m rocking my stilettos and mini skirt. I’m going to be sexy and you will STILL respect my gangsta”. She took what was once considered dirty and gave it power, for us. She made it okay to be a sexy woman in the hip hop industry. I feel like we don’t have that now. We don’t have that powerful kind of message now.
Rasheeda: You know what, I agree with it to a point but at the same time us being black women, having the opportunity to even have a platform in Hip Hop where we can express ourselves is harder now. You know, a lot of times in the industry they might let one or two of us slide by and get real big but the problem is that those one or two people don’t speak for every woman. There are hundreds of men rapping these days. You can get with his swag, his swag or his swag but how many female rappers can you name that when you turn on your TV set or radio you can be like, “I am going to rock with her, her, her, her or her”.
It has to be collective all the way around when it comes to us; I mean hell we are still fighting. The men aren’t fighting anymore, but we are still fighting today. We can’t even get along enough to stand up on that platform and say “Here I am this is who I am, and this is what I have to offer”
Jennifer: With you being an independent artist that gives you a lot of room to be creative and get your own point of view across. How do you manage to stay in your own lane and stay true to yourself, especially with everything changing and everyone trying to “one up” each other.
Rasheeda: It’s extremely simple for me because I don’t let things change me. I don’t get caught up in stuff like that. One thing that I am able to do is understand who I am as a woman and I'm secure in who I am and I know what I want. I won’t change for anybody. It is easy for me to stay in my own lane because it’s mine and no one else's. I know what I am going to do, I know what I won’t do and that is just what it is. To me the minute you start trying to do what someone else is doing you will get lost and eventually caught up. At the same I understand that what I do is a direct reflection of who I am. I can’t please everybody or do everything that others are doing. As long as I am doing music and I am happy with it on the inside, then I am good.
Jennifer: With your unwillingness to compromise who you are, do you find it harder to demand respect from your peers within the industry or does that make it easier?
Rasheeda: It kind of goes both ways. It makes it easier because I am the kind of person who believes that it doesn’t matter how long it takes me to do it as long as I get there. If I get there through all of my ups and down, adversities, triumphs and experiences, if I get there by being true to who I am, then when I do get there I’m respected even more and I can soak in the fact that I got there by sticking to what I believe. On the other hand, it kind of makes it hard because the industry is just so funky. You may see someone who did something that you refused to do and made it, then you are like “Dang, what would have happened if I did that instead?” But you have to think about it like is that really me? Is this who I am? Would I be happy with me at the end of the day?
Sometimes as woman we go too far and then get to the point where we realize it and it’s too late. Then we are like “Oh shit, now how do I get out of this?” Then you have to figure out how to keep it going. You have to know the balance and have your limitations in everything you do.
Jennifer: A lot of women don’t have that balance and that is a problem. You are either way over left or way over right there is very seldom an in-between. The problem with that is (with artists) people get use to you being that way and come to expect it from you. So when the time comes for you to make a change it is not perceived well and you end up falling.
Jennifer: Do you deal with aspiring artists on a personal level? How do you deal with fans or aspiring artists who may come to you and express their admiration for you and your work in hopes that you can give them a hand?
Rasheeda: I do to a certain extent. For obvious reasons I cant just talk to everybody because not everyone has good intentions. I get a lot of people who will meet me and say things and I will do what I can as far as giving advice or pointers if I can to the best of my ability. With aspiring artists, you have to be careful because some will come to you with that and it turns out to be something completely different. There are true aspiring artists out there that will hit me up and I’ll tell them to send me their material and it’s all over the place and I have to turn them down because I don’t have time to sugar coat or beat around the bush for them. I am going to be honest with them.
When it comes it to woman particularly I always tell them that if you are coming into this for immediate fame and recognition and not really serious about it, then you might want to pick a different occupation. This takes time and dedication and sometimes people get sidetracked by the glitz and glamour and its not always like that. You can’t just sit there and let someone else do the work for you either, you really have to work hard especially being a woman. I just like to talk to them and let them know that it’s real out here.
Jennifer: If you could sit in a room full of young girls and tell them anything that you wanted to and have them walk away with something that they will never forget and use, what would that be?
Rasheeda: Reverting back to being secure and understanding who you are while not settling for less than what you deserve. Life is full of ups and downs, don’t give up on something just because you were turned down a few times. Keep in mind that there are no limits to what you can accomplish if you have a game plan and focus on the things that you want to do. There’s so many things that I would want to tell them and instill in them.
Like (laughs) it’s hard for me to sit there and not say “Don’t get it twisted girl, don’t you listen to them, they are so hos” even though that’s what I want to say, I can’t. I just want them to understand and remember INTREGRITY, having standards and CLASS. Things don’t have to always be the “bottom of the barrow”. We get so much of that already in the media and never the positive. It doesn’t have to be that way. We go through life and we all have are problems. I am not perfect; I have NEVER been perfect, period. Sometimes if I just had someone to tell me things there is so much in my life that I would have done differently.
If I could sit in a room with a bunch of girls I would want to talk to each of them individually and just see if I can help them get through the problem.
Jennifer:: A lot of girls don’t have that these days especially with the high rates of single parents. Not just for singles mothers, but for the single fathers out there too, because there are some dads out there holding it down on their own.
Rasheeda: Yes, yes! Big ups to the single dads out there that are doing their thing with their children because it is not an easy job at all. My hat goes off to the men out there that are actually fathers to their children.
Jennifer: It’s hard when you have a single parent and the other half of you is missing. Especially, when the one parent you do have is always working and on top of that going to school to try and make a better life for the family. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost and you find yourself turning to your friends, the streets or the media and end up misinformed with no one to set you back on track.
Rasheeda: Being a mom, that is one thing that I always try to do with my son. With all of the moving around that I do I always make time to sit down with my son and bond with him. Sometimes it is just the time. It isn’t about going anywhere or doing anything, just spending time together and getting to know your child as they grow.
A lot of these parents find out more about their child from Twitter and Facebook then they do sitting in the same house with them at the kitchen table, if they do that. It is just the time. Parents need to find the time to be with their children.
Jennifer: Sometimes all the child needs is time to talk to mommy or time to talk to daddy because things aren’t the same and they are fighting a never ending battle out there. The things that we went through years ago have escalated times 20. We have no idea what they go through out there and they are not prepared to deal with it on their own.
Jennifer: Where can we find you Rasheeda?
Rasheeda: Everyone can find me on Twitter at @Rasheeda and be sure to check out my new mixtape (Boss B*tch Music 4) which is available for download on Livemixtapes and Dat Piff. Also be sure to check out my little fly online store IMbossy.com where you can get everything from accessories, shirts, glasses…all of that.
Copyright © 2012-2018 Jennifer Renee