Signif (Interview)

Who: Signif
What: Hip Hop
Where: NYC
Birthplace: Milwaukee, WI

1. What kind of artist/rapper are you (i.e style)? I call myself a “reality rapper” because most of my songs are about me, and the things I’ve been through. I really don’t like the term backpack, or conscious rapper. If you do music in general I think your style should vary as you progress.

2. Why did you decided to pursue rapping, instead of say…nursing lol; and when you told your family how did they react? I still did the school thing, I call it my plan “B”. My mom was cool with it until she found out how much money I was spending on it, and then it was like, “stay focused on your books LaToya”. She eventually gave in, and now she’s my number one supporter. Family matters, but they really don’t care either way.

3. When did you move to New York, and why? I moved to New York in 07’. I was going back and forth so much that I decided to make that move. After having a couple of meetings, and getting my feet wet I thought it would be to my advantage to leave, if this is what I really wanted to do.

4. What was the name of the first song you’ve written and recorded, and what was it about? One of the first songs I ever wrote was called “super smash”. I recorded it via tape deck while I rapped into the speakers, it came out so crisp too. lol The Super Mario Brothers game was the beat while it echoed from the tv. My first individual song I recorded in a studio was called “Dumb and Stupid”, my mom still has that disc to this day, and hopefully no one else does.

5. I went to see Amanda Diva speak once about the need of female rappers like Nicki Manji, because it opens the room for a more conscious and lyrical rapper to step-up… what is your opinion about that statement, and about rappers like Nicki? I respect Amanda’s opinion but I don’t agree with it. Nicki’s part of the machine now and I’m pretty sure she’s doing what needs to be done to keep her position, not saying I agree with that either. But I use to listen to nicki on satellite radio way before I moved to New York, and her flow and appeal were 100% different. That’s why you should always know where someone’s been before you pass judgment, that’s just my opinion though. On the flip I would love to see the labels push more positive female artist, but they barely push positive male artist so that leaves a lot of artist fending for themselves. Bastards!

6. Describe the New York rap style and the scene? The styles vary like anywhere else, but the cats here are hungry. From my experiences, the rap scene is cool for the most part if you have flow they’ll welcome you, but if not they wont sugar coat it.

7. Because of the state of Milwaukee’s rap scene, would you encourage an upcoming female rapper here to stay or leave? It would depend on her situation, if she felt it was better to out source then do it, but if she can bring that light to her without leaving then I say stay. Most people are scared to leave their comfort zone, but sometimes you just have to take a chance.

8. Finish this short bar “Me and Sk8tareeves/at the skatepark/about to have a sk8ta session before it get dark/……(fill in blank) “Kick flip queen and you know I’m about to spark, so pass me my board so I can set it off”

I can set it off, I I can set it off ßthat’s the chorus lol

9. Many people don’t know that you were a skater back in the day, tell us about your first experience? The people around me knew, I had a nice grip on the board. I wanted to learn a few tricks so I took a few lessons at Cream City, but I only had enough time to learn the ramps before I left. I use to skate at work, on my breaks, around the crib, but nothing too serious though. It sparked because of the company I kept, that “Eastsiders” mentality. This was way before the kick push era, which kind of started a revolution.

10. When we met up at Estabrook, what was your first thought of the place?thought it was dope, because you guys built it from scratch. I’m not sure if you did it grunge style, or actually got a permit to do it, either way I dug the “for us by us” spiel you had.

Top 3 unknown female emcees:

Can I say me? Nah, there are so many nice female emcees around for me to only name 3, but Invincible is nice with it.

Favorite skater to watch (aside from me,duh):

Bastien is pretty cool, but I don’t keep up with the videos anymore.

Top 3 venues in NY to perform at:

Southpaw

The Pyramid

Nuyorican

Music and info here (www.signifthegift.com )

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