Brooklyn Bodega’s Wes Jackson put it bluntly when speaking about the female presence on the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival bill, “There are two women out here who are featured prominently, not because of their looks, not because of politics, it’s because of skill.”
Wes was speaking about Canada’s Eternia and Brooklyn’s Nitty Scott, MC, who rocked the main stage at the 2011 Brooklyn Bodega Hip-Hop Festival. Fresh off her well-received mixtape, The Cassette Chronicles, and having been featured in The Source’s famed Unsigned Hype column, Nitty Scott, MC spoke to Birthplace Magazine about her participation in the BHHF, her affinity for the live performance, and what the future holds for this talented MC.
So, how did you get involved with Brooklyn Bodega for the Hip Hop Festival? How did that come about?
I had done “Ladies First” lineup at Southpaw which was me, Rah Digga, The Real Eternia, a bunch of really dope just female hip hop acts. That’s when we first got in contact with them and I did an interview with them and then a few months later they reached out for the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival and they were basically just putting the lineup together and trying to see who the new talent was and I remember reading too, that they had caught some slack last year for not having a lot of female acts on the lineup.
So, I know they were specifically looking for people to fill that void. Wes said that he chose me and Eternia to represent for the upcoming female hip hop acts because of our live shows. So, that’s pretty much how it happened and I’m just really honored to be a part of something so big. It’s a huge look for me. I love the statement that it sends as far as being a real community based hip hop event.
How important is the live show for you as far as bringing your music to the masses?
I think it’s very important. its interesting how ever since I’ve been pursuing this professionally, I’ve actually taken the live show aspect a lot more seriously as far as really mastering the live element of it all and learning how to really exchange energy with the crowd, those transitions from one song to the next, being natural on stage and being in my natural element and not feeling so scripted, blending one song to the next. Becoming more and more comfortable with performing for people. I’ve always been on the stage and never really been a victim of stage fright or anything, but this is the first time that I’ve done THIS particularly, MCing for tough crowds especially these underground New York crowds. If it’s not dope, they’re just not going to give you that applause, so I’ve definitely been mastering that more and more with every show. And it’s getting better and better every time. I love it. It’s a whole another element. Especially being on the other side of it now. You know I remember walking away from a lot of live shows and feeling so much more connected with that artist and feeling like they weren’t so untouchable anymore, like they weren’t on this pedestal anymore, just because you’ve really gotten to see them be themselves and interact with you. I just really want to give people that same emotion that I get when I saw a lot of artists that I look up to live.
LISTEN: Nitty Scott, MC – “Auntie Maria’s Crib”
So, how did your first show go? When you first went out there for the very first time? What kind of experience was that?
In the beginning, it was more about getting people to respect me. I wanted them to look past the physical. I didn’t want them to give me a pass because I was a girl or because I was cute or because I was dressed nice. I didn’t want any of that to matter. So in the beginning – that hunger is always going to be there – but I was very like, ‘Yo, respect me, listen to me, appreciate my lyrics and what I’m trying to do.’ Once I got that out of my system, then I could focus more on actually delivering a dope show, a dope experience and not being so preoccupied with how I was going to be received.
Now it’s gotten to the point where, especially in New York, some of the crowds that I rock out are somewhat familiar with me. They’ve heard of me before, so it’s not so much like, I’m trying to win them over and get them to take me seriously. A lot of people take me seriously already, so now it’s more about delivering up to their expectations.
Why do you think there is a lack of female MCs rapping today? Why is there so little presence?
I don’t like to say that there isn’t a female presence, because I feel like it would be insulting to a lot of the female MCs that have been out here, grinding and not just upcoming MCs, but also veterans that have still been releasing albums and touring and releasing records. So, I think the female MC, the presence has always been there. I’m not going to take that away from the people that have been holding it down. But I think it’s more a matter of the media coverage that it gets. I think people are actually checking for female rappers now. And there’s an actual debate about it. People like to talk about who’s hot and who’s not. There’s just a level of interest in the female MC now ever since the mainstream presence has become more prevalent. Now I just think there’s this new wave. And there’s more media outlets willing to support the emerging female MC as opposed to just being a part of the machine. Especially with bloggers and the way that the internet ties into the music industry now, now artists like myself that don’t want to align themselves with any particular label or group. You can just really put out your music for what it is and begin to develop a fan base and get exposure. So, I think the whole female MC movement is changing along with the general changes in the music industry.
What do you have coming out? What do you have out now?
I have The Boombox Diaries Volume 1 EP which should be dropping soon. It is my debut, as far as having original music and original beats. We don’t have an actual street date for it yet, but it will be available physically, in stores and digitally and other than that, “The Cassette Chronicles” mixtape was released a few months back via DJBooth. That’s still available for download at DJBooth.net presented by Mick Boogie, so they can always go download that for free. And The Boombox Diaries will be in stores very soon.
What is the future for Nitty Scott? Where do want to take this eventually?
I don’t want to be a celebrity. I feel like being a celebrity or becoming famous could most definitely come with the territory of having talent. But I want to be more critically acclaimed and established with being able to make a living off of my art and having a solid fan base and being more concerned with my longevity as opposed to being popular. That’s where I’m at right now. Just basically trying to build my brand and build my solid following and continue to develop as an artist as well. So, I’m hoping over time I can just become more and more established and in the long run, the larger vision is to essentially create not just a music movement but a lifestyle and culture sort of brand where we could even bring other artists into the movement, into the Boombox family and sort of begin almost a Native Tongues sort of thing and align myself with other artists that I think are dope.
Eventually after that I would like to be more charitable with my influence once I’m sort of in a position to give back, I want to promote music education in schools and want to talk to college students and I want to be involved in a lot of things I don’t have the time to do just yet, because I’m still trying to build my own brand. Ultimately, this is about giving back and being a part of the hip hop community.
More with Nitty Scott, MC – Video interview via BrooklynBodega.com