feisty freestyling expert, Chocolate Thai, has teamed up with Flipmode's
first lady, Rah Digga, to bring us an explosive hip hop mixtape. The ladies
tell us more in this in depth interview.
Thai is best known for her superior free styling skills
and appearing at MC competitions on and off television. We know and love
Rah Digga for being Flipmode’s
first lady, and most recently saw her feature in the video for Busta
Rhymes’ ‘Touch It (Remix)’.
Price Just Went Up’ is a well-suited title to the new mixtape created
by New York City’s Chocolate Thai – an album that can be downloaded
for free on the internet, no strings attached. Getting together with Rah
Digga, the pair came up with some explosive hip hop anthems for this project,
a mixtape which also features MC Lyte
on the intro and outro, and is hosted by Babs
Bunny of ‘Making The Band’ fame.
Rah and Thai show that there is still unity between females
inside and outside of music and when they do finally work together, they
come up with the goods. It’s girl power all the way. The Situation
got on the phone with the duo to find out more about their new release…
all busy ladies, how did you all get together to create this project?
Chocolate Thai: I came up
with the idea for the mixtape. I was touring Europe earlier this year
and I know that Rah has a lot of love in the hip hop game, so I asked
her if she wanted to get involved.
Rah Digga: Initially when
Thai reached out to me, we realised that the market is open to our ideas.
The appreciation and love for hip hop abroad is more genuine than opposed
to in the States. I was all for it. I know some people are wondering what
the hell is going on since I haven’t released anything for a while.
the idea behind the name ‘The Price Just Went Up.’?
RD: I came up with the title.
Artists are always more successful when they have a physical project out.
If you don’t have anything out you don’t really have much
leverage. When we put the mixtape out, we thought this is going to be
something that circulates and some of the songs will be some underground
classics. I figured once this came out we could up the speed and be like,
‘Now we have a project out so the rates have to increase.’
That’s the story behind the madness of the title.
kind of example do you hope to set for other female rappers through this
CT: The mixtape is being
well received right now and we’re speaking to many promoters about
it, so hopefully things will pop off and it will show what we can do.
A lot of people think that females can’t work together; that they
don’t support hip hop, but that’s not true.
was it like to be in the studio together?
CT: We had a ball!
RD: We each had our own
batches of songs ready made before we started the mixtape so we only came
together to do the collaborations. That was a fun night! There was a lot
of smoke in the air and some good vibes.
CT: One of the things I
loved is that I’ve worked with females before and they sometimes
are skeptical of each other and it takes a while to get comfortable with
RD: We were friends already
so we didn’t have to worry about letting our guard down and being
ourselves. It’s been love from day one. We talked about world politics
and it took about 10 hours to start recording. At about 4am we’d
be like ‘Okay, let’s start writing!’
been using MySpace to promote the mixtape. How important do you think
it is to connect with listeners on a personal level?
CT: I’m managed by
MySpace and I love it. I think that Tom
[MySpace technical expert] is the greatest. It enabled me to get in touch
with the world. I think that it’s a great advertising tool; I’ve
made so many contacts from all over the world. The mixtape is already
doing well and it’s not even available in the stores or on the streets.
RD: I’m thinking what
the hell can I sell online?! I love MySpace too. I have my own website
as well www.rahdiggamusic.com, where I’m selling all the songs that
I haven’t released. I get like 4,000 requests a week and I used
to have an intern running it, but it got even too much for her, so I try
and answer the mail myself now. I don’t think the world is clear
on who manages Rah Digga; I’m always put under the Busta Rhymes
umbrella but people don’t realise I have my own management and team
outside Flipmode and Violator. Tom is a genius. I’ve tried to talk
to him personally but he keeps sending me to the technical site.
you’ve been rapping for a long time now, but we haven’t seen
you in the spotlight. Why did you choose now to be your time?
CT: I haven’t heard
anything that I wanna hear from labels, so as an independent artist I
toured Europe without having an album. I knew that the project would work.
Even if a label had this project it wouldn’t have been out this
soon due to politics. If we’re paid with the right money we’ll
make a full fledged album together.
do you think the scene is lacking in the female touch?
RD: Being on a major label
scale they aren’t really interested in investing in the females
like they used to. After doing the maths they don’t think it’s
worth it and that’s a realistic conclusion. It costs more to promote
females. There hasn’t been a female to go platinum in years, or
even gold. Remy [Ma]
didn’t, Trina didn’t.
didn’t go gold and she had the hottest record of the summer [‘Put
Your Lighters Up’]! She went all the way to jail instead. I don’t
know if it’s the state of the economy, but you can love an artist
and never buy their record. The internet has taken over.
CT: CDs are gonna be obsolete
soon. What’s the point of spending all this money on artwork and
packaging when they’re just sitting on the shelves?
RD: Tower Records, which
is the biggest CD franchise ever, has gone out of business. It’s
like the Taj Mahal of CDs. If you ain’t Jay-Z
or Puff you’ve got
a hard road ahead of you. You can definitely get a hard copy of the mixtape
at one of our shows, but other than that, you have to go to the internet.
Time will tell if this is the way to go but I believe it is. It’s
not popping heavy in the stores for anybody right now.
you made plans for ‘Volume II’ already?
RD: We really want to test
the waters with ‘Volume I’. We have discussed ‘Volume
II’. The target audience is definitely people overseas. We want
to give it a chance to circulate over there and get a mini tour going.
As we travel from place to place we’ll have more to talk about and
record it along the way. We got a lot of stuff on ‘Volume I’!
CT: Everybody’s talking
about ‘Volume II’ when the first one has only been out for
a week. If you want a full album from Rah and me you need to pay for it!
RD: Just for the record,
Thai and I are free agents.
is your audience in Europe and overseas important?
RD: I like Europe because
I know it’s a more authentic crowd. I’ve been signed to Flipmode
for almost 10 years now and I’ve been to every State but I haven’t
had a chance to travel Europe properly. I’ve done shows in London
and Germany but it’s always been a come and go thing. I’m
getting older, the game is still fun but it’s more like work for
me at this point. I would love to be somewhere that will remind me of
how fun it used to be.
CT: I was so gonna say that.
Europe was fun for me. If it’s hot out there, the States will follow.
It used to be the other way round for a long time.
RD: We’re not appreciated
in the States anymore, so it’s different when we go somewhere else.
CT: We can go to France
and get love. I did a couple of collaborations out there with some artists.
I think people are waiting for one chick to bring the game back. It’s
going to take a whole bunch of talented and positive people to work together.
I’m a fan of Rah and hip hop.
do you think of the state of hip hop right now?
CT: Hip hop doesn’t
have the movement that it used to have. People know a song more than they
know the artist. I like to know the person I’m supporting and go
and see them live. The game isn’t like that anymore, it’s
about the videos and smoke and mirrors. It’s the music of the urban
people so it’s not going anywhere but we need to do more.
RD: It’s entertainment
and there are all kinds of artists. I like the ones who can pour their
heart and soul into songs, but when I’m in a club I want to shake
my ass. I don’t want to be partying and then I hear Talib Kweli.
This is a dog eat dog business and people have families to feed. If you
have to play the role and give people what they want, then that’s
what you have to do. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be yourself and
the world doesn’t want to see your real self. You’re damned
if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.
CT: Some people have no
integrity, but we’re not talking about those people. You have to
follow your heart. You gotta put on those smoke and mirrors sometimes!
For more information on ‘The Price Just Went Up’,
check out: www.myspace.com/RahDigga1,
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