FOR MANY IT MAY SEEM AS IF PRECIOUS PARIS JUST POPPED UP OUT OF NOWHERE AS 50 CENT’S LATEST PROTÉGÉ’ AND SIGNEE. BUT DON’T GET IT TWISTED. PRECIOUS HAS BEEN RAPPING HER WAY AROUND QUEENS, NEW YORK FOR A WHILE WITH THE GOAL OF MAKING G UNIT HER HOME. SHE’S SPITTING HARD AND LOOKING TO TAKE IT MAINSTREAM AND WITH 50 BACKING HER IT’S MORE THAN POSSIBLE. PLEASE ALLOW THEHIPHOPDIVA TO INTRODUCE YOU TO PRECIOUS PARIS.
HHD (THEHIPHOPDIVA): In this quick phone interview I’m going to attempt to get to know you as much as possible and share it with the world. Precious Paris, as you just told me, is your government name. What is the story behind your name?
PP (PRECIOUS PARIS): For one, Paris is my last name so that’s a given. My brother is much older than me and my mom had me much later in life. She’d always wanted a daughter and like 15 years later she finally had a child. It was a blessing and her favorite song was “Precious Lord”. She used to always sing that song so she could have a kid, so she named me Precious.
HHD: Wow, do you have a middle name?
PP: I made the best out of a situation. My middle name is a combination of my biological father’s name, Dwight, and my mom’s name Diana. They put it together and they called me Dwiana. That’s actually a middle name that you never heard before. I just switched it to Dwiana Boss. (laughs)
HHD: Why did you decide to stick with your government name with your rap persona?
PP: I stuck with the name because all my life people would say, “What’s your name? Oh my gosh that sounds like a super star!” My mom got me equipped for superstardom from day one. So I figured why change something if it’s not broke?
HHD: Give us your story of growing up in Queens.
PP: I lived in three different locations all of them Southside. But the main location that sticks in my head is during my teenage years when I lived not too far from where 50 grew up. It’s really rough and ghetto but I don’t have any regrets about coming up the way that I did. I appreciate the finer things in life because of it. You see a lot of poverty and things of that matter but it made me who I am today.
HHD: When you were growing up did you do good in school or did you get caught up in the street life or…
PP: I got caught up in the street life my first year in high school. I got caught up in the drug world and hanging out on the boulevard like a guy. Then all of a sudden I woke up and put all my energy into music instead. But a lot of people thought I would end up dead or pregnant. They didn’t know what I was going to become.
HHD: Before you were ghostwriting and rapping what were you doing?
PP: I was always in groups with a bunch of guys and I was the only girl. One time I was in a group with like nine girls. But I was always in groups. I wasn’t shining as much as I wanted to.
HHD: What were you doing in these groups – rapping on the block, doing talent shows, what?
PP: We were shooting little videos. Actually, I just did an interview with MTV the other day and the producer of the “Sucker Free” show is the guy that used to be out there with us with the little camcorder. We looked at each other like woooooow.
HHD: You began as a ghostwriter. Have you written for anyone we know of and if so, who?
PP: I’m not at liberty to speak on who I wrote for but it’s definitely somebody that you guys have heard before.
HHD: As an emcee, lyricist, and female in hip hop; what is Precious Paris bringing to the table?
PP: Newness and realness. I’m really accepting who I am – all of my flaws and imperfections and I think that’s what I’m bringing to the table, myself as is…raw and uncut.
HHD: Your first demo caught 50 Cent’s attention and you started off as part time G Unit. Can you tell us how that demo landed in 50 Cent’s lap and what it means to be part time G Unit?
PP: I was working with a producer that I used to be in groups with and they have produced some of 50’s tracks. One of them was like I got this girl and I really think she could be the one that could pull it off for you. 50 listened to my demo and said, “What does she look like?”, because I rap really hard. When he saw me he was like, “Oh my gosh, whew, I thought you were gonna look like me.” The rest is history and we got it popping that day, recording. He wanted to see my work ethic and he saw that I go just as hard as the dudes that he probably was working with and you don’t really find that in too many females.
HHD: Your first mixtape landed you a deal with G Unit. Tell us the story of how that deal came about and what kind of deal it is.
PP: 50 is the type of person where you have to hold his interest and I know that from being a Cancer, we’ll stray away. I pressed up thousands of cds and he called me as soon as the guy dropped off these boxes to me and he said, “What are you doing?” I said, “Hi, I’m putting together my mixtape I’m getting ready to drop.” He said, “Don’t give one of them out. Meet me at my office and bring it to me. I want to hear it.” So I go to his office the next morning, he plays the tape, and tells me to discard all of my cds that I used my hard earned money for and that he can work with me and help develop my project in a better way.
HHD: 50 Cent is backing you, not just in the deal, but he’s featuring you on songs and he’s featured on your songs. What does it mean to you to have his support and what is it like to work with him?
PP: To have 50 Cent’s support makes me so appreciative of all the hard work and not giving up on my faith that he would actually call me to officially work with him. I have a lot of respect for a lot of people but there was really nowhere else I thought I fit in at besides G Unit. The fact that he’s showing me that he believes in me makes me want to work harder. It inspires me to keep going. Most people would take that for granted. I want to make him proud the way that he made Em proud and the way that Em made Dre proud. To work with him is truly an honor. In my head and in my world it doesn’t get any better than that.
HHD: What do you hope to accomplish as an artist?
PP: I hope to shock a lot of people and set some new boundaries. I’m pretty hardcore and I want to take that mainstream.
HHD: What is your definition of a hip hop diva?
PP: Timeless music, consistency, and confidence, and inner beauty that everyone wants to be a part of and watch. A diva draws you in and everyone can’t do that. When you see a diva perform she has your heart and a soul and you can’t take your eyes off her.