Underground DIVA of the Week – R.E.A.L.
Representing the Bronx, R.E.A.L. has a strong past that has directly translated into the artist that she is today. Our life experiences shape who we are and hip hop is at its best when artists convey those experiences in a way that is relatable to its listeners. We may not have lived R.E.A.L.’s life but her rhymes tell stories and those stories placed to a beat resonate with those who listen. She made a bold move by naming herself R.E.A.L. and is living up to her name by conveying her real life experiences in her music. She is not resting on the fact that she is the daughter of DJ Easy Mike or the niece of Grandmaster Flash because at the end of the day that doesn’t matter when you come from a broken home which led to foster care and being raised by the streets. Building a career in hip hop is a struggle, even for the most skilled and talented, however R.E.A.L. is embracing that struggle and through the creation of “The Main Event” she is helping her fellow artists through it by giving them the opportunity to showcase their talent. THEHIPHOPDIVA caught up with R.E.A.L. and discussed her influences, goals, and favorite female hip hop artists.
HHD (THEHIPHOPDIVA): You wrote your first song at the age of eight. Is it safe to say you’ve known all your life that your career would be in music?
R.E.A.L.: It would seem that way but I was unsure of my career path for a very long time. Although music has always been a natural ability for me, I never really knew I would end up here.
HHD: As a young child what influenced you to make music? Was it your uncle Grandmaster Flash?
R.E.A.L.: I recognized the talent in my family but it did not have any influence on my decision to make music. It was actually a good friend of the family at the time that encouraged me to create my first song. Moving forward in life my brothers actually inspired me to continue.
HHD: In having a hip hop legend as a relative does it increase expectations and pressure?
R.E.A.L.: Not at all. People are just becoming aware of who my relatives are. I’ve been doing music almost all my life so there is no pressure. I work hard to achieve my own goals and I don’t use my family’s accomplishments to help me succeed.
HHD: Speaking of your uncle, has he shared any words of wisdom or advice with you?
R.E.A.L.: The best advice he has given me is to treat myself like a business. As an artist that’s what I am – A BUSINESS. Talent is just the start of things; your business has to be in order for you to really succeed.
HHD: You had a pretty rough childhood. Tell us about an experience that stands out in your mind as having had a great impact in who you are today.
R.E.A.L.: I would say entering the foster care system then eventually ending up in a group home.
HHD: Last year you began a concert series called “The Main Event”. How did it go and is it something you plan to continue?
R.E.A.L.: “The Main Event” had way more success than my partner K. Gorden and I ever expected. We are still going strong and we are about to celebrate our one year anniversary. If it is in God’s plan for us “The Main Event” will evolve and be around for a very long time.
HHD: “Never Too Late” is the project you’re currently working on to be released this summer. Tell us about where you’re going with it and what we can expect from it.
R.E.A.L.: In short, you can expect honesty, spirituality, extreme energy and overall entertainment. My goal is to inspire people to follow their dreams while taking them through a journey of my life personally and professionally.
HHD: Name your top five female hip hop artists.
R.E.A.L.: Lauryn Hill, Eve, Da Brat, Shawnna and Missy Elliott. All these women are uniquely talented and I respect their work.
HHD: Five years from now where do you hope to be?
R.E.A.L.: Alive… lol. Seriously I would like to have taking my imprint REALLIVE ENT. to a professional level as an Indie Label. I would also like to have started some type of non-profit organization to assist with the youth.
HHD: What is your definition of a hip hop diva?
R.E.A.L.: For me Hip-Hop Diva is the celebration of WOMEN IN HIP-HOP
Find R.E.A.L. in the following locations: