HHD: You went from being a preacher’s kid to “Houston’s First Lady of Hip Hop.” What does your father think about your transition?
TroubleSum: He is my number one fan. He understands the art of it. My dad is a musician. He has what we call Christian rock, it’s what he plays. Back in the day he was heavy on Hendrix and I was heavy on Pac. He doesn’t really condone the language. The language can be a little bit explicit. He’s very supportive of my career.
HHD: What is so TroubleSum about you?
TroubleSum: We moved to a different sideof town and it was a new environment. I stood out a little bit cause I was kind of different. When you stand out you get a lot of haters. You get the people that love you but you also get the haters. So, I just started gettinginto trouble, you know. Started getting into a couple of fights. Troublesome ’96 came out, Tupac’s joint and my sister was like that’s you. You’re so troublesome. I just stuck with it. I caught the wave and I rode it. But now I represent troublesome as I go against the grain. I don’t see eye to eye with a lot of A&R’s and executives. I won’t compromise. Whatever it is, I find myself being troublesome in a good way.
HHD: What do you feel like you’re bringing to hip hop?
TroubleSum: I think I’m bringing classy back. I think right now we have two categories. Well, actually three. I’m a add one myself. We have the gimmicky rapper. They go for the gimmicky songs. They want it so bad they go for the okey dokey and that’s what they do. Not knocking nobody, that’s just not me. Then you have your raunchy rappers which is totally about sex. Not knocking them but that’s not for me. And then we have like the overly gangsta type of chick. She go blow a nigga head off. Come on! I’m just being honest. I think I just bring a perfect balance. Any real woman can relate to me. If you wanna get fly I got some of that. I’m a single mother. So if you’re going through it, maybe your baby daddy ain’t helping and you gotta carry the load yourself. I got something for that. You can’t really put me in a box. Universally, everyone will be able to adapt to it.
HHD: You’re receiving a lot of exposure right now. You’re nominated for two SEA awards. What do you hope all of this does for your rap career?
TroubleSum: I hope it helps advance my career, take it to another level. Getting a record deal isn’t really a problem, that’s not the issue. The thing is having ownership over your work. I wanna say control. I want to have control over my work. These days the label kinda wants to make you who or what’s selling. This is something I look at as a life career, not something for the moment. Hopefully it’ll bring more attention to me and it’ll just add to my resume and give me a little bit more negotiating power.
HHD: What do you think is the current state of the female emcee?
TroubleSum: There isn’t one. We are dinosaurs. You’re finding the bones and you’re putting the skeletons together. That’s how I feel. There’s so many talented females. I know some. I know it has a lot to do with the money because labels as far as the marketing, promoting, and investing in women is a little more pricier than investing in dudes. We don’t sell as much as men do. Taking all that into consideration I think that has a lot to play into it. What really irritates me is that there comes along a great female rapper that stands out. That are actually doing numbers in their cities and have a following and noone is taking the time to invest in them and really just give them a chance.
HHD: Who would you consider to be the top three female rappers and why?
TroubleSum: I choose these three for different reasons. I would say MC Lyte because I feel like she’s one of the pioneers. She’s very humble and she always has the best advice for artists up and coming like myself. It’s very encouraging to hear words from someone who’s been at the forefront and paved the way for artists like myself. Everything she’s done, not just the music, but everything that she’s done has helped female rappers. She’s talented. She can rap. I would have to say Lauryn Hill is a classic. When I think of timeless female rappers she always come to mind because she was so versatile. She was just a classic and a beast lyricist. She was just super dope. Last I would have to say Foxy Brown because the way she rides the beats. I love the way she kept it lady but she was still street. Her and Kim brought this whole new sex appeal to female rappers. Before, they were just a lot of baggy jeans, t shirts,…
HHD: What’s next for TroubleSum?
TroubleSum: I’m always working on an album. Always, always, always adding to the catalog. I’m dropping another mixtape at the end of October called “First Lady” which is only appropriate.
HHD: What is your definition of a hip hop diva?
TroubleSum: I think a hip hop diva is someone that carries themselves well and knows what hip hop is about and what it stands for. Is a diva in the sense that they’re confident. Someone that can get on a track with Jay and stand tall next to him. I think it also represents reality and awareness of life. Doing all that and still looking fly, being a lady.
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