HHD: As an underground artist you’ve accomplished a lot. Can you kind of run through what you think your most major accomplishment has been so far?
Tylibah: One of the most major things I think that I did was that I needed to let the world know who I was as a lyricist. I did that in the form of a book. The book was a book of poetry. In poetry form it talks about my existence and what I feel I can contribute to the world. We sold more than 15,000 copies in a year. For underground numbers that’s very impressive. We were doing it by word of mouth, people ont he streets, book fairs, churches. Most recently I just secured a deal with an internet company. This is the age of the internet. Yoraps.com partnered up with me. It’s just showing the world who I am.
HHD: With all that you’ve done, it’s apparent that you’re constantly on the grind. What is the ultimate goal that you’re trying to reach? You’ve stated you’re driven by your dreams. What is that dream?
Tylibah: I would like my music to be looked at as female empowerment. I currently live in east New York, Brooklyn, and according to the media nothing positive come out of east New York, Brooklyn. It’s a lot of negativity, a lot of distrust. I continue to grind so people can have empowerment. But ultimately I would like for everyone to know who I am and what I stand for.
HHD: You’ve met many people and maybe even formed relationships with influential people such as Steven Hill, Kevin Lyles, and Diddy just to name a few. What do you think it takes to propel you into a major record deal if that’s even what you want?
Tylibah: I have to acknowledge my team. I have a wonderful team of people who manage me. I think everything’s in perfect timing. After I put out the single and someone’s offering a deal and it sounds good I’m a go for it. But I don’t mind laying the pattern for success at this point. I think what is the most important thing is that I build my own momentum. We’re in the process right now of branding my name.
HHD: What do you think you can bring to hip hop that is currently missing?
Tylibah: A fresh perspective. When you say the word missing it’s like it was there but then it left. I don’t think any of the messages have left. I could listen to a Lil Kim record, Da Brat record, Queen Latifah record. I think it’s always there. Peole are just not looking at it yet. I think everything happens in perfect timing. I think personally what I bring is a fresh perspective. A perspective straight from Brooklyn, without disempowering my image, without disempowering my family.
HHD: Of all your different talents — rapping, singing, writing, dancing—which one are you most passionate about and why?
Tylibah: That’s such a weird question for me because you have one body. Do I like my arm better than my leg? I just can’t. I can’t choose just one. People say that to me all the time. This is what I say to producers that are bringing me records. Make sure some of the records are up tempo so I can show off my dancing skills. Make sure the record has a bridge in it so I can sing. Sometimes I can go to the neo-soul crowd, they want me to just spit. Sometimes I can go to the church kids and they want me to sing. I am going to brand all three of those.
HHD: Do you feel like you do any one better than the other or do you feel like you’re equal in all of them?
Tylibah: I feel like in reference to me rhyming, I’ve been doing that for so long it feels like a second breath. I grew up in the church. I was in the church choir. My brother played the organ. We grew up in the church and we got up on Sunday mornings. We weren’t rapping. We were singing. That became a very integral part of me. However, when I got into my teens I wanted to battle. I perfected the skill of battling and I told my mom, ‘I’m not singing anymore. I just want to straight rhyme.’
HHD: What do you feel has been your biggest struggle or the most difficult thing to accomplish as an underground artist?
Tylibah: Just not compromising. Not compromising my standards. Not compromising in order to be productive. A lot of times when people hear my story, they’re like ‘You want to be down you got to be the female of the click.’ I am an independent person. Why I got to be the first lady of the crew? Why can’t I be the crew? The first mixtape I did is “No Crew Required.” Just the misogyny of women. Certain things I’m just not a fan for.
HHD: We know what you have accomplished in the past. Just from looking at your myspace pge I can tell that you have a lot going on. Where can people hear your music and see you right now?
Tylibah: In this moment you can always check out the blog at yoraps.com. Just google me. I don’t want people to just take me for face face value. I want people to buy in to me. When you go to buy a car, the car may look nice but the engine may be messed up. I want you to see I’m presenting a complete, full package.
HHD: Talk to me about Leebah Baby Treasures Charity. What is it about and how can others get involved?
Tylibah: Leebah’s Treasures Charities was founded by me and my mom. I grew up in a single parent household. I want to empower young women who are currently growing up in single parent households. You don’t have to settle and have half of a man cause you had half of a father. It’s just a way to reach out to females. We have an afterschool program, which we run here in east New York. It consists of dance, poetry, singing and lyrical workships. We’ve been doing it for about a year now. Leebah’s Treasures Charities is probably one of the most important things that I do. Anybody that wants to get involved please hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need interns.
HHD: What is encompassed in Leebah Baby Productions. Tell us about your company.
Tylibah: Leebah Baby Productions consists of a music publishing arm, my book publishing arm, Leebah’s Treasures Charity, and a clothing line. In 2005 we put out some t-shirts just to advertise what we were doing. People were wearing the shirts out. So, we branded it and we have Leebah Baby’s Clothing.
HHD: What is your definition of a hip hop diva?
Tylibah: A diva is the cream of the crop. A hip hop diva is the cream of the crop. Hip hop says I’m real, it’s a real genre of music. I’m the real cream of the crop, that’s what a hip hop diva is. That’s what I try to live everyday.
Check Tylibah out at www.myspace.com/leebahbaby1