THEHIPHOPDIVA.COM spoke with Unladylike on what they’ve accomplished so far and their future plans. Here’s what was said.
HHD: What led each one of you to begin rapping?
Tee: I used to always do rapping on the side when I played basketball. It was just something to do. In high school Gunna was always rapping. I started spitting for her one time and she was like ‘Tee you outght to rap.’ It kind of went from there once my basketball career started going downhill.
Gunna: Well, I’ve been rapping since I was nine.
HHD: Can each one of you define what your individual lyrical style is and how those two styles come together to create Unladylike’s style?
Gunna: I’m very versatile. I joke when I rap, I’m goofy with it.
Tee: I have a strong voice so I come across as more hard. Our sound is so unique together. The chemistry is so unique together.
Gunna: We ride the beats and we have that chemistry. Even though our styles are different at times it still come together well.
HHD: Unladylike has achievced what seems to be impossible for today’s female rapper — being signed by a major label. What would you say has set you apart from the others aspiring to be in your shoes?
Gunna: Well, for one we’re a group. There hasn’t been a group since Salt ‘N Pepa so we’re basically just following in their footsteps.
Tee: I will agree with Gunna. It’s just our sound is so unique. We’re versatile when it come to our music. We’re just bringing fun music back into hip hop,. Being signed to VOICEZ and DEF JAM is a blessing. There hasn’t been a female hip hop group signed to Def Jam so that’s history in the making. It’s definitely hard work. It gets discouraging at times. We love entertaining people and we’re ready.
HHD: From reading your bio it seems like this entire experience has been a whirlwind. How have your lives changed?
Gunna: This is something we’ve been waiting for, for a long time. It’s not what we thought it would be. It’s way harder. But at the same time it’s a blessing. It’s a lot of sacrifice. Being in this music business in this industry it’s a lot of hard work. We’ve sacrificed a lot to get where we are right now.
Tee: I just want people to give me a chance and we can show ’em better than we can tell ’em.
HHD: Your biggest influences are Missy Elliott, Shawnna, and Gangsta Boo. What is it about these three ladies that influences you?
Gunna: Definitely Salt ‘N Pepa. The reason Salt ‘N Pepa, is they have accomplished a lot as far as female rappers. We’re just trying to follow into their footsteps. Shawnna’s like our big sister. She welcomed us with open arms. A lot of females are threatened. There are no females in the game right now. Why are you threatened? We need to come together. But Shawnna, she welcomed us with open arms. I can call Shawnna and ask her for anything.
Tee: I like Gangsta Boo cause she was from the streets and you can hear the struggle in her voice. Missy Elliott’s name speaks for itself. She brings dance music. She goes beyond from producing to songwriting and winning Grammys. As a female I want to get my career to that point.
HHD: How would you describe the Midwest sound?
Tee: Midwest got more like that slur. It’s like a Midwest, southern type of feel. It’s that kind of swag that’s undeniable. I desribe Midwest sound as a slur, cool, calm, collected.
Gunna: It’s definitely more commercial.
HHD: Tell us about your album name, “Certified”. What’s the meaning behind it?
Tee: The name of the album was originally Unladylike Radio. At that point in time we were going through so many tracks but we wanted “Certified” on our album because it was a banger. We played the song for Mr. Lewis in his office and we were like ‘We’re certified women in the game and everything we do is certified. Certified this and certified that.’ He was like ‘Man, it sound like to me that the album should be ‘Certified’. Anybody can be certified. With anything we do we try to put that stamp on it and be legit.
HHD: What made you really want to ride this group thing out and pursue your goals together as a group when you don’t see too much of that today?
Gunna: We were friends first so we always had a relationship. Our friendship always came before this music thing. If this music thing doesn’t work out we’re always gonna be friends. We’re loyal to each other as friends.
Tee: When we performed our first show we were like this could work because of the response from the crowd.
HHD: What projects are you working on now that we should be on the lookout to support?
Gunna: Mixtape, baby! It’s called “Unladylike Radio Volume 1.” We’re actually working on another mixtape with our hometown DJs. We’re also working on an all female mixtape with my sister DJ Diamond Kuts. we’re working on our own label. We’re working on our own reality show. Tee got her own shoes coming out. I got my own clothes coming out.
HHD: What is your definition of a hip hop diva?
Tee: A lady that’ s on her grind and all about her business.
Check out THEHIPHOPDIVA.COM’S feature article on the Spotlight on Unladylike page.