Where The Hell Have You Been?: Lady Of Rage

posted April 16, 2007 12:00:00 AM CDT | 23 comments

I rock and stuff with my afro-puffs (Rage!), rock on wit ya bad self. Yeah, I know that line rings a bell somewhere in your head. Anyways, its been over ten years since that single dropped from the Above The Rim movie soundtrack with 2pac and if you forgot that line was from female MC Lady of Rage on the hit single Afro Puffs. Now this makes you wonder, what ever happen to Lady of Rage? You know she had her run with West Coast label Death Row and released her album Necessary Roughness, but after the dismantling of Death Row, Lady of Rage seemed to just disappear.

Well not quite. Lady of Rage didnt disappear as she did made appearances on TV sitcoms most notably on The Steve Harvey Show" as Coretta Cox. Besides that you can also remember her in her short role as Baby D the little big sister of Day Days ex-girlfriend in Next Friday. Now that shes back to her music, Lady of Rage is in the game again and signed to Shante Broadus (Snoops Doggs Wife) label, Boss Lady Ent, and ready to drop a new album titled Verbal Abuse. Its been a while since Death Row was on top and Rage explains whats been good with her since those days. The 90s were a violent period for hip-hop as the murders of Pac, Big, Big L, Freaky Tah, and others definitely had a effect on Rage. In this interview, Rage opens up to HHDX on the days at Death Row, getting with Shante Broadus, and her opinion on the impact women are making in hip-hop.

HHDX: Rage I like to know what you been doing since the days of Death Row?
LOR
: Ive been doing a little bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing. Basically just deciding what I want to do with the rest of my life, deciding whether I still wanted to rhyme or not and things like that. Deciding what direction I wanted to go in and just stuff like that, slowly but surely.

HHDX: When you were with Death Row did you ever feel you were being overshadowed with it being male dominated?
LOR
: Nah... I never felt over overshadowed.

HHDX: I remember you being in a couple movies and shows, so what was it that made you fall back on the music?
LOR
: Just not being able to put it down. I guess when you're addicted to drugs or something you try to stop, but you cant and it keeps calling you. It had a drug effect on me, after Tupac and Biggie got killed I really wasnt trying to deal with it. A lot of people was getting killed in the game and I wasnt feeling it. I didnt like the direction that hip-hop was going in at that time so I just decided to quit. Like I said, I couldnt leave it alone, when DMX came out it kind of inspired me. Jay-Zs Hard Knock Life album inspired me also so that what kind of got me back into the game.

HHDX: I see the violence in hip-hop in the 90s took a toll on you?
LOR
: Yeah basically.

HHDX: What do you miss most about the time with Death Row?
LOR
: Just the camaraderie, the little functions that we would have. It was like your own little family, and just the things that we would do together. Studio vibes going to the studio smoking, drinking, just listening to beats creating on the spot and that whole little flavor right there I missed it.

HHDX: How did you get up with Shante Broadus?
LOR
: Shante actually got up with me, I had moved back to Virginia and at the time I was living in Keysville, Virgina. I think she decided to as far as her company Boss Lady Ent. and I guess she had the faith in me that she could take me where I needed to go and I was an artists she wanted to work with. She called me and asked me did I really want to do it and she wanted to manage me. I said Okay. I had faith in her and we were both branching out on each other, she was having faith in me and I had faith in her. With us both having faith in each other, we felt we both had what it took to get each other where we need to go and we just took it from there.

HHDX: Did yall already know each other before deciding to work together?
LOR
: Yeah, thats Snoops wife, so of course I knew her.

HHDX: Oh yeah, I forgot about that [laughs], so what you like most about working with her?
LOR
: Shes kind of like no non-sense, its not a You have to do this and that she can get like that, but shes really not gonna press the issue. Its either you gonna do it or your not gonna do it, shes kind of like I am. You can do it or not do it, shes laid-back like I am so I like that.

HHDX: How did your music change since you dropped the last album till now?
LOR
: I dont think it changed much. Im still braggadocios, still lyrical murderer and I dont really see a change that much.

HHDX: Do you feel when you drop the new album you will be one of the top females in the game?
LOR
: I feel that now.

HHDX: Can you tell me why?
LOR
: I feel that way now, I may have not sold a million records, but lyrically when I rhyme I feel that Im one of the top. I feel like nobody is really saying the stuff the way I say it. Im not trying to be cocky or conceited. Im just convinced with that and no other female MCs thats out at the moment is saying stuff the way I say it. Im not saying Im better than any female out at the moment, because I cant say what Remy Martin says the way she does it. She cant do what I do the way I do it. I cant do Shawnna and Shawnna cant do me. I cant do (Lil) Kim and Kim cant do me. I feel that at what I do Im one of the best at what I do.

HHDX: Are than any females you feel in the game right now and would like to work with in the future?
LOR
: Yeah the ones I just mentioned: Remy, Shawnna, Kim, Foxy, Missy, Miss Jade any one of them. Ill work with any female in the game.

HHDX: Being a female artist how you feel about the impact women are making in hip-hop?
LOR
: Right now, well obviously were not making any impact. The reason why is because they took the category out the Grammys for one and I feel we need to make an impact. I was listening to the Ballin remix and I was thinking all the remixes that come out its all guys, really no females on nothing these days. I was thinking that it should be a female thing like anybody that comes out with a hot single, some females need to just get together and do a remix. We should just make our own impact, kick down the doors and if they dont wanna listen we gonna make them listen. They dont wanna pay attention we gonna make them pay attention. Its like were being ignored, but thats not gonna last too long because you can only ignore good talent for so long and I dont know how long thats gonna be. Like I said, the time is now and Im kind of fed up with it, Im kind of mad about it, but its nothing I can do at the moment. When my album comes out thats when I plan on making an impact.

HHDX: Tell me about this album thats about to come out?
LOR
: Its called Verbal Abuse and basically its sticks to the script of Rage, you know the braggadocios, lyrical murder type thing. I have some conscious songs on there once called Take Me As I Am. Everybodys up in arms about skinny people, fat people, just the appearance of women. The song is basically saying take me as I am whether Im fat, skinny, whatever, dark skin, light skin, straight hair, curly hair, whatever. Im more than that so take me as I am. I have a song I did with Latoya Williams called Singing My Song. its kind of more personal about things in my life from my Grandmother, to religion, things of that nature and its simple songs in there with content. Thats where my growth comes from, because normally I wouldnt touch on stuff like that it would just be Roc the Mic type of thing, but I branched out a little bit.

HHDX: What the features looking like?
LOR
: Its looking like nothing right now... its just me. I did something with Latoya Williams and Butch Cassidy, but as far as other MCs nothing at the moment.

HHDX: Okay, do you feel this album will be one of the hottest albums to drop from a female in hip-hop this year?
LOR: I would hope so, if I get everything that I want and everybody that I want I would imagine so.

HHDX: Back to being signed to Boss Lady Ent what the label deal is like, how many albums?
LOR
: I cant tell you that, youll see.

HHDX: Anything else going on outside the music?
LOR
: Well Im writing a couple screen plays and Im writing a childrens book, so thats about it for right now.

HHDX: Lady of Rage appreciate the interview, anything to say to your fans out there and readers of www.hiphopdx.com?
LOR
: I appreciate my fans, I get a lot of people hitting me up on myspace. I didnt know I had as many fans as I do being that its been a while for me, but people still have love for me. When I go out they react to me like I got a hot single out right now, I really appreciate that and it means a lot to me. Thanks for the support and hopefully Verbal Abuse will live up to all of the expectations of what they want Rage to do.

HHDX: Can we get that myspace page?
LOR: Yeah, www.myspace.com/officialladyofrage.

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