As journalist, my goal is to be a support of and contributor to this great culture that we know and love, which goes by the name of Hip Hop. At least 3 nights a week I am about and about in search of the best in up and coming as well as established talent, seekin collaborative opportunities; more than anything, a chance to spotlight the grind of these individuals who have pledge to give their all to the music and to the fans. Recently, I was introduced to a Brooklynite who goes by the name of Pretty. After watching her performance and getting to meet her team, I was very impressed, and felt that you would be too. I sat down with the 1st lady for a candid interview where she explained her life, her motivation, and direction, check it out here: We call this one "How a Pretty Girl Rocks"
JB: Do u find it hard to get ppl to initially focus on the music, as a result of your name "Pretty Girl"
Pretty: (smile) Actually not at all, the name is unique and automatically grabs people's attention; also when you have a pretty face to attach to the name, it makes it better.
JB: Is there any added pressure as a female artist in a male dominated industry?
Pretty: Of course there is, not for nothing but I have to be honest, there are a lot of women that bring a bad name to the females in regards to this music life. I hate to say so but there are so many women that will f***, suck and truck for a chance at a deal now a days, that when you get a female who is not about that life, and just wants to make music, since were already thrown into that category it makes it extra hard. Not to mention that there are men who in my opinion are intimidated by some females as we could go bar for bar with them if given the chance (laugh).
JB: To date what would you consider your biggest accomplishment in music ?
My biggest accomplishment in regards to my music at this moment, is the fact that I took 1 whole year off from my career and although everyone said it was over, your career is done, your a mom, everything is finished, I took 2013 by storm! I released a video for my 1st single off my project that pulled close to 100,000, I have a mailing list of over 1,500 fans that request music and updates on a daily basis, and I am finally yes finally releasing my album, which is like major. I've done nothing but work with people my entire career, so to make this move, and have so much support around me from people as far as the United Kingdom is like amazing to me. Jason my music is in rotation in Africa, like isn't that crazy? (smile)
JB: Explain: “Brooklyn molded, Born in Harlem, Boston Branded, Mashpee Mobbing"
Pretty: (laugh) I swear that's my favorite question Jason. Let me summarize this for people so they get to know me because that line is a classic defintion of who 1st is. I was born in Harlem, NY on March 18th at St. Lukes Hospital which explains the born in Harlem part. At a young age my mother moved me and my sisters to Cape Cod, Ma, because she didn't want us growing up in the city, and during my childhood I grew up in a small town called Mashpee, on Cape Cod; me and friends used to call ourselves the Mashpee set, cause we was always mobbing through the town (laugh) which explains Mashpee Mobbing. Being a typical teenager who was very into entertainment as you couldn't tell me I wasn't the next Queen Latifah (laugh) the closest city near me was Boston, so you better believe I was up and down the mean streets of Roxbury and Dorchester all day everyday. I learned how to hustle in the Bean and it was there that I realized I needed to make moves because what I wanted out of life I couldn't gain in Massachusetts. I wanted to entertain people: I could sing, I could rap, dance, all that, so I wanted to pursue it, and honestly I felt as if Boston wasn't the place for NiQ. Besides sneaking out to make every battle, competition or talent show, Boston was where the Hip Hop was born in me and I made the decision to rock out until I reach the top, which explains Boston Branded. Saving the best for last Brooklyn molded, most people get it twisted because I rep Brooklyn so hard, they immediately feel I am from here, which I was not born in Brooklyn, but when I made the decision to become who I am today, this is where life began for me in Brooklyn. I struggled in Brooklyn, I went many hungry nights in Brooklyn, I cried my eyes out in Brooklyn, I got my heart broken in Brooklyn, I walked miles and miles in Brooklyn as I didn't have enough money to utilize public transportation, I mean you get it right. I didn't know the true meaning of struggle until I made it to Brooklyn, and pardon me but Brooklyn is not easy, everyone ain't friendly, you get no hand outs, dudes ain't sweating a pretty face, feel me? You gotta get it how you live it out here, without showing your weakness cause Brooklyn ain't about that life (laugh) It's Do or Die out here, so that explains Brooklyn molded. I'm molded as a young woman who doesn't know how to do nothing but survive and make it with what I have, because that's the Brooklyn in.
JB: Your list of producers that you have worked with is very impressive, who would you say you have the best chemistry with ? fellow artist as well ?
Pretty: Oh boy, I hope no one gets mad at me because I love all my producers, all of them (smile). It's really hard to pick one as I deal with the best, actually let me fix that all my producers are the best can't single them out, Willie Hardy, Purple Chrome, King Clive, Apollo De lorean all of them, now what? (laugh) We cocky on this side! (smile)
In regards to fellow artists, I have great chemistry with everybody I work with, not trying to toot my horn, but I'm a grinder, and this is what I do, when that is evident to those on the outside people can't do nothing but want to work with you, and I have a long list of artists that wanna rock out with 1st but haven't gotten a chance to as of yet.
JB: You were a member of Team Arliss correct, at one point they were on fire, tell us a little bit about that situation and the transition afterwards
Pretty: Arliss is my family. In 2007 I was part of the biggest Myspace street team called ANW D-Block. I've always been a D-Block fan so to help support the movement was nothing, Upon joining this team I was noticed by Kiid who is the brother of St.Raw, and once Kiid brought me to the attention of St.Raw it was over from there. St.Raw took me under the wing, started bringing me out to many events with improtant people, teaching me how to read music and count bars, showing me the ins and outs of writing, how to control my flow, all that. The first time he put me in the booth tho, I was then given the title of 1st Lady of Team Arliss, the only female of the group consisting of St.Raw, and Trav Arliss. He always said it was my voice, I reminded him of Little Kim with my flow, so with that being said, 1st Lady of Team Arliss was in full effect, you see them you seen me, you hear them you heard me, all that.
Oh boy, the transition afterwards was very smooth, the group didn't end on bad terms, you know things happen, I don't wanna touch base and get too detailed, but it was a mutual agreement to all go our separate ways. We all still support each other with each and everything that we do, and St.Raw is like my mentor, I learned a lot from him and best believe when I write a killer verse, he's on the other end giving me feedback telling me to slow down (smile).
JB: You recently released the single for your upcoming solo project ""I Do It" talk about that a little
(First off, the hook is lit (laugh) When releasing a single, you know your faced with the main obstacle which is grabbing your audience attention. That is what I aimed for, the hook is catchy, the beat is sick, and I played with the wordplay just right. I spit bars, hit them with just enough commercial, and I gave them a video, which visual is very important for up and coming artists, because people wanna see the artist. I think I bodied this single, I can't front, I have gotten nothing but positive feedback, and damn near 100,000 views which for a 1st video is super dope to me. Keep in mind my team rocked these numbers with no major backing so imagine if they sign me
JB: when can we expect the project
Pretty: We're shooting for December 4th this year. Hopefully all goes well and 1st Time Only is bumping through speakers everywhere.
JB: You're next single is with the homey Goodz correct, that should be something dope
Pretty: I can't wait for the people to hear that track, which actually is the next single to be released that will introduce the album. Goodz is a Dope artist tho like for real, and working with him has been dope, not to mention he keeps you laughing all the time. He's a cool dude, and trust this is only the 1st track of many when I get him in the studio he never wanna leave, and you can tell him I said he loves 1st (laugh).
JB: Give me your top 5 wish list, of artists to feature with and why
Pretty: My answer will never change for this question, I promise:
1. Beyonce - I love her, her presence, voice, and her ideas are so Hot that you can't help but come off with a hit, our duo would be sick, I promise.
2. Nas - This man is an amazing lyricist, he is so positive and on point it's almost perfection.
3. Jay-Z - Jay is a monster, his aura is so cool on a track it's undeniable, I love it!
4. Jada Kiss - This is my favorite Hip Hop artist ever since shiny suits and goggles (laugh), Jada is a lyrical beast, it would definitely be the battle of sexes being on a track him, cause I would give him a run for his money.
5. Biggie - His flow is dope, his bars immaculate, and his demeanor so Brooklyn, that' enough right there (laugh)
JB: Where can the people stay tuned to your movement ?
Pretty: Everyone can like my Facebook music at www.facebook.com1stdaPGBoss, Twitter: www.twitter.com/pr3ttygiirl1st
, Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/pretty-1st, Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/pg1st. Also, people can join my mailing lists, its checked everyday, and I always respond: firstname.lastname@example.org, for videos also, check me out on Youtube at: allabout1sttv
JB: Any shows coming up ?
Pretty: Yes I have a show on November 16th, at the Dream Lounge in Manhattan. This is a Music For Cancer Concert Series hosted by the Beautiful Melissa Irish. It's gonna be a dope event, I would love if you came Jason (smile)
There you have it, not just a pretty face but an awareness of what her purpose is, who her audience is and can be, as well as the importance of articulation. Be sure to Get that 1st Time Only project when it drops, and support 1st !
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