Underground Hip-Hop femcee Tiye Pheonix has recently issued a statement to clear up issues surrounding her remarks on Nicki Minaj on the BET documentary, My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip-Hop”.
During her segment, the underground emcee stated that although Nicki Minaj is making headway for females in Hip-Hop currently, her overall style is making it harder for real femcees to spit real lyrics without a gimmick.
“I don’t knock the sister because I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure on her just being the poster child for female rap in 2009 and 2010,” Pheonix said in the documentary. “But in terms of the preservation and the continuation and expansion of the art form of hip-hop music and culture, I can’t see what she’s creating…when she goes in the studio. Meanwhile, females like myself we in the underground paying dues. Like, we’re committed.”
Although Tiye was speaking from her perspective, many felt as if she was talking negative about the Young Money princess and responded harshly, in response Pheonix told BET.com that people should not look at her as a hater, but instead open up dialogue about the lack of diversity in female emcees.
“Television is really good at giving you sound bites so you don’t really get a chance sometimes to zero in and lock in on a specific word that a person says and upon just initial listen and not really intently focusing on what I said,” Tiye said in the interview. “You could walk away saying that I criticized the artist and the person and I didn’t. My commentary was specifically addressing progressiveness and evolution in hip-hop, meaning the next level and the next level in my opinion refers to new ideas, new concepts, new content, just a new platform all together.”
Tiye also expressed that the timing of the interview, as well as the music that represented Nicki Minaj on the radio also played a factor on why she made her controversial comment.
“At the time when the documentary was taped, May of 2010, I was referencing in my mind, the Sean Garrett record [“Massive Attack”], the ‘Bedrock’ verse, maybe a few sporadic verses I heard on some R&B songs and that was the conclusion I came to,” Tiye continued. “A lot of people come to me that maybe didn’t like my comment; they reference music that’s been released in the last month. I said, ‘well, I can only go by the music I heard at the time with respect to my opinion as far as how progressive it was, or wasn’t.”
Since the interview and dialogue her comments sparked, Tiye has been inspired to pen “48 Bars of Progression,” a cut in which she addresses the aftermath of the My Mic Sounds Nice comment and even throws in a lyrical pun stating:
“Y’all acting like I snatched Taylor Swift’s award.”