We just played the track ‘Third Eye.’ That was my first taste of Kellee Maize who, I believe, is the number one female rapper on Amazon right now. It’s nice to see that you have such an online presence. I’ve even seen a few freestyle videos where you are in a cypher with a whole crew. It’s nice to see a female rapper spitting like that and being able to form that kind of a community. So, do you find that there are barriers being a rapper and being a female?”
Kellee: “I think if you had asked me that a couple years ago when I really started performing heavily, I might have said that. Over the last four years, I’ve probably done 200 shows. I’m not really sure how many, it feels like a ton. Most of those shows were in Pittsburgh and it felt like I was always being booked with men.
A lot of the times, I was really connected myself because I am a natural promoter. I know everyone and I’m always connecting with a lot of different people so I would hear about opportunities, I think, just because I was a promoter and they were, ‘Oh, she’ll help us bring people,’ or whatever it may be. That’s not to say that I haven’t been respected for my craft. It just seemed that I was one of none that were out there.
There are a couple promoters out here and there are some amazing female emcees in Pittsburgh and I slowly started to learn about them. But at the same time, I think the reason that some of them aren’t quite as active is that it is still sort of a man’s game. In general, the promoters who are doing the shows are still, by and large, men.
To me, I look at something like that and I believe you just got to study, create it, and look passed it. It’s not necessarily an issue. You don’t have to see it as a problem. You just need to create whatever it is you’re going to do.
But in the past, I definitely would have thought that like, ‘Why is it so difficult to be a woman in this scenario?’ And obviously, if you look at the main stream, until Nicky Minaj, there was nothing. There had been Lil Kim, Foxy, and ten years ago there seemed to be a little bit more, but even then the ratio is still pretty heavy on the male side.
It’s been more difficult and I have probably 20 theories as to why that is. But at this moment in time, if a woman is really passionate and serious, she can make it happen. You hear people say, ‘Oh, if you’re a woman and you’re not good, you’re immediately dismissed.’
But the same thing happens with men. If you can’t rhyme or you can’t hook people’s attention or don’t have content that anyone is interested in, it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, you probably won’t get anywhere. But at the same time, those people would argue listening to main stream hip-hop,’How are some of the main stream artists really getting anywhere with the content and the style that they use?’ It’s all a conversation. To me, it is just about creating whatever it is you want to create.”
Chase: “Very cool. I want to spin another one of your tracks that I find amazing too. I want to play ‘Revival of the 5th Sun’ because you are rapping over Mobb Deep but I really like what you do on the track. If you know the original and you rap it in your head, the same time that you’re listening to you rap it, you have the same cadence with different words and a very different message than the original track. I want out listeners to hear it and feel the vibe you got going on that one.”
Kellee: “Cool, thank you.”
Chase: “So, we’ll spin that track and we’ll be back to wrap us this interview with Kellee Maize.”
Chase: “That was ‘Revival of the 5th sun’ by Kellee Maize. I don’t know what that title means but I really like that track.”
Kellee: “Depending on who you talk to, in terms on Mayan Scholars that talk about the 2012 propehcies, the Mayan calendar and whatnot. Some say that we are in the 4th sun and we’re entering the 5th sun. Some say we’re in the 5th sun and we’re starting a new series. There are 5 suns in the Mayan calendar and each represents a certain period of 5,000 years. One sun is 5,000 years – I don’t want to get too complicated.
I actually chose the 5th sun because ever since I learned about the Mayan prophecies, I have been told that we are in the 5th sun. There is such this fear that the world is going to end, but really the Mayan prophecy just says that there is a new world coming and that the structural systems that are in place are going to fall apart. But in my opinion, that is already happening. The world isn’t going to end. The emergence of using totally different parts of our brains and the consciousness of separation is changing to a consciousness of unity.
As humans, we really need to feel the separation at its worst imaginable place to come to unity. In a nutshell, that is what it means but it’s a it more complicated. I think that we are exiting the 5th sun, but either way the title still works.”
Chase: “Well, I’m hoping we can build a culture of inclusion instead of exclusion. It seems to me that society is pretty adversarial these days, just the way people talk to each other and the reality TV shows that seem to be really popular. It seems like going away from where we should be going and talking about unity, and peace, and love, and all the things you talk about in your music. That is one of the reasons I find it refreshing to listen to you.”
Kellee: “Good! I’m glad. I’m hoping I can presence people to that because it really is there. If you look and really focus your attention on love and turn off the TV and turn off a lot of the things that are bombarding us with fear. There are definitely things happening. The other side is very strong and there’s a very serious change that needs to be made. We are gonna feel both sides of the mirror, so to speak, but for me, I really intend my music to be a vehicle for people to rally themselves in the face of agreement in the whole world.”
Chase: “For sure. So, how can people find out more about Kellee Maize?”
Kellee: “Well, the easiest way is to Google ‘female rapper,’ I actually come up first – KelleeMaize.com. I worked on that for a long time. You can download my music for free. You can also search for me on Amazon. I’m obviously on Facebook and pretty much any imaginable portal for music, if you can remember my name or Google ‘female rapper’ you’ll find me.”
Chase: “Thanks a lot. It has been a pleasure to have you on DOPEfm. We will continue to spin your music. Thanks so much for calling us up.”
Kellee: “Thank you so much, I really appreciate your invitation. I think it is awesome what you guys are doing, so keep it up.”