Chase March

Eternia Interview

DOPEfm has always shown Eternia love. She’s dropped some classic jams over the past ten years and we always spin her music. 
I finally got the chance to meet her last month at her album release party in Toronto. She was so cool in person that I must say that I love her even more now. 
I hope you enjoy this interview. You can download it for free, stream it with the player at the bottom of this post, or read the transcript. Enjoy!
Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here with Eternia.”
Eternia: “What’s up? I’m very happy to be here, live at The Opera House.”
Chase: “You’ve been making noise for a long time. I hope people out there know your name. I’ve been a fan since I first heard you. It’s amazing to see that you’ve had such a long career, You’ve got material going back all the way to 2000.”
Eternia: “Even before 2000, but the stuff before 2000 was pretty small-time, mixtape, indy. At lot of it has been like that but I’ve been recording since the 90s.”
Chase: “I know, personally for me, whenever I hear a female MC, I take extra notice because it’s kind of rare. I don’t know why. Why do you think there is a lack of females in hip-hop?”
Eternia: “I don’t believe that there is actually a lack of females in hip-hop. I think there’s a lack of coverage, oftentimes. I think that getting ourselves out there with multiple full-length albums, there is a lack of that with female MCs. But when it comes to every city, when it comes to every place I go, I find a multitude of females MCs everywhere I go who are doing their thing, holding it down, throwing events, on the radio, and actually doing things that MCs do to promote themselves in every city that I go to. So I know a lot of female MCs globally.
There are a variety of factors. I don’t want to get into all of them. Sometimes it can be the fact that they don’t have a team behind them, they don’t have an infrastructure behind them, they don’t have investment, they don’t have backing. I can tell you myself, most of what you see from me, and I’m not as big as my male counterparts, most of what you see from me is one woman in operation. So imagine trying to get to a certain level and not having anything aside from your own resources. That could be something that’s limiting female MCs from going as big as out male counterparts.
That’s only one issue. Obviously, the acceptance in the culture is, ya know, go to any average American blogsite and I think they just shoot you down before they even listen to you if they hear you’re a chick. It would be much easier to hit the game being faceless and genderless and let people listen to the music and all of a sudden become fans, and then an album in be like, ‘Ha-ha, I’m a chick and you didn’t know. I tricked you! ‘cause I bet they’d listen to it and like it.’ That’s all I have to say.”
Chase: “I think so too. Shad’s new album just dropped and he’s got a lyric on there about how he can speak to women and about women but he can’t speak for women and that we’re really only getting have the story.”
Eternia: “I’ve never heard that lyric. I’m glad you told me that. He brings up a really valid point. Ya know how everyone always asks, ‘What do you bring to the game that’s different than anyone else?’ It’s not that I’m female, but I will say that my experiences and my perception and my story is unique. No one else can tell my story,
I do think that in general there’s really only one or two voices in hip-hop, two dominate kind of narratives. And I think that hip-hop should represent every slice of life, every slice of culture, and every slice of the world globally, not just America. So I think that’s one thing in which my culture, hip-hop, lacks, is having a voice fore everybody not just for certain demographics.”
Chase: “That’s a really cool point. I know there was a point in my life where I only listened to underground hip-hop and that was it and I didn’t listen to anything else. Now, I’ve grown and matured so that my music tastes are more wide in variety but I still know people that only want to listen to that knucklehead stuff. I mean, there is a lot more out there and artists should have the freedom to make the kind of music they want to and have people listen to it.”
Eternia: “I have a hard time listening to emcees who are considered dope but aren’t saying anything. So like MCs that got the flow and the delivery and the punchlines but they’re not saying things that make me think or make me appreciate their intelligence. It doesn’t have to be all intelligent rap but MCs who aren’t putting their life into their music and being vulnerable, I have a hard time appreciating them even when the rest of world is like, ‘Oh my goodness! They’re ridiculous!’ Ya know, I think it’s important to be human on record too. It’s important to be dope, but then you gotta be human.”
Chase: “I’m a lyrical dude and really focus on lyrics and I got a couple of your lyrics that I want to focus on here.”
Eternia: “Uh-oh.”
Chase: “One is from ‘Time.’ You say, ‘There’s an expiration date on my career. It’s like if I don’t make it this year, then I’ll just disappear.’ But that was a long time ago and you’ve been putting in a lot of work since then. So I guess you didn’t really believe that, you were just expressing a hunger there.”
Eternia: “No I believed it. When I wrote that I totally believed it. I wrote that in 2004. That was on ‘It’s Called Life’ and I did feel the pressure from the industry and everyone. It was like now or never, you only got one shot, especially for a woman. It’s just like being in acting. It’s different when you’re a male actor, you can be 50 and get roles but it’s harder for a woman. Obviously, I’m not close to 50 but I just felt that, ‘I gotta do this while I’m still young.’ I felt that there was an age requirement for hip-hop and so I wrote that.
Now the difference is that I’ve let go of the industry standard. So me making music right now is not really about making it. Me making music now in the year 2010 is about the God-given talent that He’s given me and walking through doors of opportunity that He provides for me. But if the doors stop opening, that’s okay. It’s not like a loss to me anymore. So I’ve let go and I write about that a lot.
I wanted to name an album, ‘Let Go.” Maybe I will one day. I’ve let go. It’s not about, ‘Gotta make it! Gotta do this! Gotta do that!” It’s more like, “I’m doing this because I want to do this. It’s great look at all the things that have come from it but if it doesn’t happen, people stop interviewing me, fans stop coming to my shows, that’s okay too.”
Chase: “No it’s not! People need to support you, for real.”
Eternia: “Good answer.”
So go out there and support good hip-hop. Eternia puts on an excellent show. If she’s coming to your city, make sure you go buy a ticket to her concert. Don’t forget to go and buy her new album “At Last” as well. It really is an amazing album with production done completely by MoSS.

You can support her as well by following her on Twitter, downloading this podcast, and taking the time to write a comment on this post. Thanks for tuning in y’all. See you here tomorrow for Part 2 of the transcript. 

Thanks to Thom Payson of Total Productions for the great photography you will see here all week.


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