Money Stax Interview

Chase: “All right everybody, this is Chase March and we have a special guest for you tonight. Money Stax is on our phone lines.

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Money Stax is an excellent rapper and I’m surprised that I hadn’t heard of her prior to now. I had been putting together a women’s day tribute for International Women’s Day and I tweeted about it and El Williams suggested I check out a group called Viscous Cycle. So I found your album on bandcamp and was really impressed with what I heard and immediately contacted you to be part of our special. Welcome to the program!”

Money Stax: “Thank you very much. I appreciate it.”

Chase: “And then last night, I was looking around and I see that you are really busy in the hip-hop scene. Not only are you part of Viscous Cycle but you are part of a couple other crews as well. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ve been doing and where your coming from for anyone who might not have heard of you yet?”

Money Stax: “I was born in New York and raised in New Jersey, that is basically what I consider to be my home, but as an adult I moved out to the Dallas Fort Worth area with my husband and my children. Together, out here, my husband and I formed the group called The Co-Op (Conscious Operations.)

I have another group called Viscous Cycle, which is with my best friend Neeky Devero and together we are like the 2012 Salt N Pepa, or something of that nature. We play off each other very well. We’re really hardcore emcees on some Rah Digga / Jean Grae type of steez.

Then I have another group with my homeboy, Word Life. He’s from Brooklyn but lives in the Dallas Fort Worth area now too. That project is called Monopoly and it’s about how we monopolize on stuff. That’s an EP.

I am also dropping an album soon with another my good friend of mine, Headcrack from the Rickey Smiley morning show. The group is untitled as on now, but we’ve been calling it Crack Money. It’s a catchy phrase but we’re not into stuff like that so we are going to change the name. For now, we just refer to it as Crack Money though.

So, I’ve got a few different projects popping off. I’m also a solo artist and have solo songs here and there and perform some solo gigs under the name Money Stax.”

Chase: “We’re an overnight hip-hop show and we are dedicating our entire show to the Women in Hip-Hop. We did it last year for the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and it’s become an annual tradition now. I am a fan of female hip-hop but I’ve noticed some people just aren’t as open to hearing females on the mic. I’m just wondering if you’ve come across that in your grind?”

Money Stax: “I will say this, about the groups that I am, I definitely have a non-female type of style. So although I am a female and it does come across in my music, at the same time my skill level, my flow, my delivery are not that of the typical female. I can also say, which not a lot of femcees might agree with, I really don’t’ like femcees myself much either.

The problem with femcees is that you don’t have to be that good to be considered that good, which is a problem for me because when I get out there and I tell people I’m a female MC, before they even hear me, I have the problem of trying to get people’s respect. The standards are really low for femcees. People sort of brush it to the side, but once they hear me spit, or once I get off stage, or if you purchased an album, then the next time I see you, I get the respect I deserve. It’s very hard to get respect when I’m in an arena where not much is expected from me.”

Chase: “I know, and that’s a shame. Last year I didn’t even understand it, but we had Kadyelle on the show, an amazing emcee from Australia and she basically said what you just did, that we hold females to a lower standard, and that she wished the bar were raised. I definitely agree.

When I first heard you, I was like, ‘Woah, these girls are spitting.’ It’s straight lyricism and it’s not fluff or sexual content. You push yourself away from that and describe your style as being more masculine. I don’t think we need to do that. It’s just that you are embracing what I think is the best qualities of hip-hop.”

Money Stax: “I can definitely agree with you on that. I put it in the dude category because after people listen to me they say, ‘Wow, you don’t remind me of a female rapper. I expected to hear one thing and when I listen to you I don’t get that.’

You are also right about the over-sexualization. I’m not gonna call any particular femcees out but right now everything is a gimmick. If you don’ have a gimmick with your package, then people don’t want to listen. So, if you’re not willing to just go completely overboard in one way or another, you can’t even get people’s attention. A lot of women have to use over-sexualization to get that attention, which I don’t approve of. I guess it’s good for some people if that’s how you want to be looked at.

I’m gonna demand a certain level of respect from my music and how I look, even though I am fly, has nothing to do with how I sound. So, I don’t want to take my clothes off and put that out there.

A lot of the stuff I do sort of picks at that. Like the album the Vagina Chronolog that Neeky Devaro and my first album as Viscous Cycle, it’s poking fun at the whole thing. Yeah, we’re chicks but we’re not gonna give you that whole sexualized thing. We throw the word vagina around a lot because it raises the temperature in the room a couple degrees. When we get on stage we play a lot with each other, back and forth, like, ‘Titties all in your face’ but it’s all in the fun because as soon as you say it, everybody’s paying attention. We can have a room full of people and before we start spitting, people are walking around, talking to their friends, or over at the bar, and all I have to do is get on the mic and say, ‘If you have titties or you like titties, let me hear you say, Titties!’ and then the whole room turns around and pays attention.

But, we’re not actually gonna give you titties as much as we just want to utilize what other people gravitate towards to make you pay attention to what we are doing. And once you hear us, then you’ll know why your’e listening and you’ll want to listen more.”

Chase: “And on that note, we need to play your track ‘Tits and Ass’ and specifically the remix which is entitled ‘Devaro Meets Stax.’ We’ll play that one and be back to talk some more with Money Stax. Stay tuned!”

Chase: “That was ‘Devaro Meets Stax’ from Viscous Cycle and we have one member of that group on the phone with us right now, Money Stax. That’s a nice track right there Money. I like the lyrics you touch on there too, ‘Assuming we ain’t write this. Bet you thought I’d shoot excuses, count on me being fly because I’m supposed to show some thigh.” I like how you go against expectations and even with the original title of the song, some people are probably expecting that over-sexualized stuff and you’re just hitting them with lyrics saying, ‘This is what we do!’ I’m sure the title of the album Vagina Chronologue probably scares off a few people though.”

Money Stax: “I’m sure it does too, and in reverse I’m sure I’ve pissed some people off. I’ll go into my bandcamp hits and find out where the buzz is getting generated from and a lot of that comes from people Googling ‘tits’ and ‘ass’ and ‘vagina.’ If you Google, ‘tits, ass, and vagina’ those are all words that are in the song and some people get directed to our song because of that. We get plays off of it, but at the same time, that’s definitely not what they were looking for when they tried to Google the term.”

Chase: “That’s hilarious. Your latest album, Volume Control, I like how you are sticking with the V.C. theme. Viscous Cycle, Vagina Chronologue, and now Volume Control. That must be intentional, I suppose?”

Money Stax: “Absolutely, and thank you for noticing that. I don’t know how but a lot of people just don’t pick up on the small details we nitpick at. We just love the VC thing. The name Viscous Cycle means a lot to us. Neeky Devaro and I have been friends for a long, long time. We used to work together, back like 15 years ago, and this one particular job we were doing in-bound customer service for a credit card company and she literally told this customer who was really irate and upset who couldn’t get help, she told him, ‘I’m sorry sir but it’s a viscous cycle.’ We fell out laughing so hard, I had to ask the boss if I could leave that day.”

Chase: “And that was the genesis of the name for your group. That happened to me to when I was trying to get a rap career started. It’s funny how you just overhear something and say, ‘That’s it!’ and you grab onto it.”

Money Stax: “Absolutely, and you know it. As soon as we heard it, we knew it and we ran with it. We’ve been Viscous Cycle ever since and we definitely wanted to stick with the VC thing. We had to. Any other albums that come out by us are all gonna start with a V.C.”

Chase: “You already have a brainstormed list of titles?”

Money Stax: “You know we came up with a zillion of them. We have some really funny ones in the holster. A lot of them got vetoed but we have an ongoing list.”

Chase: “There is a clip from Murs and he talked about how there were no females at Rock the Bells and then I was looking at your site and saw that you were at Rock the Bells in Dallas.”

Money Stax: “Actually, we were the only group to open up for Rock the Bells in Dallas, 2010, at the House of Blues. It was a spectacular event and a monumental move in our career. Up until that point, we really hadn’t been getting gigs of that magnitude, which is important. Sometimes when you are a musician, you are not always going to be monetarily compensated how you feel you should, or by how much energy and effort you put into your craft, but when you start getting opportunities that reflect your hustle as working, it makes you feel really good. That was really the beginning of people paying attention to us, and getting some recognition of the stuff we’d been doing.”

Chase: “But you are out there playing shows a lot, aren’t you?”

Money Stax: “Yes, all the time.”

Chase: “I want to touch on this quote and have you respond to it. I will be asking it of the panel we will have in the studio for International Women’s Day as well, but I’d like to hear your take on it too. Murs said, ‘Hip-hop is not a positive environment for a young women, I’d want my daughter 50 miles away from this place, honestly.’”

Money Stax: “Wow! hearing stuff like that it’s like a gift and a curse and I can see where he is coming from with that statement. There is a lot of negativity overall with females in hip-hop but to say you wouldn’t want your daughter around any type of female hip-hop, I think that might be a little ignorant. You can’t make an assumption that an entire genre of music feels, acts, and raps a certain way, just like you can’t make an assumption that all blacks steal. It’s a prejudgment. It’s a prejudice. I see where he is coming from though. It’s just the norm for females not to be respected in the hip-hop game.

I demand respect no matter where I go, before I say I rap, after I say I rap, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about the person and who they are. I’ve heard plenty of female MCs that aren’t saying anything degrading about themselves or that use their sexuality to make music. I’ve heard plenty of male MCs that give props to females in general and treasure them, tell them they are queens, and treat them right. So at the same time, there is going to be the disrespectful music out there that has to deal with women, there is also going to be music that is respectful towards women.

So I think whoever made that statement, if they are that interested in hip-hop and want hip-hop to be part of their daughter’s life, they should take a couple of steps to research some other type of femcees and MCs that can accommodate that type of music because they are different types of music out there for everybody.”

Wise, wise words right there from Money Stax. We are going to take a little break right now and come back with more of this transcript tomorrow. In the meantime, you can listen to the entire interview right now with the player below, download it for free, or come back tomorrow to continuing reading. Thanks for tuning in!

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