By now we all know that a lot of what we see on
so-called reality TV is scripted, scenes are done over to capture the essence
of the moment and model-slash-actors are swarming to these shows to be seen
for career purposes. No reality involved.
Now, take Hip Hop and try to pass it over as a
reality show as theyve done with Miss Rap Supreme on VH1. Are we looking at
another scripted show, or could all this drama really be natural?
Byata and Rece Steele of Miss Rap Supreme took a little
time to discuss the ins and outs of putting themselves out there on national TV,
and they give us the lowdown on how much of the action we are seeing is really real.
AllHipHop.com: How real is reality TV from your
perspective, now that you’ve been in it?
Byata: My opinion is that reality TV is real. Where
I was living with those girls it’s as real as real can be. Nobody told us how
to act to each other, what kind of rhymes to write, how to write our rhymes.
Everything was real, every situation that we were in was real, every way that
we dealt with each other was real. The reality TV show that I was on was real.
Rece: I think it was definitely real, I think that
the situations made the drama. I think something people don’t realize is that
you’re put in the house with strangers that you don’t know. These might not be
people that you would hang around with, so the conflict is always gonna come.
That’s like when you wanna go home and be with your family because you get
Rece SteeleNothing was scripted. When we had beef we probably
were frustrated and that person really got on our nerves. Nobody told us to do
anything on the show, everything was real. I agree with Byata.
AllHipHop.com: Talk about that tension [of Khia
being in the house] and what created it from the onset. Was it just who she was,
or was it something that was said?
Byata: Khia in the beginning was cool and got
along with everybody. It had nothing to do with people saying that because she
sold 800,000 copies some of us were hating on her – that had nothing to do with
it. We actually respected her for that. The tension began when Khia got cocky
and looked at us like we was nobodies. That’s where the drama began.
To keep it frank with you it was more her looking
at us like, “These b****es aint s**t. I’m Khia.” That to me started a
little bit of tension. Some people wanted to dwell on it and some people were
just like, “You know what? F**k her, we don’t care. I’m gonna keep doing
my thing anyway. If Khia’s here or not, it don’t make a difference.”
Rece: I didn’t really have any beef with Khia. I
know she was extra cocky, but I think she was doing that for herself. I mean
honestly when you’ve sold that many records maybe you’re somewhere where you
have to tell yourself that you’re that good. She might have felt some way about
even being on the show. I never really looked at her like, “Oh, she
doesn’t belong here.”
I didn’t really care as much because a lot of
girls had problems with her being there on the show. The cockiness was her just
trying to say, “I am the s**t, even though I’m on this show I’m the
s**t.” I don’t know, I don’t really think Khia’s a lyricist like that. Not
to discredit her as an entertainer with doing live shows, but I don’t think
she’s a lyricist. A lyricist gets more into depth with what she’s talking
about, I don’t think Khia really does that. I never heard her album, but if she
would have come in the house and treated it a different way maybe I would have
She kind of played with the situation. I take it
very seriously. Anybody who comes in the house and is asked to spit a 16 and
doesn’t know what a 16 is, I can’t respect you. That’s what she put out there.
I gave everybody full respect until you show me what you got. Maybe she should
have treated it differently, I respect that she sold albums, but I don’t know
AllHipHop.com: Have you guys seen the whole series
yet or are you just watching it when we are?
Rece: Nope, we watch it when you watch it.
AllHipHop.com: You read constantly about reality
show stars who say, “They edited it to make me look this way, they took
that out of context.” Are you worried about anything said or done that
could come out the wrong way?
Rece: Not at all, because you know what I did when
I went on that show? I was myself. I can’t be ashamed of who I am, I didn’t try
to floss. I come from the struggle, I’m just a Hip-Hop artist and an average girl,
I worked a regular nine-to-five and quit it to go on the show. I just happen to
rap, I wasn’t trying to be no super gangster or all of that. That really wasn’t
necessary, because I feel like if they don’t like me, they don’t need to love
my music. So I’m not ashamed at all. Aint no shame in my game.
Byata: Exactly, I kept it Byata the whole way so
I’m not worried. Even the times when the camera was on me in the morning and my
nose was running, I don’t care because it’s me. Burping, farting and whatever
the hell, it’s me. So if you love me, you gotta love me for me. I wasn’t trying
to be anything that I’m not like other girls. If you’re confident with yourself
you need to be comfortable with the way you are on TV. If you’re portraying to
be someone else then that’s gonna come out, because there will be characters on
there that are gonna be exposed and America will see them as they are. Some
girls, right now America thinks they’re the s**t, but in a minute America’s
gonna be like, “Nah”. So it’s all in how you portray yourself.
AllHipHop.com: It came out in the gossip mags that
Ms. Cherry is T-Pain’s baby mama. Did that come out in the house?
Byata: Of course, we all know. It wasn’t something
where she ran around like, “Oh, I’m T-Pain’s baby mama.” She kept it
humble, she was humble about it.
Rece: I respect Cherry so much, because to me she
never tried to bring that up like, “Oh, my baby’s daddy is [T-Pain].”
It was always like, “I wanna do my own thing.” She doesn’t want to be
under someone’s wings carrying her, she wants to be independent on her own,
getting her own money. So I have to respect her at the end of the day, she
never mentioned the T-Pain thing at all.
AllHipHop.com: Rece [being that your mother was
L.A. Star] do you feel you had extra pressure maybe from the judges to have a
certain flair for rap because of your legacy?
Rece: I felt that the judges were hard on me the
whole way. It didn’t break me, but I always felt like they always looked at
everything having to do with me. They probably felt like I’m the second
generation of Hip-Hop, but I still do it for me. I didn’t really feel the
pressure because I do it for myself. I don’t do it for my mom, my mom didn’t
really tell me, “Yeah Rece, go out and rap.” I just kind of picked it
up myself. She found out after I was doing it for three years that I even did
So it’s in my blood, it’s in me so I don’t feel
any pressure. I feel pressure as far as succeeding , that’s the pressure I
feel. My mom didn’t do that well as far as her albums selling and things like
that, so I don’t want to let a second seal come out and I don’t do well either.
Those are the things that are on my mind, I want to make sure I do well. I know
that she’s told me all of the mistakes that she’s made, and I don’t want to
make those mistakes, so that’s the pressure I feel about succeeding. I’m scared
of failing, that’s why I work so hard.
Female MCs aren’t necessarily brought up in the freestyle frame of mind
[and the challenges on Miss Rap Supreme are all about freestyle]. What are your
philosophies on freestyling, and how important is it for women to learn?
Rece: I mean, I’m not gonna say freestyling is
something that you must do to be an artist, but it’s good to learn because
you’re always ready. If you’re a rapper, you’re hungry and you’re going in,
you’ll be ready at any time. It’s good to be able to react to any situation
when you’re a rapper, but a lot of guys don’t freestyle anymore, it’s kind of
like a lost art.
But in our house, a lot of people freestyled. All
the girls freestyled, we had ciphers at one point where we were freestyling.
But I think we were definitely bringing that element back, I don’t think it’s a
woman or man thing, because I know guys that can’t freestyle neither. But I
think we definitely displayed that we could on the show being women, stronger
than some of the men who can’t freestyle.
Byata: The type of artist I am, freestyling was
not really my thing, I was more of a songwriter. But once you write songs it
comes naturally to you I guess. Rece is the illest freestyle rappers that I’ve
ever seen as a female or male, I think she can eat any dude up. She inspired me
to do that, to go back home and work on that element. To just throw a beat on
and spit off the top of the dome. I think it’s important because you can play
around more, you have more depth if you can freestyle. If you forget a line
while you’re on stage, boom you come in with a freestyle, so it’s definitely
AllHipHop.com: Byata, you actually came up as a
poet. Do you feel that being a poet has made writing hooks more challenging for
you or that it’s helped you?
Byata: Oh, it’s definitely helped me. My expertise
with hooks is [to where] I can write the s**t out of a hook. I hear a song and
I hear the hook right away, I hear the concept right away. Definitely I want to
say being a poet helps with turning it into the rap form, I can come up with
the whole thing and put it in this cool poetic form, turn it into a hook and
say everything I have to say put in a hook. It definitely helps.
The thing with Nuyorican [Poets Café] was that I
was always a poet that wasn’t slamming.
Every other poet would do slam poetry, I would get up and do Hip-Hop poetry. So
they would look at me like, “You don’t belong here” and I would be
like, “What do you mean I don’t belong here?” I didn’t come up being
a slam poet, I came up being a Hip-Hop poet and I always thought a rhyme is a
AllHipHop.com: With this show we have a few women
that are Caucasian or of European heritage. How do you ladies feel about white
women coming into the game on a level that Black women have held down for so
Byata: Just for the record, with me being Russian
there’s a big big difference than just being an average white girl, but you
know I’m white [because] my skin is white. But I have no problems with white
girls rapping, I have a problem when a white girls raps and [she's] not being
herself. When she’s trying to take other people’s elements and make them
herself, you feel me?
My whole thing is if you’re keeping it real, if
you’re black, white , purple, green, yellow, I don’t care. [It's about] if I
can feel you when you spit, you could be a Black girl spitting and I could be
looking at you like you aint being yourself right now. So to me I don’t mind.
I would actually love to see a Caucasian girl rap on MTV, I would root for her
as long as she’s good, she makes sense and I could relate to her. If I can’t
relate to you then I’m gonna change the channel.
Rece: It’s all about bars, look at Eminem. He’s a
dope lyricist, you could never discredit him for that and he’s a white boy.
Eminem’s dope – not because he’s a white boy, but because he’s dope. It’s all
about your bars.
AllHipHop.com: Now that the show is done taping,
what’s next for the both of you?
Byata: Fame, fortune, success and happiness. I
just wanna keep making dope music and get as many fans as I can. When I go on
my Myspace page and I see everybody like, “Yo B, I love your music”,
that makes my day [and] I accomplished something. As long as I can keep getting
those same responses and I can keep putting that music out there that moves
people, then I’m good [and] that’s my accomplishment.
Of course I want the fame and fortune, but not to
the point where I won’t know what to do with myself. But that’s definitely what
I need to have in the future, because I want to take care of some people in my
family. I see a lot of big things happening for me and Rece, that’s my girl
right there. I definitely see a lot of big things happening for the both of us,
the New York chicks. We’re bringing it back to New York, that’s my
accomplishment for me and Rece, we need to put New York back on the map.
Rece: I’m realizing that it’s still a grind, so
right now I’m just trying to get as much exposure [as I can], use this time
wisely. My whole thing is to be out there as much as possible, try to get some
music playing on the radio and push the single. It’s all about hard work, my
future plans is to work really hard and bust my a** to get what I’m looking for
at the end of the day.
You can find Rece Steele at www.myspace.com/recesteele and Byata at www.myspace.com/byataClick here to read the AllHipHop.com interview with YoYo