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Ebony Eyez: Don’t Call It A Comeback

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It has been said, that an “ounce of experience is more than a pint of advice.” Nothing can replace a lesson learned first hand. Ebony Eyez has gained knowledge over the past few years that cannot be acquired through any amount of extensive research or investigation.  For many individuals there is this notion that a “record deal” is the equivalent of the “golden ticket.” Everyone won’t get one but, the one’s that do have it made, right? Ebony Eyez, the first and only female rapper from St. Louis to release an album nationally, knows first hand all that comes with that “golden ticket”; The good, the bad and the ugly. Music“Oh Yes” “Don’t Touch” Ft. Murphy LeeAllHipHop.com: You’ve consistently been referred to as the “First Lady of St. Louis” does such a huge title add any pressure?Ebony Eyez: At times it can be, because peoples expectations can be pretty high or unrealistic, but I’d rather they expect a lot than very little to nothing at all from me. Besides I feel the title is fitting [laughter].AllHipHop.com: Nice Girlz Finish Last is the title of your latest mixtape. What direction did you go with that release?Ebony Eyez: My last mixtape Nice Girlz Finish Last was my way of stating that some people can take your kindness for weakness in this business. This is the business of music when it’s all said and done, as a women you have to know how and when to be aggressive enough to handle biz, while not coming off as a bitch than nobody wants to deal with. Of course that’s the first thing they like to say about a successful women who doesn’t allow people to walk over her [laughter]. Also when you’re a great female emcee who can hold your own on a record with the best of them some of your male counterparts can be intimidated by that, whereas a chick that’s so-so talent wise but more open to do what she’s told [they] don’t mind breaking bread with so to speak.  Somewhere after Foxy and Kim’s run the “femcee” value got swept under the rug for one reason or another. I was just making a statement that for myself that nice shit is out the window, so let’s get down to business.AllHipHop.com: Do you feel like the success of Nicki Minaj or other female rappers in general contribute to your movement or take from it?Ebony Eyez: As far as Nicki Minaj’s success I’m all for it, thumbs up from me. I think she’s dope. The name of my label is LadyLion Ent so I’m all about the female movement. I understand the big picture. The more successful one of us is, the more doors open for the rest of us. I don’t get caught in the hype, knocking another women down to make myself look or feel better. It’s never been my steelo, I focus on being the best Ebony Eyez that I can be. I understand that what I have to offer, no one else can supply.   AllHipHop.com: I remember listening to you back in high school and that was some years ago, how long exactly have you been doing music?Ebony Eyez: Hold up nah ain’t been that long ago [laughter] I’ve been doing music since I was 9. “GGB” (Girls Get Busy) [laughter] was the name of my 1st group. We would throw lil neighborhood shows and charge people to get in to see us rap and dance. In my late teens I really got serious with it and been going full force ever since. I was in a female duo name “Nazir” and we would go to all the underground spots and I would battle the best of the best and got my name out there. Once I went solo things started falling into place and a couple years later I was signed to Capitol Records.AllHipHop.com: Your debut album 7 Day Cycle was released on Capitol Records in 2006, which was a great year for St. Louis and yourself. How have things changed for you since then?Ebony Eyez: Since my album 7 Day Cycle came out a lot has changed. I’m no longer with Capitol or The TrackBoyz which was the best decision for me. At the time I was a new artist from St.Louis so a lot of labels were caught in the hype of what my city was doing at the time as far as Nelly and the Tics, J-Kwon with “Tipsy,” Chingy, whom were all popping, instead of focusing on me as an artist and the best way to market and promote me. A lot of people dropped the ball with my project from label to production company to management but most important me, not knowing how the business side worked. I was just happy and excited to get a chance for the world to hear my music.  To top it off my album came out the same day as Trina and a week after Lil Kim whom both had a built in fan base already. I can say I learned a lot from my situation and I know that I’m ready to rock-and-roll baby!AllHipHop.com: Is there still a relationship between The TrackBoyz and yourself?Ebony Eyez: As far as me and The TrackBoyz everybody’s pretty much doing their own thing we’ve all moved on and it is what it is. No more, no less.AllHipHop.com: What have been the greatest lessons you learned from your experiences in the industry?Ebony Eyez: The greatest lessons I’ve learned one, is this is the Music business, the business of music. You can have all the love in the world for it, but you have to get the proper people in place in order to have a great career. You have to do research, ask questions and network on top of make good music. Any artist can understand me when I say music is like that one person your so in love with you find yourself giving your all, while they’re one foot in and one foot out. At times they barley notice you because someone has their attention, then there are times where you’re the only one that exists [laughter]. I probably lost some people there. You have to be honest with yourself and know what you want out of this otherwise you will be lost. Literally.AllHipHop.com: Do you feel any odds were against you at the time of your breakout?Ebony Eyez: Wow did I feel the odds were against me at that time? Guess it depends on how I was feeling that day. Some days yes, some days no [laughter]. Today I would say it’s half and half. Like I stated earlier my album not only came out same day as Trina and week after Lil Kim it also dropped in 4th quarter which pretty much equates a tax write off. There was not a lot of promo, which affects your pre-orders so on release date there are not a lot of albums in stores for people to buy. “So you only sent 8 copies to Best Buy? Really?” Most people complain about being shelved, my complaint was coming out to soon. At the time MySpace and YouTube were just starting to pop which could have been used asan additional promotional outlet as well. On the flip side I’m grateful for all I’ve learned. It showed me how shady this business can be and who was really down to ride, not just down for the ride. Above all, it gave me depth and character which all adds to my story and what is worth more than anything to me: My growth as a women.Visit Ebony Eyez atmyspace.com/ebonyeyeztwitter.com/EBONYEYEZ

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