Hey ya'll, CNN has a story today about a new white female rapper called "Sarai". They are calling her the female Eminem. The suburbs are comin' to the rap-game in full force...what do you think?
Sarai: The female Eminem?
Rapper hoping for success in tough market
Tuesday, August 5, 2003 Posted: 1441 GMT (10:41 PM HKT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Eminem has disproved the notion that white boys can't rap. White girls, on the other hand, have had almost zero impact on the genre in its 30-year history.
Remember Tairrie B? Probably not. Wait, there's ... hmmmm. Actually, the most influential white woman in rap history may be punk princess Deborah Harry, whose rhymes in the 1980 hit "Rapture" helped take rap mainstream.
But now a new face, Sarai, is raising hopes that there might be someone new -- a Feminem -- to go where none have gone before.
"Eminem has definitely opened people's minds, that there could be a white artist actually mastering the skill," says Sarai, a 20-year-old, blue-eyed blonde from Kingston, N.Y., about two hours north of the city where rap was born.
Her debut album, "The Original," was released by Epic Records last week. The first single, the party song "Ladies," has been getting airplay on hip-hop stations and MTV.
One of Sarai's producers is Scott Storch, a founding member of the hip-hop band The Roots who's worked with artists ranging from Eminem to Christina Aguilera.
Storch says when he first heard Sarai, "she was doing something different than I had ever heard before, sort of hip-hop with a white female, and actually bringing it off like a real sister. I was a little surprised and definitely a little intrigued."
Eminem, a protege of Dr. Dre, is one of the few white rappers to have earned success and respect.
Until the superstar producer Dr. Dre ushered Eminem into the rap game in 1999, white people had a checkered history in rap. Unless they completely dissed their white heritage -- like the late 1980s group 3rd Bass -- or delivered comedy -- like the early Beastie Boys -- they were usually dismissed.
And who could forget street poseur Vanilla Ice of "Ice Ice Baby" fame, who will go down in history as the Pat Boone of rap?
Even considering Vanilla Ice, rap has been worse for white women.
"I never came across a white female rapper who could rap," says Damon Dash, the Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder who helped put Jay-Z on the map.
A few have made blips. Eazy-E had protege Tairrie B, described back then as the Madonna of rap (she's since gone metal). The trio Luscious Jackson has gotten attention, though more from the rock contingent than the rap community.
Currently, the trio Northern State has gotten good reviews, and the group Fannypack, which had a minor hit this summer with the novelty song "Cameltoe," has a white rapper.
But for the most part, coming up with names of notable white female rappers seems like a challenging game of Trivial Pursuit.
Dash says that's "probably because there hasn't been anyone good enough. I mean, Eminem was like the first real good white male rapper."
"It's hard enough for any kind of female rapper to stay in the game and compete with the male rappers, so being white and being female makes it all that much harder," he said.
'We've got a lot of racial issues here'
Princess Superstar, a sexually frank white rapper sometimes called the white Lil' Kim, can attest to that.
"We've got a lot of racial issues here, and sometimes it plays itself out in the music game," says the rapper, who puts out her music on her own label. "Any white female rapper is going to fight against being considered a novelty."
It's hard enough for any kind of female rapper to stay in the game and compete with the male rappers, so being white and being female makes it all that much harder.
-- Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash
In addition, since rap is as much or more so about the street life than black life, white acts are often rejected for not having street cred.
Sarai's official bio makes it clear she wasn't a child of privilege, noting she's the daughter of a "single mother" and mentioning she took jobs to help support her family. She says she grew up in a multi-racial neighborhood with "all different kind of income levels."
"Everybody thinks that I'm from a big white house and this white picket fence and my parents bought me a Mercedes on my 16th birthday," she says.
Sarai says she grew up listening to Public Enemy, the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. She got her break when she met a producer in Atlanta during a vacation with a friend; she's lived in that music hotspot for the past four years.
Sarai describes her sound as more mainstream than hardcore rap, and her personality seems to bear that out. She describes herself as a "loving person" and doesn't pepper her talk with street slang (or even curses, catching herself before uttering a cuss during a recent interview).
Whether Sarai will make it big remains to be seen. But Dash says if she has the skills, she'll be accepted.
Record companies "are always looking to break a white rapper. They're always looking to break a white anything," laughs Dash. "If somebody is white and they can rap, that means MTV, that means middle America."
But Sarai says she hopes people eventually look past her skin color and see just another rapper.
"It's always gonna be, 'Yo, it's a white girl,' " she says. "Eventually, they have to look past it."
"No man is hurt but by himself"---Diogones