The First Lady of Streetwize: Call Her Ms. Cherry If You're Nasty
"Bitch, you know me! You know how I get down! Your girl done already got her ass whupped ... Got yo' ho holdin' you down. They better let yo ass go! It's whatever, bitch, it's whatever, ho!" From the first lines of Ms. Cherry's "It's Whatever," her new single on Streetwize Recordz, everybody knows not to mess with her, 'cause she ain't the one. Ms. Cherry brings the noise and brings the krunk. So confident is her label in her abilities as a rapper, a performer and a singer, that she is not only the queen of the crew, but the label's first buckshot into the world of independent hip hop. While the field of female rappers is crowded, who really stands out? Jean Grae is the darling of the intellectual/political wing of underground rap; Eve, of the Ruff Rhyders crew, had a T.V. show; Foxy Brown still commands respect and is modeling; and L'il Kim, rap music's X-rated sex machine, is on her way to jail. Except for Jean Grae, where are the records and the rhymes?
MP3 download: "It's Whatever"
"It's Whatever" is a battle rap about real beef in a club, a fight. When asked what caused her to start rapping with gangsta intensity, she simply replied "My environment."
[MusicDish] What was your home life like?
Ms. Cherry My home life was full with love, kindness and support for my music career.
[MusicDish] When did you start really getting into music?
Ms. Cherry I've been singing all my life.
[MusicDish] What kind of music did you sing?
Ms. Cherry Mostly soul and R&B. Like songs by Mary J. Blige. Also, I started to write poetry when I was a teenager. It was just stuff that was going on in life and what I saw happening all around me. And I started to sing and rap about it.
Ms. Cherry has been performing for more than six years. In Junior High she was winning school talent shows with her mature lyrics and personal style. Her intense energy, lyrics and domination of the stage rocked crowd after crowd, and she won every competition she entered. Along the way she got the attention of Streetwize Records for her singing. Soon she started turned heads and got 'em noddin' to her raps during a freestyle session. Ms. Cherry's style is hardcore in the true sense of hip hop; for the old school knowledgeable, think Cool G Rap or C.L. Smooth-type hard. No guns, no threatening people's kids, just pure rhyming. And this is her biggest strength in the world of rap.
MP3 download: "Smoke Me Out"
"I feel like I'll make it, because there's not a lot of people doing what I'm doing," she said in a recent issue of Ozone. "There's female rappers, but they're more like 'Lil Kim - sexy with it. They just kinda talkin' about what they can do in the bedroom or whatever."
While she rocks a style that is a variation of the neo b-boy look of the thugged out street brother, she still has that crazysexycool, she's still a woman. "When I was little, I used to be more of a tomboy. Today I might have on a li'l top or whatever, but you'll never see me in some Lil Kim shit, for real. That ain't really something that I'm thinkin' about. That's just how I am.
[MusicDish] Do you think it's harder for a woman to be taken seriously in the music industry?
Ms. Cherry Oh, always. I could be having a regular conversation with somebody, and they're still gonna be like, "So, whassup?" They supposed to be a promoter or whatever and they always tryin' to talk to me. A lot of people will be like, "You need to be more sexy," or, "You need to do this" but other people will say, "Don't let nobody change you. Just be you. You can make it just being yourself."
Being herself is what it's all about in a music world where people are all concerned about images and marketing and fitting in to get paid. Don't get the impression she's like a B-girl that hides it all under wraps. After all, her full on moniker is "Ms. Cherry, the Lady Pimp." When pressed for the 411 of her game she laughs. "Oh, you tryin' to put me out there! Well ... I learned from my momma. My momma could talk a man into anything. I hang with a lot of guys, so I get to see a lot of stuff that the average females don't get to see. I take their game and just flip it on their ass. The stuff they'll tell a regular female is the same stuff I tell niggas, and I have them doing whatever I want 'em to do. That's all it is, really. I just take the stuff I learned from them and use it on them. (I get) whatever I want. Jewelry, money, cars, rental cars. Anything." Ya, heard? All is fair in the game if you're Ms. Cherry.
MP3 download: "Wassup"
[MusicDish] What's it like being the first lady of Atlanta rap?
Ms. Cherry I ain't sayin' I'm the first, I let other people like you talk about. I don't get into all of that, because when you say you the first, then can get people heated or whatever. I only say I'm the first lady of Streetwize and let it go at that.
"It's Whatever" is so strong that Laila Ali, the pro fighting daughter of "The Greatest," used it as her theme song and entrance music for a recent bout, a fight where she opened up a Costco sized can of whup-ass on her sad sack opponent. The song literally comes from real life.
Ms. Cherry explains, "I went in the club and saw this girl, and me and her ain't never been friends. I already know I don't like her, so I go to the other side of the club tryin' to do my thing. Basically, she came over and tried to act like she was dancing with a guy but she was bumping into me. Next thing you know, it all broke out. I'm like, 'Bitch, you know me, and you know how I get down, so don't try that shit in the club just cause you got some folks in here! You'll still get your ass whupped, just like you would if we was at school. Don't play me, you know?' That's how the song started out."
MP3 download: "Deception"
While beefs and threats of violence are tried and true ways to kick up some promotional dust in the rap game, Ms. Cherry and the Streetwize Crew are a bit more savvy. Besides having her song played to thousands of fight fans, Ms. Cherry is appearing at the Urban Network Conference in Palm Springs, California on April 1, 2005. After that she will be launching a sixteen city promotional tour for the about Rhythm and Streets, which is on sale now. Catch Ms. Cherry now so you can brag about how you down with her from way back in 2005. For more information, check Ms. Cherry's website at www.ms-cherry.com and find the fire where the blunt smoke comes from.
Ms. Cherry's Rhythm & Streetz Album In Stores Now!
Available soon online at streetwizerecordz.com