It’s not easy for female rap groups or solo artists for that matter. For years we’ve seen them struggle in the game, working hard to try and make girly MCs relevant in today’s hip-hop scene. But the task isn’t easy and as time goes on it gets tougher and tougher for a lady rapper to be taken seriously. So when rumors recently began to swirl in January about the possibility of Jacki-O, Shawnna and Remy Ma coming together to form the ultimate female rap collective, heads took notice.
No music has leaked yet and details about the unnamed group have been sketchy but word is the girls have already been in the studio. So xxlmag.com decided to check in with the Madame of Miami, Jacki-O, one third of new all-star trio about female artists getting along and why hip-hop needs a boost of girl power. It's a group thang, ya'll.
So how did you, Remy Ma and Shawnna come up with the idea to form a group?
I had been working on my album and its been so much negativity to female rappers and artists about us not being able to work together and we all beefing and all that, which are totally lies and rumors or whatever. I just start being cool with Remy on the phone. I had put some feelings out to a guy named Dre, [who] works over at Violator [and he] hooked us up. He knew her people and he gave her my number. She called me and we kinda vibed for a couple weeks, just talking and getting to know each other and we became cool. I had a birthday party in November, she flew down at her own expense and helped me celebrate my birthday and we just started getting into the studio and we found ourselves not knocking out one song but knocking out a couple songs. So we were like, “You know what? It would be cool if we did an album together.” And she was like, “Yeah, I was thinking it would be cool if did an album together!” I said, “You know what would be even cooler? If we did a group!” Then we started thinking who we was going to get in this group. I was like, “Well, I’m from Miami, you’re from New York [but] what about Shawnna?” So we talked to Shawnna and it was a wrap.
Have any songs been recorded?
Together, we have about seven, eight songs together. I recorded songs here [in Miami] and I’ll do my verse, and then I’ll MP3 it to Shawnna. She’ll do her verse and then she’ll MP3 it, then she has songs that…you can’t really say eight songs. You can say more than that because we’re just working.
Have ya’ll singed to any label yet?
Not at all. There are a lot of labels that are definitely interested. We just haven’t really entertained and sat down and talked to them. We are really hoping for a spring or summer release but we're just working. The buzz is building and we definitely want to have this album complete. The ball is definitely rolling.
So what’s that name of this super group?
We have a couple names. We just haven’t really decided on which one we was looking for that would definitely define all three of us and what it is that we’re doing.
What are some of the names that ya’ll have been throwing out there?
I don’t really want to say because I don’t want any of them to spit. We have about three or four names that we really like, but we don’t want to go with any of them as of yet ’cause we figure like the name would just come to us. The name we really decide on, it would just have to come to us instead of kinda making it.
How does this project differ from each of your guys solo projects?
For one, it’ll be a unity sort of feel. It will be all of us together. It’ll be that movement, the same thing that us guys have. When you look at the guys and you see the success they had in the business, no one person has done it by themselves. They all kinda worked together and created what they have and this will definitely be a little of that but we are, no one has seen our full potential. We’ve all put out records but there’s so much more to us. People don’t know that we sing. People don’t know that we co-produce. People don’t know we do a lot of different things and we haven’t had the opportunity to show people what we can do because of the way our albums came out. They came out under the thumb of men, you understand? Not taking anything from that because those were opportunities to help us get to where we are right now but now that we at this point we need to show the world that we have a lot more to offer. Like, we have so many other things that we can do and that’s how this album will differ from our last albums.
Will there be any male input on the album?
Other than production, I don’t know. We definitely have production from men, but most of our features we definitely want to be woman features. We are so serious about giving woman the opportunity to reap some of the success. We really feel like woman in general need this. So we’re not doing it for ourselves, we doing it for hip-hop, too. Like, we need this.
What producers you guys working with?
I got a couple producers that happened to work with me on my album that work through my production. We got a guy that works with Remy. Shawnna has her people, so we just working. There are no big name people that we’ve sat down and worked with yet, and we’re not saying it wont be, it just not as of yet. We definitely welcome the opportunity but it hasn’t of yet.
Do you think a female group be successful in hip-hop today?
Yes. I think anything is possible, I have to go into this thinking positive. I don’t, there’s no room for doubts. There no rooms for “what ifs.” Right now we thinking this is something that is needed and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get it to that point.
It seems like you and group mate Remy share a common thread. You both have said that ya’ll don’t like Khia...
I don’t dislike her because I don’t know her. I never had the opportunity to meet her so I never sat down and worked with her. I never met her, never had a conversation with her. I just don’t like the way she is—the way she’s trying to promote herself through negativity. I think that’s totally wrong. That’s what I don’t like.
What about Foxy Brown? Remy has expressed disdain towards her and you and her were even engaged in an altercation.
Well [with the] Foxy situation, she brought that on herself. It was never that I don’t like Foxy ’cause Foxy stepped on my shoe. It was never nothing like that. That was a situation where Foxy [was] disrespectful and as an outcome, we’re not friends. I dislike the person that she portrays herself to be. I don’t know her. I never met her, well, I’ve met her but never sat down to talk to her. I don’t know anything about her so I can’t say I don’t like her. Right now what we’re trying to do is throw all that stuff out the window. All of that old beefing stuff has gotten none of us anywhere. If Foxy was in a position where she wanted to work, let’s work. The best war is having your enemy become your ally. And that’s how you win a war.
So are you extending an invitation to Foxy?
I’m not extending anything! What I’m saying is if they were to come to the party, we would not send them away. I’m not extending anything.