Openly lesbian Georgia emcee, 706Nix, talks rap inspirations, holding it Down For the ladies, standing out in the industry, and how not sexing up her image effects her career as a female hip hop artist.
How long have you been rapping and what influenced you to aspire for a career as a female emcee?
I’ve been rapping for as long as I can remember. It started off as just a hobby where I’d write rhymes and recite them to my friends in class at school or at home. Listening to so much music as a kid, I think the skill may have developed from that. The influence to take it more serious came from one of my closest friends, Nick. He was very influential in my development as a song writer/artist. Before, I was just writing battle-like rhymes with long verses without hooks in between. Nick introduced me to songs from some major artists and had me study the way they broke down songs into 16 bar verses and hooks, and also the subject matter or concepts.
What type of rapper would you say you are trap music? Gangsta rap? You definitely have a southern appeal…
I am southern, so that is a given. But to categorize, I would just say I make Life Music. I just can’t put myself in a box and say I make this or that type of music. Anyone who has followed me on this journey would know that I am a very versatile artist, but the real life story is always there no matter what.
What was the first track you recorded?
The very first track I recorded was a song called “Who Am I. On that track I was explaining that sometimes I’m good, sometimes I’m bad. Sometimes I care, sometimes I don’t. The hook was just me repeatedly saying “Who am I? An angel in disguise. Who am I? A devil in disguise.” That still applies to the person I am today. It comes across in my music. I’m human and I go through emotions just like the next person. I put it all out on the table through song.
How have you grown lyrically since then?
“Who I Am,” is one of those tracks that I go back and listen to sometimes and realize how skilled I was as a writer. I had a long way to go with confidence and delivery in my vocals, but the writing skills have always been there.
So when did it get serious like on a professional level?
About four of five years ago. when I linked up with Dj Eaazee from 3riple 2ouble Ent, her team and I clicked, That’s when the business side kicked in.
So who were some of your inspirations coming up? What female emcee’s do you rock out too?
I grew up listening to the Atlanta legends like Raheem, Kilo, and similar artists. Later on more hardcore artists like 8Ball & MJG, Scarface, and then that whole No Limit era also. High school is when i was introduced to East Coast artists such as Jay-Z, Nas, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, etc. My favorite female emcee is Remy Ma. However, I love Da Brat, Mia X, Rah Digga, Shawnna, Nicki Minaj, Eve, and Trina. But Remy was the one female rapper that had me really wanting and needing to step it up with the bars.
What do you think makes you different from other female rappers in the game such as Nicki Minaj, Banji, or Eve?
First off, the obvious difference would be my appearance. Outside of that, I think every artist has their own uniqueness. We are all different in some way, shape, form, or fashion. We all come from different places with our own stories to tell.
On “Right Here” you rap about holding it down for your girl, as a lesbian woman do you think that the industry is ready for an openly gay female emcee?
I honestly don’t know. But I can say when my stars align, they better be ready.
Does your sexuality make it harder for you to pursue your career, since you were going against the image most female emcees have?
I won’t say it makes it harder for me to pursue a career in the rap industry, because I never let the image issue stop me from being who I am. I’m doing what I love, so take it or leave it. It won’t stop me from making good music. I know my image plays a very big part in why I have to go a hundred times as hard as the next aspiring artist. It’s a slow process, but a lot of people are starting to accept that there are gays in the world who are super talented. If not me, hopefully I can inspire more people like me, male or female to be themselves and feel comfortable while doing what they love to do. Be you!
The fact that you are open about being a lesbian is quite unique to the hip-hop industry. Did you ever feel like you wanted to hide your sexual identity because of the way you look or dress?
There was never a time where I wanted to hide what I was. There was a point where I had to realize that there are a lot of young children who come across hip-hop one way or another. If you listen to my music, without knowing who or what I am, it would just sound like an artist talking about their situation whether male, female, older, younger, gay, or straight. Everyone would be able to relate to it without being boxed in to this one little category.
On “Motivation,” you rap about being dedicated to your career and passion, how long have you been rapping?
I have been doing this since I was a kid. I think as time moves on, I realize more and more each day that I really have a rare gift that only a chosen few are blessed with. Sometimes I go back and listen to my music and think to myself “Where does this come from?” The fact that I can write so effortlessly just blows my mind sometimes and makes me think I was born to do this. I can’t take that lightly.
Who would love to work with in the near future?
I want to work with more indie artists. I’ve come across a few that I really enjoy listening to and would like to do some work with if I haven’t already. The majors are doing their thing already. I want to work with the ones that are still hungry like myself.
What do you want your fans to know about you that they cannot find out from your music?
Wow. I think everything I want out there is pretty much laid out in the music. That’s a hard question. lol
What’s next for 706nix? Do you have an album coming out, or tour?
Next up will be my new single and video “Special.” It’s really smooth joint that I think everyone will love. This summer I will hit the road to promote my upcoming project “The McKnight Files.” My single “Motivation” is available right now on iTunes and other digital retail sites also.
706nix is dropping her new mixtape “The McKnight Files,” summer 2013.
Check out new music from Nikki at her website: www.706nix.com.