As a fan of hip-hop, I always supported the female MC, their style, charisma, and their lyrical talent. But as the years go by, I see the MC falling short and becoming nothing more than a rapper who relies only on image to sell a record, especially in an industry that is ran by men. At the same time, any upcoming young woman and/or girl would look at this dilemma and ask themselves, “Is this who I really wanna be?”
Yesterday, I was introduced Shylise “Shay-Nutt” Simpson, a Los Angeles hip-hop artist who not only showcases fresh new female talent, but empowers them as well. She is the founder of Underground Girls of Hip-Hop, creator of the Power in Pink Mentoring Program, and the presenter of the 2nd Annual Female Hip-Hop Honors.
“The Underground Girls of Hip-Hop was founded to empower young women that is into hip-hop,” Shylise explains. “It was made to unify and give a platform to expose talent, from independent to girls who are already on the mainstream. The Power in Pink Mentoring Program is a spinoff that was created at Crenshaw High School and it was made to utilize entertainment and convert it into mentoring. Learning different concepts such as etiquette, learning the business, and so forth.”
When asked the question of who are the hottest acts on the UGG site, she said it is hard to say who the best acts are because they all bring their own vibe, but she did mention some upcoming MCs such as Miss Nana, Asia Lynn, Pink Dollaz, Candy Red and a girl by the name of Young Lyric, an 11-year-old who is a beast by what she tells me.
As a presenter of the 2nd Annual Female Hip-Hop Awards, she is ecstatic. “It is a long time coming,” she says. “I believe that it’s necessary. It has to happen for females in order to get recognition.” The honorees of this event are pioneer Roxanne Shante, Suga T, and Shawnna. “Roxanne, being a pioneer,” she starts. “She was one of the first female MCs who paved the way for the Minajs of today. Suga T is a Bay Area MC who took her celebrity status and mentored young girls, making opportunities for them, and Shawnna….she’s just a lyrical beast!”
Shylise understands that the industry is male dominated and goes into the reason of what female artists are lacking in in order to succeed in the game. “What is lacking today is unity.” She explains. We need to become a unit and be supportive of each other. That’s the first thing we need to do to take control of the industry. Secondly, be who you are! Stop being molded and formed into someone else. Yes, this is male dominated. You have to maintain a certain image in order to sell records. If you’re not a Nicki Minaj of the world, You don’t do that. And that’s why UGG was made.”
Shylise will always remain a proud supporter of hip-hop. “N.W.A. made me fall in love with hip-hop,” she says. “As a matter of fact, hip-hop made me fall in love with hip-hop. I have a love for the craft and being able to create and develop your own craft, of course you’re gonna have a love for it! It about opening a door and finding your own way to express yourself.”
Click the image above for more on the Power of Pink Mentoring Program, the Underground Girls of Hip-Hop and the spectacular talent.
Be sure to grab your tickets for the 2nd Annual Female Hip-Hop Honors on 5/21! Hosted by Melanie Camarcho!