Rah Digga is an inspiring woman to say the least. I was truly honored to speak with her and to hear first-hand what her journey in Hip Hop has been like. Most of the time we hear the ‘now’, not understanding the path that has led people to where they are today. I was excited, and little nervous talking to a legend, so I figured we would get right into the interview.
What some people don’t know is Rah Digga came into the music industry through Q-Tip. I asked how she got this opportunity, and how long had she been rapping prior to that encounter. She explained that Q-Tip was remixing the Outsiders single and she happened to be in the studio. At the time, Digga was pregnant, but was still grinding and trying to land a record deal before her due date. She rapped for Q-Tip, and as they say ‘the rest was history’; he immediately signed her. Amazed at her motivation, I asked Rah Digga if she was nervous talking to Q-Tip. She said since she knew her baby was coming any day, and she wasn’t going to stop until she got signed. There were no questions or other options.
Rah Digga has been rapping since she was in elementary school. Inspired by pioneers like Roxanne Shante, it was no surprise that her life was about Hip Hop. What makes Rah Digga one of my favorite rappers is her love for her community, so it’s only right that her community loves her back. Rah Digga has been rewarded the key to the city in her hometown in New Jersey. Before we got more into her community service, I really wanted to know what motivated Rah Digga to make music. She explained that listening to the music her parents played and seeing it used as samples connected and resonate with her. She also saw how Roxanne Shante would out-rap all the other MCs and was inspired to remix one of her songs. I asked whether or not she still had a copy of the remix; She laughed and said although it would be a treat, “the tape is lost to the universe”.
We then spoke on the industry and how it’s changed in the new millennium. Digga said she believes multiple facets have changed about the industry. The artists, A & R’s, the Internet, etc. She explained how Hip Hop was something that belonged to the neighborhoods which had a certain magic about it. Once the corporations took over, that magic was gone. More importantly, the rules of Hip Hop are not respected like they once were. Certain things would simply not be allowed like they are now. However, Rah does respect the rules of the game, and understands their role in making Hip Hop bigger. The business side of Hip Hop is the way it is. In this reporters opinion, this is what separates the Rookies from the Queens. The ability to flex and adapt to the changes in climate and not allow nuances to stop her flow.
We then talked about what would be considered as some of Rah Digga’s most important work; her work within the community. From her involvement with the New Jersey Dance Network, to creating Cultural Enrichment programs, such as Hip Hop history 101. With the support of the Mayor of New Jersey, Digga’s goal is to supply youth a way to hone their talent and give them something to do, rather than being bored. This is extremely important for Rah Digga and is something she prioritizes over all.
Before we parted, we spoke about the future. I was happy to hear that Rah Digga doesn’t think she’ll EVER retire as an MC. She said she might not be in the “music industry” but she’ll always make music. She feels rap is a sport and isn’t going to stop any time soon. At the moment, Rah Digga has a lot of projects in the works: including an EP where she’s rapping over house beats, another project with a live band, and an album with legendary producers like Oh No from the West Coast. Rah expressed she really wanted to get her hands on an Alchemist’s beat, but so far they keep missing each other. Let’s face it, we all want that collab to happen!
Although Rag Digga said she wishes she was more consistent with her album releases, Her main goal is the success of her community workshops. I personally think she is making up for it with all of the dope music she’s been dropping lately; like her latest singles “Angela Davis” and “Storm Commin’ ft. Chuck D”.
To that, I thanked her for her time and on behalf of SHEmovement wished her the best and all the positive vibes in the world.
Music: Rah Digga Music
Friday, 07 November 2014 00:00 Written by Mana Eini