Tonight, Nitty Scott, MC‘ – “a new school fly girl who isn’t afraid to get down with the cypher” – is playing Webster Hall as part of her “Art Of Chill” tour to celebrate her new album of the same name. I’m so proud to see Nitty spread her message of strength and asserting herself on the stage. On the mic. Amplified!
I met Nitty Scott, MC in 2011, when I was looking for talented emcees to support a show I was putting together at SOB’s with Chile’s Ana Tijoux – who was playing in the US with a band for the first time. The mission of the evening was to bring talent from different scenes and countries together without singling them out for their gender, but instead to celebrate us!
The show was called Fresh Bold So Def Women: Live. The line-up that night was Genesis Be, Nitty Scott, MC, Jasmine Solano and Ana Tijoux. Bonus points: Angel Haze was also on the bill that night but canceled day-of. It was a challenge to promote a Monday night show at the beginning of August with a line-up of women. Women who rapped. Plus a panel before hand? What was I thinking?
Well, the show ended up being really magical. Patty Dukes – an emcee from the Bronx stepped in to host when I didn’t account for that need and rocked it. The panel before hand ended up very well attended and moderated by my mentor Martha Diaz – who leads the Fresh Bold So Def initiative: “a women and gender research and archive project created to empower and cultivate women in Hip-Hop through a social enterprise solution’s model that is both educational and entrepreneurial.”
Panel participants included publicist Fiona Bloom, writer Thembisa Mshaka, artists Genesis Be, Eternia, Nitty Scott, MC, Martha Diaz, Ana Tijoux, Jasmine Solano, Patty Dukes and myself participating. Click on this photo to check out some video of the introductions:
Most important!? We created space that night and saw each other. Read a review from the show here by MTV Iggy:
“Chilean emcee Ana Tijoux headlined a night at SOB’s in New York city appropriately titled “Fresh, Bold, and So Def Women.” All the performers on the bill — Genesis Be (who had and amazing anti-planking rap), Nitty Scott (who was, indeed, so def), and Jasmine Solano (who rhymed over moombahton) — were also ladies, but, as the evening’s host Patty Dukes explained to the young crowd, “It’s not about a femcee tonight. It’s about emcees.””
Ever since that night, I’ve been a fan of Nitty Scott, MC‘s. I was so impressed by her performance, her graciousness, her mixtapes, her merch hustle, her deep inner beauty and courage to tell the truth. She is my type of emcee. She’s an emcee for our daughters. She’s an emcee for a new world, straight up!
I’m honored we’ve had a chance to work together and cross paths since 2011: Nitty’s shared the stage with Los Rakas, I’ve caught her at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, she’s played Hot 97’s “Who’s Next?” showcase alongside Vic Menca, I’ve donated to her cause when she raised money for her “Flower Child” video last year. Basically, I’ve been blessed to see the ascent first-hand as a fan.
We’ve also had a few really touching and memorable conversations on the beautiful struggle that is persisting and telling our truths in the “Entertainment Business.” I thank her for those. Truth is, her music helps me find my own courage to continue through a lot of the bullshit.
Hearing her story unravel feels parallel to mine in some ways. We are different yes, but I’m hearing a peace of mind in her current raps. A focus on the self. On healing. Self-care. Forgiveness. Exploration of the spiritual and ethereal. Themes I find myself gravitating to in my own life.
As I listen to the song “Still I Rise” off newly released, The Art of Chill [COP IT] – I’m reminded why Nitty is so important. In name, the song is a poignant tribute to recently fallen Maya Angelou, but listening closely to the lyrics you hear that it’s a letter to her fallen mother. Nitty admits a dark history she experiences as a child and seeks to forgive her mother for not protecting her. “There’s no need to disguise, you can see it in my eyes.”
Still, we continue rise. Love you Nitty!