ROUGE | HIP HOP HERSTORY

ROUGE

Q: What first led to your passion for music?

A: I think it's one of those things that God has put in me from day 1. I can't remember a time when I wasn't singing or dancing to music. It has always been apart of me from day one. I haven't turned my back on it since.

Q: What made you fall in love with hip hop?

A: After I heard the miseducation of Lauryn Hill I was sold on this genre; it wasn't really my thing before until I heard her take on it - from the rapping to the storytelling and the musicality. Till now, it's still my guide in my projects.

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Q: What are some of your first memories as a hip hop artist in the South African industry?

A: The first time I met Reason, he’s the first star to give me a shot. He was so nice to me and him and Kool Out gave me my first booking straight after, I knew I had a friend in Reason since. I'm loyal to him always. And ofcourse my first encounter with the second star to give me a chance, AKA, after my set he came up to me and told me I gave it my all and I was something special...  And here I am now. He played a massive role in my growth and reach and for that I will always respect him and support him. And lastly the late Prokid... I lost a rap competition and he told me not to quit to keep pushing through. I’ll never forget that. May he rest in peace.

Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a woman within hip hop?

A: The same as any women in any other field, from less pay and lack of acceptance from my male counterparts. The expectations of offering myself to blow, you name it. Mainly, the lack of respect at work compared to my male counterparts. I'm a Diva for wanting my set a certain way but the men are professional.

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Q: Which women in hip hop, both musically and behind the scenes, are you inspired by?

A: Mainly Lauryn Hill. She will always be the goal, as well Lady Leshurr from the UK.

Q: When and what can we expect from your next project? Who are you working with, what is the creative direction behind it and what does it mean to you?

A: I don't want to divulge my features because that is such an exciting part of this project that I want to surprise people with. In terms of the creative direction, man it's very musical and there are a lot of African elements in this project. This project is exploring the music I want to make outside of opinions of what I should do to "POP", I've never followed the status quo.

Q: What are your thoughts on the state of SA hip hop currently?

A: It's exciting, especially with how many women are coming out. We will almost be able to create our own festival if they keep shining like this.

Q: Please share more on your role in the #HipHopHerstory campaign and why it was important for you to be a part of it?

A: This was probably one of, if not the most, important festivals to attend to support women in the game. Not just rap wise, from dance, graffiti, beatboxing, you name it. This event showed that we have what it takes to headline shows and do it well. We are bankable and brands and people in general should invest in women more.

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Q: What legacy would you like to leave as an artist?

A: That I did it the right way. I broke down barriers for the next group of women to come in and take over. I was a game changer for women in Hiphop.

Q: What is your hope for future generations of women hip hop artists?

A: That they start owning their careers. The reliance on a put on is no longer a requirement but a perk. You are all capable. If I was able to do it, you can do it even better.

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Q: Which up-and-coming women artists are you excited about locally?

A: There is this girl named Thando from Pretoria. Wow, she is something.

Q: What can we expect from Rouge over the next year?

A: More music, more TV, creating more opportunities for women in the hip hop space and ofcourse just pushing the limits even more for music.