When you’re in the minority, you get judged harder because you stand out, you also get easy props from a crowd, and it skews things. The first time I ever DJ’d in a club, I was terrible, but I had all these girls shaking my hand and going wild – it freaked me out! I threw down at De La Soul in Newport – I did such a basic set and got a massive cheer – it feels false and takes away some of the drive and ambition to be better, to train harder. It also doesn’t help as it can cause resentment from the bboys.
Painting is different to breaking and MCing, because you’re not putting your physical self out there (unless you’re in hotpants, but that’s a-WHOLE-nother topic…). Painting is a social thing for me – I vibe off other people – we don’t need a crowd, we just create. Friendships are formed with people who you trust and who you can let loose and be yourself with. I’ve found these friendships with both guys and girls in hip-hop, but I’ve kept the links over time with more girls – because I am one.
A lot of people say we shouldn’t separate male and female for events, making female only events, as it’s excluding people. In a way I do agree, but I have seen the benefit of events such as Femme Fierce, and the B-Girl competitions I’ve been to, in giving confidence to females to represent, and making links with other women who are into hip-hop. I’ve never run a ‘women only’ hip-hop event. I have however run events that try and address the huge imbalance that I see in our culture, where pretty much all the role models are guys.
We need to support one another and encourage girls to get involved in hip-hop, because we need more strong female role models. Male and female are nothing without the other, and a party’s much more fun when there’s a good mix of boys and girls… particularly if they’re all repping HARD!