There are two things people tend to know about me:
1) I’m weirdly fascinated and obsessed with sharks.
2) I am massively in love with all things hip hop.
Though she doesn’t fall into the first category (and that’s better because our interview might have had a different outcome), I met an incredible woman who is not only a dope rapper, but she’s got an even doper message. Meet Brooklyn’s Miss Eaves, graphic designer by day, fire-spitting emcee by night. Her video “Aye Girl” has been generating buzz for both her lyrical goodness and entertaining take on a very prevalent issue facing women all over, cat-calling and street harassment. I had the pleasure of talking with Miss Eaves and consider it an honor and privilege to be the first on Thought Catalog to introduce ya’ll. Spoiler alert: I asked her to be my friend and she accepted.
Ari: You’re originally from North Carolina, did you notice a big change in the frequency of cat-calling when you moved to New York? And was there any specific moment that inspired you to write “Aye Girl?”
Miss Eaves: I’ve always experienced cat-calling, but just with nature of living in New York and how much walking takes place, there’s more cat-calling just because of opportunity. Unfortunately, sexism exists everywhere, so though it was on a lesser level when in North Carolina, it was still always present and something on my mind. I try to write music that is honest and truthful to what I’m going through. And when I wrote it (Aye Girl) someone just said something to me and I’d had it.
A: I love the fact that you are so vocal about being a feminist and speaking out on issues that are important to you. Could you speak a little more on the role feminism has played in your life?
M: I’m a very fair person, so I’ve always been someone who seeks out social justice. It’s really upsetting to see women objectified and as we start to age, which is a natural and human thing to do, we get relegated into this category of not relevant and not worthy, and that also really disgusts me. For me, I just always want to write what’s on my mind and be genuine. I think that voice is missing in a lot of music, especially rap music. There are lots of amazing feminist rappers who have incredible messages, but there are also still a lot of female rappers who feel like they have to pander to the male gaze. And I don’t want to do that. I just want to keep making music for women. I want to keep speaking to women about these real things I’m feeling and dealing with and that they can hopefully connect with.
A: It seems the media really likes to portray female rappers as constantly beefing and being pitted against one another. Have you experienced any of this? How has the community been to you?
M: I’m only really competitive with myself. I’m only going to try to top myself, so other women I’m only supportive of. I’m really good friends with another rapper, Clara Bizna$$. We’re with this crew of all girl rappers, DJs, producers, and we all just really support one another. There has been a boys club for so long, we almost need a bit of a girls club to even the playing field. I’m not going to look at another woman competitively simply because she’s a woman and think that she’s going to take some pie that belongs to me, because really there is enough pie for everyone. I can only strive to be better and compete with myself.
A: You’re also a graphic designer. Has art always played an important part in your life?
M: Oh, always! When I turned 5, I started playing piano and then I would start drawing. I’ve always been into art. I’m 100% a working artist. I’m also into photography and run a street style blog called The Every Body Project that showcases women of all different body types, races, and even some Queer-identified men to just show how fly we all are.
A: How did rap enter the picture?
M: I started rapping six years ago when I was in this duo with a guy I was dating at the time. When we broke up, I just wanted to step it up and really show how powerful rap can be as a tool for getting out messages. I started writing raps and doing some of my own beat productions. And as I got my stuff out there, other producers were interested in working with me and it kind of just started snowballing and gaining momentum that way.
A: How would you describe your sound to someone unfamiliar with your work?
M: I rap over a lot of electronic beats. I’m very into dance music. I also talk really fast, so I’d say high energy-fast rap-electro-pop.
A: A little bit of everything. Your music definitely has such a cool, eclectic feel to it. Who are some of your musical influences?
M: I listen to music that spans all across the board. Sia is so incredible as a songwriter and hearing how she writes them. I love Roxanne Shanté, she’s just the original. Her raps are so feminist and amazing. The Gossip, Beth Ditto and how she just really owns herself. I’m really into The Slits, “Ping Pong Affair” is my jam.
A: If a magical genie just came down and said pick your dream collaboration and I’ll make it happen, who would it be?
M: Sia. I don’t even have to think about it. She’s so talented. I feel like I could just learn so much from her from a song writing perspective and I respect her work so much.
A: Let’s put that out into the universe and make it happen.
M: My heart would just stop, honestly.
A: My last, but most important question, do you dance like no one’s watching or dance like who the fuck cares who’s watching?
M: I dance like who the fuck cares. I have a very unique dance move and I don’t care who’s watching, I’m gonna break it down and have fun. My friend the other day said, “You really aren’t embarrassed, are you?” And I said, “Nah, no time to be embarrassed.”
You can check out more of Miss Eaves here
My personal song recommendation: