Signif is a dope emcee and her brand new album Friction is 13 tracks of pure dopeness. I like Signif because she is herself. I don’t really find myself making comparisons to other rappers when listening to her music (and that’s a good thing). She’s unique, hardworking and represents the culture with integrity.
Rawroots.com chats to Signif about her latest project and on her place in the industry.
Tell us about your new album, Friction…
Friction is my new album and it’s about the conflicts people face, or have faced when dealing with life on a day to day, I played off the ‘Friction’ title, because even though I live and practice a peaceful way of living and thinking, I’m still faced with a good amount of opposition, so I wanted to address some of those situations.
On this project I made sure to approach views from a young girl’s eye on certain songs, which is something I can obviously relate to. I wanted to give young women and little girls a voice and a chance to see the world from our eyes. There are too many black girl (or women for that matter) lost songs from men and I think that’s sad. You’re constantly beating women over the head but you would never know what it’s like to be a woman, just like women will never know what it’s like to be a man. It would be nice if the men would talk to the young boys and men, instead of constantly beating women over the head on what you think they should be. The inspiration behind the album was to share some of my views that may have been misconstrued from previous works, also to keep the listeners engaged on my different perspectives to certain social issues, and to have fun of course. The cover art is more rebel/renegade style. I am a Black woman is America so I’m faced with a lot of double standards and stereo types, that’s what the art work symbolizes, also hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil are the gestures I’m making in the pictures well.
How did you choose the features?
I came up with the idea of having all female features on the album but that plan didn’t work out, I wanted to collab with a few female emcees but we had to go another route. I wrote down some names of some of the artists who I felt would fit into the theme of the music I was making for this album and we started reaching out, simple as that. Elzhi was the well known emcees on the list but other known names were on the list as well.
What was it like working with Elzhi?
We did the verses via email so I didn’t get to work with him in the lab but the process was still cool. Elzhi came through and didn’t give me a half-assed verse so I’m extremely pleased and honored to have this recorded with him.
Do you feel that you face a lot of ‘friction’ within the industry? In what ways?
I do feel I face a lot of friction within the industry and in life in general. In the industry people are resistant to listen, not knowing what to expect and when they do like it they lump me in a class with the only 3 or 4 female emcee that get coverage at this time who I sound nothing like and don’t even touch on the same topics as these women so it’s like WTF every time. Then the other people who think I should dress or look a certain way.
How do you keep the LOVE of the art at the forefront?
By just living life and not giving in or falling for the hype.
Does Milwaukee have much of a hip hop scene? How does it differ from other states?
It has one; I’m not sure what the stance is at this point. The younger crowd is moving in and I’m not hearing too much from the people who where once involved in the scene. Milwaukee differs from other cities because the scene is smaller and not diverse at all.
How do you feel about rappers who do not write their own rhymes?
These types of people don’t still exist, do they? There is nothing wrong with bouncing ideas from time to time but if you’re putting out a whole album full of Hip Hop songs I hope you’re the captain of that ship, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Different strokes for different folks I guess…
Have you ever considered compromising your values to get further ahead?
Never. I have been pulled into different directions on how I should brand or market myself and my music but if you’re not investing into my product those opinions go in one ear and out the other. People are quick to criticize with no valuable solutions in sight. I will not compromise my art to appease anyone.
Rapper hate labels and the fact that people always feel the need to put fit them into a box. If you HAD to choose one label/stereotype for yourself…what would it be?
“Righteous”. I put my morals and ethics up front before I make decisions so I’m cool with that label.
What’s the ultimate goal?
To continue to grow, learn, and to continue to be happy.
What else can we expect from you over the coming months?
Proper visuals, I made sure to release this album in a more professional manor and I want to do the same with the visuals, so we can get the proper placements if the opportunity presents itself. I’m also working on other musical aspirations I have, which I feel I will have a breakthrough soon because I’m feeling inspired.