In the autumn-like temperatures of Germany and Croatia, Rah Digga’s been performing overseas, gearing up for the release of her sophomore album, Classic. Ten years have passed since Rah’s solo debut, Dirty Harriet, dropped, and, after all that time, most thought she was gone for good. However, the former femme fatale of the Flipmode Squad has returned. This time, she’s an entity all her own.
Don’t call it a comeback, though. As the dictionary defines it, that would mean the New Jersey native is making a return to her former position or condition. According to Rah Digga’s connotation, she insists she’s never dropped her position; the streets have been supporting her throughout the last decade. She’s still the same Rah, just with better rhymes that have progressed over time. The rapper wants to showcase those, sans the collaborators on the Nottz-produced album, which drops September 14. “I think it’s wack when artists rely on whoever is poppin’ at the moment to sell their album,” she confesses. “I will have some remixes with some of my personal favorite artists though.”
Rah Digga took time out of her overseas gallivanting and performing to discuss the current state of female rap, whether or not she keeps in touch with her Flipmode Squad brethren, and the title of a new movie she’s creating. After finding out what she really means by “movie,” it’s apparent Rah could give Chelsea Handler a run for her money.
1. Ten years have passed between the first album and the second. Has your sound or substance changed in the last 10 years?
Nothing has changed. I’m still the deep voice, straight spittin’ chick people know me to be. I would say my rhymes have gotten better with age.
2. Please share a track from your album, how it came about, and what it means to you.
The first single, “This Ain’t No Lil’ Kid Rap,” is a concept that came to me as soon as I heard the beat. I have been in the music business for a very long time and my real fans are a little older now. I’m sure they can appreciate me being true to myself instead of worrying about keeping up with trends.
3. Do you still keep in touch with the Flipmode Squad?
We speak periodically but we are all moving differently so we don’t really see each other except for weddings and funerals. Typical family stuff. I don’t think it’s better or worse. It’s just on to the next. I wish everyone the best.
4. Are there any new artists that you are into right now?
I really like J. Cole and I love Janelle Monáe. I love her swag and as a person that listens to the lyrics first and foremost the girl can spit better than some actual rappers [laughs]. J. Cole is just a beast.
5. How do you feel about the state of female rap right now–the new talent, their image, and portrayal of the image in society?
I don’t pay attention to anyone’s image. I pay attention to if they can rhyme or not. I support all women in this game and whatever portrayals they give off, they and they alone will have to live with them. The only female rapper I can listen to repeatedly is myself [laughs].
6. Hip-hop is universal. Where in the world, besides the United States, have you felt the most love performing?
I’m going to say everywhere besides the United States. I show up to any international venue and they want to make sure I’m performing “Straight Spittin’” or my Premo track [the DJ Premier-produced “Lessons of Today”]. It’s crazy how much hard hitting hip-hop and lyrics are important to them and they don’t even speak the language. Hip-hop music really is the universal language. Over here [in the US], it’s more about whoever has the hot record at the moment.
7. You acted in Carmen in 2001, with Beyoncé. If you could play a role in any movie, released or unreleased, what would it be?
I’m making my own movie right now. Sophomore Album (10 Years Later). Does she still have it? No crew, no features. Who knew? Then I’ll actually direct it and edit it myself [laughs].
8. You’re making a comeback. What other female rapper do you wish would make a comeback?
I’m not making a comeback [because] there’s never been any doubt where I stand as far as lyrical ratings go. Doesn’t matter how long I’ve been away; people been still bogging about me through the ages. All the females can come back for all I care. The more the merrier!
9. What is one unpleasant moment in your career that if you could do over, you would do it differently?
I don’t regret anything except probably not putting out more music for my real fans. I just stopped altogether because I got tired of major label nonsense, but I made really good use of my downtime. This album is definitely going to make up for all of that and then some.
10. Do you have any advice to the up and coming female MC’s out there?
Stay true to yourself ladies. If you just be yourself from the jump and gain fans that way you will have a career for the rest of your life. If you let yourself become a product of your label you are numbering your days.