I have never been so happy to sweat so profusely in a smelly basement as I was last weekend when I saw Solo Sexx, a Massachusetts-based female rap duo, perform at the Cantab Lounge in Central Square in Cambridge. I felt so empowered by their spirited performance that by the end of their set, I was ready to tear off my bra and burn it right there on the dance floor.
Female rappers are… rare. Being a solo act, as opposed to accompaniment, is even rarer. With the exception of pioneering female emcees such as Queen Latifah, Lil’ Kim, Lauryn Hill, and Salt n Pepa, as well as some more modern lady emcees like Missy Elliott, Jean Grae, Nicki Minaj and Remy Martin, rap and hip-hop have been predominantly male scenes since the first days of the genre. A lot of the mainstream criticism of rap has been its frequent objectification of women, and in more recent years, the provocative portrayal of women in music videos.
As one who is a big fan of the genre, even though I gravitate heavily towards underground hip-hop, I sometimes find it difficult to relate to the music I love because the only women in the music are the women they talk about in the songs. While this does not diminish my affection or enjoyment of the music, I still have a great unfulfilled desire to hear music written and performed by women who are not afraid to express themselves in a music scene that is widely considered dismissive of women.
The ladies of Solo Sexx, Heather and Julie, are two very talented women blessed with the gifts of good rhythm and a way with words. They are not afraid to be themselves, to perform as exuberantly as possible, to interact with the audience, and especially to make you sweat. They write great rhymes and make beats that are reminiscent of old school rap from the early nineties. As they say so eloquently in our interview, they strive to “give permission” for other women to not be afraid to let go and have fun and to embrace being a woman.
Prior to their performance at the Cantab Lounge, the two lovely ladies of Solo Sexx and their DJ, Slim Tim, chatted with me about their music, their activism for the legalization of marijuana, about empowering women, and many other things, as you will see in our interview below.
For the first time since its inception, The First Act will present the interview to you in the form of a video, filmed by the talented Rick Desilets. As is always my esteemed honor with this column, it gives me great pride to introduce you, dear readers, to Solo Sexx. Enjoy.
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Matia Guardabascio is a proud citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in both English and French Literature. As the daughter of a musician and a school teacher, Matia grew up in a musical household with parents who made a concerted effort to instill in her the value and importance of the arts. She is a music enthusiast, an avid reader, a writer of prose and poetry, a traveler, and an enthusiastic imbiber of red wine. The piano is her favorite instrument, followed by the drums, and she loves Impressionist artwork, especially because she doesn’t need to wear her glasses to see what’s going on. That’s right, the glasses are not for show. She wears tri-focals because she reads too much, or as her good friends might say, she actually 80-years-old.