Everyone knows no new rapper worth his salt would dare make his debut without the customary, completely unfounded “I’m better than anybody in the business, you can’t touch me, the world ain’t ready for me” introduction. That’s what Fire (Rap Version) is. It’s a concert pianist daring to say, “Look world, I’m here, I’m switching it up, I dare you to compare me to anybody.” But what you really want to know is what the heck am I doing rapping in the first place. Keeping with the vein of candor I’ve been running with in these posts, I can tell you it wasn’t supposed to happen, at least not according to my plan. As much as I like the genre of rap and as crazy as I am about female rappers, I had no real intentions of becoming one. After the devastation of having my other project put on ice, I went about exploring other opportunities and came across a competition whose prize was to open for Drake, the Rap/Pop star. My plan was to enter the competition using my Paganini Project electronic music but the rules specifically stated that there had to be vocals. I’m not being modest when I tell you that I cannot sing, so that wasn’t an option. Then the bright idea hit me to try and see if I could rap. I literally locked myself in the guest bedroom for some hours and came up with “I’m gonna give it to ya”, a rap to go over one of my Pag Proj beats. I didn’t win the competition but I think I can safely say the dragon was unleashed. Still yet, I had no plans to make use of my newfound talent. But later, when I made the decision to make PWF, I also decided to challenge myself to show off this new skill and not keep it in the closet. In the end, looking back, it really shouldn’t surprise me or anyone else that I’m rapping. I’ve always loved rhythm, I’ve always loved vocabulary and speaking and Missy Elliott so it’s a pretty natural progression to rap. I was even already getting some undercover practice in by coming up with nursery rhymes on the spot for my son. Be forewarned, rapping is so addictive, I find myself rhyming things all the time, to my husband’s chagrin. So what now? I have a few ideas. I will tell you that Fire song (as my son calls it) most likely won’t be the last.
In the cover art, I was looking for an image that conveyed power, ferocity with a hint of playfulness. Todd, who was integral to producing the track, will tell you I smile while rapping and you can hear it. The last thing I wanted to do was try to look “gangsta”, but I did want to display a bit of edge and intensity. So I used my “Uncle Sam” pic times three, overlaid it with flames and blurred the edges to make it appear as though I was walking out of fire. It’s saying, “I’m coming to get you, not stopping into soon, you better run! ” In the liner notes, I tell a story that puts on display our more innocent prejudices when it comes to Classical music and who should be playing it.