SISTER SWANS: Bless Roxwell

Bless Roxwell
Hip Hop Artist/Poet/Blogger

bless roxwell

Sister Swan

1.   What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on multiple projects. I am a Hip Hop artist so I am in the process of writing and recording my 4th project, a free mixtape for download for my music fans, I am writing the blog “She’s So Fresh” Fridayz where I profile a different woman in Hip Hop every Friday with the focus on female MC’s in particular and that’s on on friday during the day and then it goes up on my blog, on Friday evening.  I’m also gearing up for the “She’s So Fresh” Showcase on 8/6/2009 featuring an all female MC lineup.

2.   What book(s) are you reading right now?
I just finished reading an amazing book that inspired me so much called “Put Your Dreams First, Handle Your Entertainment Business” by this powerful, truthful sista, you may know her…;-). I also just recently finished “The Witch of Portobello” by Paulo Coehlo.

3.   Share something you do for work that’s harder than it looks.
I would have to say writing and performing. There’s this perception that if you want to be an MC all you have to do is write something that rhymes and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is thought and effort that go into writing something that bounces for 3:30, makes people want to groove to it, purchase it, support it, AND has the longevity to stick to the wall and stand out. Not to mention commanding the audience, interacting them and convincing them that, even though they haven’t heard you on the radio or haven’t heard of you period, you’re still worth listening to. Getting up onstage in front of X amount of people (b/c it varies widely) and showing and proving that you have the skills and deserve to be up there taking up the listeners time, is no easy task. And I think people SERIOUSLY underestimate how hard it is for any artist, let alone a woman MC fighting to be heard and respected in the “Boy’s Club” that is Hip Hop.

4. Describe a moment of sweet vindication.
I honestly don’t know if I’ve had that moment yet. I feel in my spirit that it is coming b/c there is a renewed interest in the woman MC but it has yet to manifest itself on a level that I would say feels to me like vindication. Still waiting… 

5.   What’s the most dangerous aspect of the waters you navigate?
I’d have to say it’s making sure I don’t get pigeonholed and/or or labeled the “man-hater” as a way to cut my power in this “Boy’s Club”. I love my man, my brother and all the other amazing brothers that support me and my efforts. And I’m always willing to work with brothers that are respectful to women, I’m even willing to educate the ones that aren’, but there are some folks that will straight up tell other people, “don’t deal with her, she’s hates men” and to a man, that may be offensive and may actually keep that man from working with me. Those that know me, they know that’s not true but if you don’t know me and see me doing so much to promote women, it may be easy to believe. But the reality of my philosophy is you don’t have to fall for me to rise, and vice versa. Life is about balance and the ancient Chinese knew that you can’t have the Yang without the Yin, just doesn’t work. So its an effort to always make sure the brothers I am working with understand that my mission is not about them looking bad but always about making sure my sistas are properly repped and look good.

6.   Name two places you call home.
I am originally from Boston, MA so that will always be home. I definitely don’t get back there as much as I wish I could but it’s always gonna be home. I have lived in NY now for 10 years (this September) so this has become home now also, even though I maintain a love/hate relationship with it (thank you very much MTA).

7.   Who are your influences?
Wow, so many. It all starts with my mom though, really. Raising my brother and me as a single mom, putting herself through nursing school, then medical school, all the while keeping us out of jail, off drugs, and instilling a value system of love, tolerance and strength. It’s always my mama. Beyond that, there were so many powerful women over the years that influenced me. My beloved West Indian grandmother and my English teacher from High School, both of whom shared and gave me so much wisdom and have since passed away. My older brother, whose passion for Hip Hop runs VERY close to mine and from whom I accepted the MC torch. My cousin that I call my uncle, Donovan, and my true uncle, Oswald, both of whom assumed the role of father figure when I didn’t have one. The list could go on as I am very close to my family and those that I love tend to have a very strong influence on me.

Artistically, KRSONE, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Rakim, Slick Rick, Chuck D, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson (for sure, smh L), Sade, Aretha Franklin, Madonna…I mean the list can keep going and going…lol.

8.   We all need creative stimulation to be successful. What is your favorite creative food?
Sweet and Sour meatballs with Jasmine Long Grain White Rice…it’s mean and I make it myself.

9. What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasures are 80’s music (can’t get enough of it, even the bad stuff), anything and everything history and science related, the more ancient the history the better, and I am borderline obsessed with Science Fiction and Action SciFi. I’m a huge Trekkie, know several random facts about Star Wars, Transformers, Thundercats, GI Joe, Ironman..I’m a total geek about that stuff.

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