Whether we’re behind the scenes or onstage holding a microphone, women in hip-hop are commanding recognition and respect, and Shylise Simpson, founder of Underground Girls of Hip-Hop, is leading the way with the 2011 Female Hip-Hop Honors. The annual Female Hip-Hop Honors were created to acknowledge and honor the achievements and contributions of legendary females in hip-hop, unsigned, and independent artists within the urban music scene. Honorees at this year’s ceremony, which takes place on May 21 in Los Angeles, include female hip-hop pioneer, Roxanne Shante’, and former Disturbing tha Peace recording artist, Shawnna. Recently, I caught up with Shylise to get more information on the Underground Girls of Hip-Hop and the Female Hip-Hop Honors. Check it out:
Tell us about Underground Girls of Hip-Hop?
Underground Girls of Hip-Hop is a company dedicated to the exposure of females in hip-hop. UGG is considered an activist for women in the industry who work hard, pay dues, and assist with the female hip-hop movement.
How did the Female Hip-Hop Honor come about?
Being that females are not well represented in the industry or even on the major award show platforms, I decided to honor the ladies of hip-hop myself. Instead of complaining about how the males of the industry or the industry period does not respect and/or acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the females of the game, I felt I would!
What is your background as it relates to hip-hop?
I am a female emcee myself I’ve been rapping for many years.
Why do you think it’s necessary to have an awards show of this type?
Because of the lack of representation. The Grammy’s removed the category. BET doesn’t give a good representation with the BET Awards or the Hip-Hop Awards, especially when you’re using females who haven’t been active in 2 years to nominate. They’re not trying hard enough to find them.
What do you think of the roles females have played in hip-hop so far?
I think females are grinding. However, I think we need to take more of a business stance when it comes to hip-hop- – more of a collaborative strategy in order to bring the voice of female hip-hop back to the forefront.
How is who will be honored at the Female Hip-Hop Honors Awards show decided?
In order to be an honoree, you must have made a significant change in hip-hop or the community. We encourage women and men a like to not only be an artist, but support the communities which inspire their music.
Has the hip-hop community been receptive to the awards show?
The hip hop community, male and female, has been very supportive. We have those who want us to honor certain individuals, but other than that, they have been very supportive and excited about the continuance of the show
Do you plan on continuing to put on the awards show each year?
Yes ma’am, year after year after year!!!
Is the show open to the general public?
Yes they can purchase tickets online at www.undergroundgirlsofhihop.com
Tell us a little about your other projects?
We are building the site. We will have a paid membership section where we will have original reality shows on different female artists we produce, so stay tuned.
The Female Hip-Hop Honors takes place on May 21, 2011 at The Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
Mara The Hip-Hop Socialite got her start in the hip-hop industry when she accepted an offer to work on a temporary basis in the promotions department of Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records in 2006. It was there where she first began putting her experiences with the industry onto paper, utilizing the writing skills she acquired while earning her Juris Doctor degree from the law school at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. .....read more.....