Is Rap Bad For Your Mental Health?

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The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email sheaserrano@gmail.com.

This Week's Rapper Singer-Songwriter: Sydnee-Jane

This Week's Subject(s): Mental stability; monsters; racial equality; gender equality

Ask A Rapper: We feel like every time we interview a female rapper, the conversation inevitably turns to the same conversation about how hard it is to be a female rapper. So let's try and stay away from that this time. What we're going to do is just lob a bunch of questions at you that people have emailed us and asked us to ask rappers. It gets thick. Ready? Questions in bold. Go.

Did you know Gucci Mane has allegedly checked into a mental health facility? Charles Hamilton had to get his head checked too. Is it that all rappers are crazy, or does being a rapper inevtiably turn people that way?

Sydnee-Jane: Well, first I'm not a "girl rapper" [laughs]. I am a singer and songwriter who dabbles in hip hop. And wowzahz, no I didn't know about Gucci Mane or Charles Hamiton, but I think I would go crazy too if I had to carry around humongously gaudy heavy "yellow chains" and was the cousin of MC Lyte. Just kidding, MC Lyte's hustle is ridiculous; she gets all the talk-over jobs.

But seriously, it's not just the "rap game" that makes people crazy, it's just the nature of the industry. You brought up a good point, though: Sometimes people choose to be rappers and singers because of their desire to be famous or to attain insane amounts of cash and don't realize the amount of personal sacrifices to be made and that an understanding of the industry is required to succeed.

If we think about it though, many artists go through some point of self-realization after fame where they question themselves and their place in the industry, i.e. Mariah, Michael, Kayne, Tupac, Lauryn, Lupe. Some get lost in the industry and others learn how to work the system. Simple and plain.

Sydnee-Jane, "Ready To Go"

AAR: If a monster were chasing you, let's say Jason Vorhees, wouldn't it make the most sense to go to some wide open space so you could see him? Or maybe to a parked car? That way, when he came close, you could just duck and dive repeatedly?

S-J [laughs]: Well, that's a toughie. Since we're talking monsters and stories, I would be the cartoon version of myself like in my video promo for my single "Ready to Go," which means I would have supernatural powers. [laughs]

First off, I would hear Jason coming from miles away with my supersonic Syd-rific-like hearing receptors, and because his theme music sounds like death metal walking and it's pretty loud on the movies. So, with the tap of my finger, I would activate a button implanted in my shoulder back in Jane's World that would emit lasers that form into an invisible force field.

I would then taunt him by walking towards him and watch him run in the force and collapse. [laughs] Then I would press another button implanted in the bottom of my foot that releases a full spa treatment center and I would enjoy getting pampered in my force field. Then I would throw a party and invite people like you, DJ (my manager), The Jane-Ettes (backup singers for my live shows) to do a "ding dong the witch is dead" dance with me.

Bwahaha. The end, Jason.

Sydnee-Jane, "The World Is Crazy (My TV)"

AAR: Why haven't the Chinese invented something that can fix Yao Ming's foot?

S-J [laughs]: I can't, and I don't, watch much basketball. Shout out to the girly-girls.

AAR: Will black people ever be seen as equals in America? You can only answer with Yes or No. You can not explain your answer.

S-J: Yes or no. You can not explain your answer. &;0)

AAR: Will female rappers ever been seen as equals in the rap game? You can explain your answer. Please don't answer with a Yes or a No.

S-J: Well, I'm not really a female rapper but I know a few, and am familiar with the industry so I'll answer from that perspective. I would say that the more female artists come into the industry and really make their mark and make good music, then the more the industry will become accustomed to female rappers.

We don't need a million Lil' Kims and Nicki Minajs, and we need more artists like Lauryn Hill, Missy, Jean Grae, Eve and Candi Redd to truly show the versatility of the female rapper. They may not ever be seen as equals as in all forms of business woman are paid less, but at least they can possibly receive greater respect for their craft amongst the general population.

Find more information about Sydnee-Jane on her Web site and follow her on Twitter at @SYDNEEJANE.

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