Unity: A conversation with Lin Que
Author: Jesaka Saylove
Originally Published at Peace and Conflict Monitor on: 07/04/2011
Saylove: Peace, you’re listening to Diosa De la Paz, and I’m Saylove. With me on the line we’ve got Lin Que. Peace! Thank you for coming on today!
Lin Que: Always a pleasure, always a pleasure.
Saylove: Thank you. So, particularly, I would love to ask you about the “We Are The Girl Movement”. I wasn’t sure exactly when that got started, and I was just wondering how long maybe you had been thinking about it, and really what caused you to start the movement.
Lin Que: You know what’s crazy is that, it was something that, I think, probably every female emcee has on their brain, you know what I mean? At some point or another in their life or career. So it’s been something that’s kinda been festering underground in me. Just like an idea, you know. And, I was actually being interviewed by one of my good friends, Bless Roxwell, and she was like, yo Lin, you know. She was interviewing me and then we just got into talking, about Hip Hop, and, like we’ve done many times, and you know, when you get into those deep conversations about Hip Hop it can get crazy and it can be lengthy. And it was just like, yo Lin, you know, these female emcees, you know, what’s going on? Like, you know there’s not enough of us. And, and I was like you know what I really wanted to do, I’ve always wanted to do.
And I, um, I told her you know I’ve always wanted to do a kind of, you know, a track with like mad female emcees, everybody with their own skills, own styles, and kind of have the proceeds go to like a charity. You know, and she was like, well Lin, you know, why, why can’t we do that? You know, and I was like, well one, I have so much on my plate. You know what I’m saying, it’s hard for me to like take care of so many things. And right there Bless kind of was like, Lin, well let me help you with it. And we just ran from there. You know, Bless Roxwell is also on the track. Just to give a little background, We Are The Girl is a movement that was kind of formulated to give women their voice in Hip Hop and to also to give back to women period. So we like to like support women on the professional stage as well as the world stage and have this like, 360. And I think a lot of what’s missing is unity. And it’s not just the unity of the females in the industry it’s the unity of females period.
You know what I mean, and I think there’s so much strength in numbers, and I think women are strong by nature. That even when you got ten of us together, it’s a problem, you know what I’m saying!
Lin Que: So, it started off from there, and Bless had a lot to do with it in reference to getting the talent together. There was some people I knew, some people that she knew, cause she runs a blog called “She’s So Fresh” and she does a showcase, all female emcees and stuff like that. So, it was a blessing to kind of, have Bless rock with me, and she wanted to. And we got Tiye Phoenix on there, we got Paula Perry the vet. We got some youngens too, just coming up. You know what I’m saying? We got Toni Blackman, you know, there’s so many. Elana, I want to give everybody, I don’t want to forget anybody! You know what I’m saying, I’m trying to give everybody a shout out. Mala Reignz, Noodles, you know these are all different ethnicities, all different kind of lifestyles, vibes, and everybody just came and just did there thing. So, boom!
Saylove: Definitely, yeah, where’s the best place that people can find that track if they want to download it? Lin Que: They can got to We Are The Girl.com
Saylove: There yo go. And I would like to get into that track actually, if you could go ahead and introduce it…
Lin Que: Alright, no problem, this is all about breast cancer awareness. Breast cancer awareness is not just about October. Let’s make this happen. We are the girl, we are the world. Check it out, y’all(hear the track at www.saylovemusic.com).
Saylove: Your listening to Diosa De la Paz, I’m Saylove. You just heard Suga Coated by a whole slew of talented female emcees, or emcees, however you like to call us, so…
Lin Que: That’s right.
Saylove: And, anything else that you wanted to say about that song, and definitely a big thank you to Bless Roxwell for all she did with putting that together as well.
Lin Que: Oh, hell yeah. I’d like to say that this is, this is a movement. You know what I mean, so it’s not just about female emcees. It’s also about, just artists getting together. And you know, Hip Hop is not just about rhyming. You know what I mean? We’ve got female DJ’s, we’ve got, and there’s so many different elements to Hip Hop. We’ve got five main ones, but there’s so many different elements. So it’s all about the preservation of Hip Hop but also about the preservation of women and their unity. You know, so this is the first project off of that and there’s going to be more projects coming. So definitely stay tuned, and you know look out for the females, man. We’re really doing it big! 2010’s going to be crazy!
Saylove: Thank you. I noticed actually, on the We Are The Girl Movement, on the site, there was something on there that said, I think you had written it. It said: Support Women, Save Hip Hop Culture, Heal the World.” I was hoping maybe you could just say something about that.
Lin Que: First of all, the thing is. One thing that I love about being a women is, is this grace. And, and I can only speak for myself, I mean there’s so many different ways we manifest on this planet. But, is the grace that I’ve learned, you know not just being a mother, being a sister, being a women. But there’s this grace that, you know, we’re kind of like able to get these things done without necessarily having this need for recognition. And sometimes it can be an asset, and sometimes it can be a liability. Because, what happens is we tend to be in the background of things. And not fight for what we deserve, which is that voice that we used to have in Hip Hop, you know what I mean. We used to have a voice, no, no matter how small that voice was, we had it, and people respected it. Today, it seems as though we really don’t have any female emcees. And I’m not talking about female Hip Hop artists, and I’m not talking about female rappers. I’m talking about female emcees. I’m talking about people that real to the culture, real to the lyricism, they got a respect for it and that type of thing. I mean, to me, emceeing is missing from Hip Hop to a degree, to a large degree. Whether male of female. You know what I mean. So when I’m saying saving the culture, I’m talking about saving the culture of Hip Hop, and I’m talking about healing the world. I think women have a nurturing aspect that just is a natural thing to us. And, and like I said, one woman alone man. If women are the backbone of the family, then we all the backbone of the nation. And once we unify, we could build up on this.
Saylove: Definitely. I appreciate that very much. Also, I did, another thing I noticed, something about a radio show going on, on Thursday’s. Is that still happening?
Lin Que: Na, I’m not 100% sure what that’s actually about. What’s going on with the ning, and that’s for everybody. Y’all need to stay tuned. We are the girl dot ning dot com. Come through, become a member, and stay tuned with everything. There’s so many people that have been gracious, so many women out there that’s been coming members and kind of building on it. So, you know, as time progresses, so many others are kinda trying to do the same thing in their own inner circles.
Saylove: For, yeah, definitely for the listeners if you’d like to go and check that out at the ning site, We Are the Girl Movement dot ning I believe?
Lin Que: Yes, dot com.
Saylove: Dot com. So, is there another song you’d like to get into now?
Lin Que: Sure, well, I just about, I just launched my latest video called “Nothings Changed” which is a track I did with this cat from France called DJ Diaz. And, it was something we just did on the underground to play around and stuff. And it’s was on, it’s all about the boom, like back to the basics, and we loved it so much we decided to do a video. So, let’s drop Nothings Changed, yo! (hear the track at www.saylovemusic.com).
Saylove: Peace, you’re still listening to Diosa De la Paz. I’m Saylove, and again, Lin Que, thanking for coming on today.
Lin Que: Word up, it’s good, it’s good to be, thank you for letting me have a voice today, you know what I’m saying?
Saylove: Definitely, Thank you. And, yes! You just listened to Nothings Changed. Check out that video. Definitely, you can find it on probably on the you tube?
Lin Que: Well, it’s going to be on you tube in a sec. Like I said, we just launched it today. I put it on Vimeo first because that’s HD, it’s a high definition video. So, it’s on that right now, and it will be on you tube by the time y’all hear this, it’s going to be on you tube so it’s all good.
Saylove: Thanks. Do you have any projects that will be coming out, you know, early 2010 that we can be on the look out for?
Lin Que: Well, we are actually about to do a video for Suga Coated, and we about to do a remix on that one, too. So, we’re not 100% sure what the video is going to be, whether on the remix or the actual original track. But, I’m also just now starting to embark on my next album. And I’m very, very excited about this one. Just where I’m at right now. I’m really, really excited. So, that may take, you know, maybe mid to the end of 2010. But I am working with other artists and doing features. I just did something with Steele from Smif N’ Wessun, General Steele, on his album that’s coming out early this year. So, you can look out for that. And I got some features. There’s MC Mona from, she’s from Poland. I did some stuff with her. There’s a lot of features out there right now, and I can’t even pin point! Which is a good thing! Which is a good thing. God is good.
Saylove: And when, when do you expect that might be out? Like, further along in the year? The album?
Lin Que: Yeah, like I mean, I really try to give myself time. I’m not one of these people like just do an album and try to come out the next year with it. Because I really respect music, and I love music, and music saved my life, and it continues to save my life. So it takes me time, you know what I mean, and I don’t want to rush. Who knows though. You know what I mean, I might get in the studio and it might just come out just like water! It sometime happens like that.
Lin Que: And right now I’m really, I’m actually doing research for this album! It’s crazzy! I’m on some other kind of vibe right now!
Saylove: Oh, I feel you, I understand! And, definitely, of course, I’m sure I’ll be in the loop. Keep me posted, so, you know
Lin Que: Absolutely, absolutely.
Saylove: We can get it out there. Another question I kind of wanted to just open up and ask and see if you had any opinion on, is, kind of going back to the We Are The Girl Movement. Talking about really just like peace building as women, and our ability, you know, building together having a positive effect on healing the world. And I was wondering if you had anything to say perhaps about, you know the fact that there has been a lacking of women in Hip Hop, how maybe that may be revealing something about the human psyche?
Lin Que: Right. Well, you know, to be honest with you, the thing that I see, okay and this is just from my vision, I’m one spec of sand on the beach. But this is just coming from me, you know. (Sigh) Like I said, because we have tendency to not go out and fight for our voice, you know what I’m saying? That we tend to be in the background, you know. I don’t blame… You know, the way I see it, okay. Misogyny, you know they say Hip Hop is misogynistic, Hip Hop is, yeah absolutely it is and that’s only because the world is misogynistic. You know what I’m saying?
Lin Que: Like, it’s everywhere. You know, so Hip Hop is a sort of magnifying glass, or microscope for what’s out there. Right now we’re saturated with a lot of a certain way of seeing things. But the reality of it is, this misogyny and this type of thing exists in the world. We, to me, we as women unify, nothing will be able to stop us. Nothing. Nothing. Absolutely nothing, you know what I’m saying? And, it just seems as though, this unity that I see happening, that it’s going to take some time. And it’s a weird thing‚because they have this kind of stigma about women, that we don’t get along and that we can’t have this thing. And, you know, they can have like seventeen dudes in a group and one female, you know. And there’s not, it’s just not enough female representation, period. And I am talking about Hip Hop but I’m also talking about the world, you know. There’s not a lot of female representation. And, until, in my opinion, until we unify to a point where we put all these, what we see as differences aside, and get on our grind, together, it’s going to be like this. Nobody in my life, let me not say nobody in my life… But to me in my experience, okay, and I could be 100% wrong, but to me in my experience it feels as though, nobody’s going to give me stuff. I have to go out and get it. Nobody’s going to say, ‘yo Lin, yo let’s do this, come on let’s go’, unless their hand’s in my pocket. Know what I’m saying? I have to go out and get it. And I have to create my own path. I’m not a path finder, I’m not looking for a paths, because that path doesn’t exist! I gotta, I gotta create my path, period. Because when it comes to women it seems as though once a door has opened, it shuts right after the one that makes it. You know what I mean, it’s not like that door is left open for people to just come riding through.
Saylove: Right, right. Lin Que: You know, so it takes a certain amount of determination. It takes a lot of inner knowledge. You know what I’m saying, inner knowledge, period. Because it doesn’t, we’re not even just, let’s not even just talk about gender. Okay, because you talked about the human psyche. This inner knowledge is on both genders. Okay? Because it’s two kind of things going on here. And until we step up, it’s going to always be like this. Ain’t nobody’s going to give you nothing! Just my experience.
Saylove: You’re listening to Diosa De la Paz, I’m Saylove. And with me still I’ve got Lin Que. Thank you so much for coming on today.
Lin Que: Of course, of course.
Saylove: And, I know we’re, I’m kind of watching the time. So, I just wanted to, you know, give the floor to you and see if there was anything else you’d like to share with the listeners today, any other projects that are coming out that we ought to be on the look out for, or so forth.
Lin Que: Well, I always like to talk to the people that are trying to get into the music industry, and trying to follow their dreams, whatever that is. Whether that is being a dancer. You know I grew up in a beautiful, thriving time for Hip Hop. And, a lot of the people, and I started off pop locking, that’s how I got into Hip Hop. So a lot of people that were dancers and rappers and DJs made it to being like, you know, top DJs on radio stations, and, you know dance choreographers, and rhymers, and song writers, and book writers. And the reality is, this, the world here is for y’all. And if y’all want to get into this, it’s so important to learn the business. We have to learn the business. I HATE the business. With a capital H a capital A a capital T and E. But, I love what I do. And because I love what I do, I had to learn what I hate. In order, so that that thing don’t hate me back! Because the industry is crazy! So, anybody that wants to get into the industry, whether it’s the entertainment field or whatever, it’s important to learn the business. Learn the business, have the know how, so that when you get on the boards you at least have a fighting chance to get to the other side.
Saylove: Thank you, I appreciate that.
Lin Que: No doubt.
Saylove: And any other projects, or just to, I guess to plug your website again.
Lin Que: Y’all can check me out at www.lin-que.com myspace.com/linquemusic (that’s l-i-n-q-u-e-music) y’all can catch me on facebook.com/linquemusic y’all can follow me on twitter.com/linque I am one of those people that get back to everybody that writes to me. So y’all can get at me, and it’s really me. You know, I like, like vibing with people and everything. Especially hip hop heads. True, true hip hop heads. So y’all come check Lin que. 2010 is going to be some craziness! Cause I am doing a lot of features. But, for some reason, a lot of em is slipping my brain right now! Because I’ve been doing a lot of em.
But just check out for Lin Que. We’re going to make this happen and we taking it to the next level!
Saylove: Thank you, I very much appreciate it. Any last words for the listeners?
Lin Que: Absolutely. Three words. Believe in yourself. That’s love.
Saylove: Thank you. You’re listening to Diosa De la Paz.
Lin Que is a New York based rapper whose albums include Rebel Soul (1990) and GODspeed (2007). Check out her myspace.
Jesaka Saylove is a peace scholar, hip-hop artist, and radio personality. Check her out at Saylove Music.