Signif the Gift is a female emcee. NO! Don’t you go clicking away from this post. She’s a super talented Hip-Hop artist that honestly deserves your attention…otherwise I wouldn’t be taking the time to write about her. I hit Signif up for an interview because in the land of Nicki Minaj and Nicki Minaj clones, it’s honestly super fresh to be able to get some dope music from a woman that isn’t about how good she fucks and sucks dick.
Here’s the interview and make sure you check out her music via the links at the bottom!
JC Poppe: What is the first significant memory of Hip-Hop in your life?
Signif: I don’t remember my very first memory but I remember being in 3rd grade going to my first boy/girl party. My older cousin put together a tape for me to play. It had MC Breed on it and some other artists I can’t remember but i begged for her to put “Hey DJ” on there (Lighter Shade Of Brown). That was my favorite song and probably the first Hip-Hop song I knew by heart. LOL! I also remember my aunt winning some dance-off from V100 had when Ready To Die first dropped and they gave her a few CDs, that being one of them. She just passed it to me and I’m thinking “do she know what kind of lyrics is on this disc?” but I’m thankful because I had such a big Pac influence thanks to one of my brothers that I really didn’t know too much about Big until i played that disc!
JC: What drew you to decide to begin making Hip-Hop music? Did you have some sort of epiphany or was it a gradual transition from other musical or poetic endeavors?
Signif: I always wrote poetry/lyrics but it didn’t click for awhile. I was always around music. My cousin would come over and make beats and I would watch, freestyle and everything. I was even going to the studio in high school with friends, watching and adding voice parts when needed. It was like someone was waving a $100 bill in my face like “here…here you go!” I just never looked up to grab it, well not right away at least.
JC: Your music is good and you can tell from the reactions of some people that they are surprised by that fact. Do you think that’s a reflection of people’s view of women in Hip-Hop, being from Milwaukee, something else, or a combination of several things?
Signif: For me it could be a host of things like, from the inside, someone who had heard my music years ago and not expecting growth can be like “damn!” BUT MOST OF THE SHOCK IS NOT because of WHERE I’m from but that I am a female emcee that can actually rhyme, which is cool. I’m all about growth and building organic relationships.
JC: What are your goals and aspirations with the music that you do? Is this something you hope turns into a career?
Signif: My goals are to connect with the people, which I am doing now but on a broader scale. I wouldn’t turn down my hand to a mainstream career, although the chances of that happening are slim, you do see regular people making a living of their music. Those possibilities are endless if you go about it the right way.
JC: What has your musical high point been so far?
Signif: I think I had more lows than highs. It’s almost scary when people believe in your music more than you do! My fuck ups have been the best learning experiences to date. After regrouping there has been a few good situations, but finally dropping my 1st album has been the biggest high for me thus far.
JC: What do you think about the issue of old school heads believing that freestyles should be off the dome versus the new school belief that they can be loose verses that were previously prepared?
Signif: It depends. When I used to cypher, sometimes I would kick written rhymes depending on the group I was around but I think all artists should have a few throw away versus ready at all times but if you’re battling i think it should be off the top, which is not the case anymore. Artists do research and all types of other things to prepare for the battle now-a-days. I guess it depends on the situation and you can tell for the most part if it’s written or off the top.
JC: How do you feel about the Milwaukee Hip-Hop scene?
Signif: I’ve been away for a second but my people let me know it’s still bubbling. All in all there are many talented acts from Milwaukee that I have come across to think any different. I was heavily influenced by A LOT OF local Hip-Hop artists before I started recording my own music but FOR MILWAUKEE to garner national exposure and keep it, would be great.
JC: Any shout-outs or parting words?
Signif: Big ups to JC for reaching out. The site is off to a great start. Shouts to everyone who downloaded The Transition. If not, you can download it for free at http://www.signif.bandcamp.com/ and you can also hit me up on my website http://www.signifthegift.com/ or on Twitter @Signif. Be on the lookout for more things to come in the next couple of months. CHEA!
– The Digital One