FEMALE RAPPER/SINGER PUTS
IMPOSTORS IN THEIR PLACE
An Interview with Prowess the Testament
By: Stephanie of S2M
April 1st 2015
Prowess the Testament recently blessed us with a mind broadening performance on LIVEVOLUTION.COM. For demographic purposes we were struggling behind the scenes to find another recording artist to compare her too. After watching her switch from vicious rapper to blissful R&B ballads, undoubtedly your first thought will be, “…..Wow!” Prowess the Testament may not be the first female rapper who can also sing beautifully, but I assure you, you will not find another hip hop representative who can deliver it the way she executes this art we call hip hop music. Check out Episode Two of LIVEVOLUTION.
Interview with Prowess the Testament:
LIVEVOLUTION: Thank you so much for coming on LIVEVOLUTION and lyrically putting so many impostors in their place! What does “Prowess the Testament” mean?
Prowess the Testament: The name Prowess was given by the legend KRS-One following a standout performance during a Hip Hop Appreciation week event hosted in DC. The name Prowess was a marker of exemplary skill and bravery in battle, the quintessence of delivering eloquent prose with elegance and ease. Prowess’s specialty of crafting lush imagery articulating a raw yet honest critique as a credo led to the suffix, the Testament.
LIVEVOLUTION: It would appear that female rappers are the “new hot thing” in the mainstream world, but you’ve been doing your thing for a long time independently. As a female rapper in the independent music scene, have you seen a new uproar of female lyricists, and how do you think they compare to the female rappers who gain grander media attention?
Prowess the Testament: The dichotomy of hip hop has been complex when it comes to its treatment of female artists. The female form has been embraced more readily when scantily clad and at the same time, women have reined the charts and held positions of power and influence in business and journalism. That said, hip-hop is a duplicity of women artists and content creators that the mainstream has not particularly been cognizant of. Lately, there has been a saturation of mediocrity through flaunting of sexuality from female rappers that doesn't fully showcase that complex history and so the many layers are not fully unveiled. I think this new crop of lyricists offers some interested value to women who have been in the trenches doing it for a while. It shows, where there is one...there is many. It may help to provide a springboard for discussion for those rarely heard of female emcees that are in abundance but maybe not at that mainstream level.
LIVEVOLUTION: The world of hip hop is predominantly male. What valuable advice would you give to a new female lyricist?
Prowess the Testament: The same thing I'd say to any lyricist, only you can define you, so be yourself and be authentic, if you are genuinely articulating your purpose, the universe will conspire to make it happen for you. So prepare by doing your homework and research and seek out peers who share your vision and be ready when the moment presents itself.
LIVEVOLUTION: Do you think music is art and how does independent music impact community?
Prowess the Testament: Music is absolutely art. It's also a science. There are more mathematical elements to music than just about any other art form. It is systematic, exact and precise] (think B-sharp vs. B-flat or tonal values and pitches) yet, music is also grounded in emotion and in the human spirit. Without the emotional content music would be interesting, but it could never be great.
Working in Community Theater gives me a great advantage to seeing the powers of how art can affect change. Independent music impacts community because it creates dialogue and engagement. When you think about the type of collaborations and partnerships that can be fostered at the community-level by artists coming together, the potential is vast. There's something so grassroots about members of a community coming together and have discussions all under an artistic lens. I believe that power can be harnessed to catalyze growth and affect change.
LIVEVOLUTION: Thank you for all of your support and for appearing on LIVEVOLUTION Episode Two!
Follow Prowess the Testament on Twitter @mynameisprowess