BONNIE GODIVA

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INTERVIEW: TERRELL “REALIFE” BLACK [@REALIFEVMG]

VALIDATED: WHAT'S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP-HOP CULTURE?

BONNIE GODIVA: MY EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP HOP IS GOING TO MEET DMX WITH MY MOM WHEN I WAS 7. SHE WAS HIS CHILDHOOD FRIEND AND THEY WERE STILL CLOSE WHEN HE TURNED FAMOUS SO I REMEMBER VISITING THIS HUGE AUDITORIUM AND THE LINE WAS OUT THE DOOR WITH FANS WHO WAITED ALL NIGHT TO MEET HIM. MY MOM AND HIS BODYGUARD AT THE TIME WALKED ME UP TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE AND IF THE FANS COULD KILL MY LITTLE A** WITH A LOOK THEY WOULD’VE BEEN CHILD MURDERERS. BUT I WALKED UP TO THE FRONT, GOT TO MEET HIM AND I JUST REMEMBER THINKING NOT ABOUT HIP HOP BUT ABOUT WHAT BEING A MUSIC STAR WOULD BE LIKE.

VALIDATED: HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN BATTLE RAP?

BONNIE GODIVA: I WAS A REAL TOMBOY ON THE BLOCK WHERE I GREW UP IN YONKERS, ALWAYS AROUND ALL MY BOY COUSINS AND DOING BOY THINGS SO ROASTING WAS ALWAYS IN MY BLOOD, I ALWAYS BEEN GOOD WITH WORDS AND RIDICULE. BUT AS FAR AS RAP I GOT RANDOMLY INVITED TO A SMALL LEAGUE BATTLE WHEN I WAS 22 BY SOME OF MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS THAT KNEW I DID STREET CYPHERS A LOT BEFORE. THE GIRL I WAS SUPPOSED TO BATTLE NEVER SHOWED UP WHICH WAS WACK BUT THAT’S WHEN THAT LEAGUE OWNER TOLD ME ABOUT QUEEN OF THE RING AND SET ME UP WITH MY FIRST REAL BATTLE THAT EVER WENT DOWN VS JADA RAYE IN OCT 2012.

VALIDATED: WHAT WAS THE DEFINING MOMENT IN WHICH YOU FIGURED OUT YOU WERE GOOD ENOUGH TO PURSUE BATTLE RAPPING PROFESSIONALLY?

BONNIE GODIVA: UP UNTIL I TRAVELED TO MY FIRST BATTLE OUT OF THE STATE BATTLING WAS REALLY JUST A HOBBY FOR ME. SOMETHING I WAS GOOD AT DOING AND WAS DIFFERENT FROM MY STUDENT AND CORPORATE LIFE AT THE TIME. BUT WHEN I BATTLED OUTSIDE OF QOTR ON KING OF THE DOT LA FOR THE FIRST TIME THE TYPE OF ENERGY AND BOOKINGS AND OPPORTUNITIES JUST BEING THE ONLY GIRL IN THE RIGHT FIELD AND PLACE AT THE TIME WAS CRAZY. I WENT FROM BARELY GETTING BOOKED IN NY TO DRAKE BOOKING ME IN CANADA AS THE FIRST FEMALE BATTLER ON THE MAIN STAGE WITH THE GUYS AND THEN IT WAS LIKE NO ONE COULD SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ME BEING NEW OR NOT READY ANYMORE. AND IT WAS SWEET FOR ME JUST KNOWING I DID THAT SHIT MYSELF WHEN OTHERS DOUBTED I WOULD MAKE IT MAIN STAGE.

VALIDATED: IT SEEMS AS IF A FEMALE BATTLE RAPPER CAN'T JUST BE GOOD, SHE HAS TO BE GREAT TO COMPETE AGAINST GOOD MALE BATTLE RAPPERS. WOULD YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE?

BONNIE GODIVA: I DISAGREE, I DON’T THINK A FEMALE BATTLER OR MUSIC ARTIST HAS TO BE AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN THE MEN. I THINK PEOPLE JUST GET CAUGHT UP ON LABELS WHEN NICE IS NICE REGARDLESS OF GENDER OR ANY OF THAT STUFF. A LOT OF MEN GET PASSES BECAUSE THEY GOT CLOUT OR STREET CREDIT, ETC AND A LOT OF WOMEN GET PASSES BECAUSE THEY LOOK GOOD BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, IF YOU’RE NOT TALENTED ENOUGH TO HAVE MEN AND WOMEN RELATING TO AND RECITING YOUR LYRICS THEN YOU AIN'T NICE, PERIOD!

VALIDATED: WHY DO YOU FEEL THE DOUBLE STANDARD EXIST AMOUNGST THE SEX'S IN HIP-HOP CULTURE IN GENERAL?

BONNIE GODIVA: I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THERE’S A DOUBLE STANDARD IN HIP HOP BECAUSE LIKE I SAID I FEEL LIKE NICE IS NICE REGARDLESS. BUT THIS IS THE REAL WORLD AND IN THE REAL WORLD THERE’S A LOT OF SEXIST INJUSTICES ON BOTH SIDES. THE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE KNOW HOW TO TURN THOSE PROPOSED WEAKNESSES INTO STRENGTHS WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MORALITY OR

AS MUCH AS YOU CAN HELP THAT ANYWAY.

VALIDATED: YOU'RE THE FIRST FEMALE BATTLE RAPPER TO TOUCH EVERY STAGE IN BATTLE RAP FROM SMACK TO KOTD. ARE THERE ANY VENUES KNOWN FOR BATTLE RAP THAT YOU HAVEN'T COMPETED AT YET BUT WOULD LIKE TO?

BONNIE GODIVA: THANK YOU. I WOULDN’T SAY THERE’S PARTICULAR STAGES BUT THERE ARE LOCATIONS I WOULD LOVE TO COMPETE IN MORE, LIKE LONDON, AUSTRALIA, AFRICA AND ONE OF THE LEAGUES IN ASIA. MY GOAL WAS TO TRAVEL AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND I FEEL LIKE I HAVEN’T WENT THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET AS MUCH AS I CAN YET.

VALIDATED: IN JUST SHY OF 5 YEARS YOU'VE BATTLED A LOT OF TOP TIER WOMAN AND MEN FROM AYE VERB AND CHARRON TO K SHINE AND DNA. AT THIS POINT IN YOUR CAREER, BONNIE GODIVA'S IDEAL BATTLE WOULD BE AT WHICH VENUE VERSES WHICH BATTLE RAPPER?

BONNIE GODIVA: HMMM, MY IDEAL BATTLE RIGHT NOW WOULD BE SOMEONE I GOT A LOT TO SAY TO BECAUSE NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE MOTIVATE ME AND I’VE BEEN ON A WHOLE OTHER MUSIC AND NETWORKING WAVE SO IT'S GOT TO BE A HEATED BATTLE. I’D SAY QB BECAUSE SHE BEEN TALKING SO MUCH S*** FOR SO LONG AND IS HELLA OVERRATED TO ME. BUT AS FOR BIGGER FISH, I DREAMED I KILLED REMY MA IN A BATTLE A FEW TIMES. I DON’T KNOW WHY BUT I'M ALWAYS VIOLATING HER IN MY DREAMS! SET IT UP SMACK! FOR THE CULTCHA!

VALIDATED: DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST RAP BATTLE.

BONNIE GODIVA: I WAS REAL NERVOUS MY FIRST BATTLE BECAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS GOING TO BE RECORDED AND HOW BIG THE ACTUAL BATTLE SCENE WAS. I WAS STILL THINKING OF SMALL ROOM/STAIRWAY SMACK DVD CYPHERS. SO I WAS REALLY NERVOUS AND DIDN’T PROJECT AND CAME OFF MORE LIKE A SILENT POET THAN A RAPPER. LOL BUT I SHOOK THAT OFF AFTER I GOT USE TO WHAT I WAS ACTUALLY GETTING INTO.

VALIDATED: WHAT'S A MAJOR MISCONCEPTION ABOUT BATTLE RAPPERS VERSES HIP-HOP ARTIST?

BONNIE GODIVA: A MAJOR MISCONCEPTION IS THAT BATTLE RAPPERS CAN’T MAKE MUSIC WHEN WE CAN JUST LIKE ARTISTS CAN. THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S GONNA ALL BE COMMERCIALLY GOOD BUT EVEN PUNCHLINE BASED RAPPERS LIKE FABOLOUS, CASSIDY AND JADAKISS HAVE A MORE BATTLE FEEL TO THEIR MUSIC AND IF THAT WORKS THEN IT WORKS. THE BEST ARTIST CAN EFFORTLESSLY SNAP IN AND OUT OF COMMERCIAL AND UNDERGROUND MUSIC THOUGH AND THAT’S WHY WE BUY MIXTAPES AS MUCH AS ALBUMS TO THIS DAY STILL!

VALIDATED: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT'S THE CURRENT STATE OF BATTLE RAP?

BONNIE GODIVA: BATTLE RAP IS ALWAYS ON THE RISE BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS NEW CELEBRITIES AND NETWORKS WATCHING THAT GIVE IT SHINE.

VALIDATED: YOU'VE GOT TWO UPCOMING HIP-HOP AND REGGAE SINGLES OFF YOUR FIRST AND HIGHLY ANTICIPATED ALBUM. WHAT ARE THE NAMES OF THE SINGLES AND WHO DID YOU WORK WITH ON PRODUCTION?

BONNIE GODIVA: YES, MY REGGAE TRACK IS CALLED "AFRICAN QUEEN" AND THE HIP HOP TRACK IS CALLED "GIMME SOME MORE", ONE WAS PRODUCED OUT IN JERSEY AND THE OTHER IN THE BRONX WITH MY HOMEBOY JAYY V VONDON, HE'S ANOTHER DOPE ARTIST WHO JUST HAPPENS TO MAKE FIRE TRAP BEATS.

VALIDATED: WHEN IS THE SCHEDULED ALBUM RELEASE DATE AND WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT THE ALBUM?

BONNIE GODIVA: THE ALBUM RELEASE IS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2019. FANS CAN EXPECT A LOT OF VERSATILITY, COMMERCIALISM AND STILL A UNDERGROUND KICK FROM MY ALBUM. I CAN’T DESCRIBE IT REALLY BESIDES A GREAT FIRST DISPLAY OF MY MANY PERSONALITIES I HAVE ROLLED UP IN MY ARTISTRY.

VALIDATED: ARE THERE ANY ARTISTS FEATURES AND PRODUCERS ON THE PROJECT YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT?

BONNIE GODIVA: THERE ARE NO EXTRA MAJOR FEATURES OR PRODUCTION ON MY ALBUM, I REALLY WANTED TO JUST SHINE ON MY OWN FOR MY FIRST ALBUM. BUT I DO HAVE MY VERY TALENTED AND SUCCESSFUL BRO MICKEY FACTZ ON IT AND A DOPE REGGAE ENGINEER WHO HAS INTRODUCED ME TO ALL THE REGGAE STARS NAMED DAINJAMENTAL! SHOUT OUT TO THEM BOTH FOR BEING HUMBLE ENOUGH TO HOP ON LITTLE OLE ME'S FIRST PROJECT.

VALIDATED: WHAT'S THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN YOUR PREPARATION ROUTINE FOR WRITING FOR A RECORD VERSES A BATTLE?

BONNIE GODIVA: WRITING A BATTLE IS A INTRICATE PROCESS TO ME WHEREAS WRITING A SONG IS A RAW FEELING. IT'S DEFINITELY EASIER FOR ME TO WRITE OFF REAL EMOTION THAN FORCED AGGRESSION TO APPEASE BATTLE RAP BUT I ENJOY DOING BOTH HONESTLY JUST BECAUSE I'M HIGHLY COMPETITIVE.

VALIDATED: WOULD YOU SAY BEING A BATTLE RAPPER GIVES YOU AN ADVANTAGE TO MAKING A RECORD? IF SO, IN WHAT WAYS?

BONNIE GODIVA: BEING A BATTLER HAS TREMENDOUSLY HELPED ME WITH PUNCHLINES, METAPHORS, INNUENDOS, PERFORMANCE AND FINDING MY FLOW/VOICE. PROBABLY THE BIGGEST WAY ITS HELPED MY MUSIC IS BY INCREASING MY MEMORIZATION SKILLS IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. BEFORE BATTLING I HAD TO WRITE DOWN AND REHEARSE A 2 MINUTE TRACK, WHEREAS NOW THAT I'M USED TO REMEMBERING 3 ROUND BATTLES IN WEEKS I DON'T HAVE TO RECITE AND REMEMBER SONG LYRICS, I WRITE AS I'M WRITING THEM. IT'S SUCH A GREAT TIME SAVER TO HAVE QUICK MEMORY AS A MUSIC ARTIST.

VALIDATED: YOUR HARSH DELIVERY AND COMPETITIVE EDGE SET YOU APART FROM OTHER FEMALE BATTLE RAPPERS. NAME THE HIP-HOP ARTISTS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR FLOW AND WHAT, IF ANYTHING DID YOU BORROW FROM THEM?

BONNIE GODIVA: THE INDUSTRY ARTISTS THAT INFLUENCED MY STYLE AND CREATIVITY ARE J COLE, KENDRICK, BIG L, PUN AND MOST RECENTLY I REALLY DIG MICK JENKINS. I LIKE UNORTHODOX LYRICISM AND EVERYBODY ON THIS LIST PLUS A FEW OTHERS I’M MISSING MADE HITS THEIR OWN WAY! THEY COMBINE STORYTELLING, PUNCHLINES, DELIVERY, FLOW, ETC IN A WAY WHERE IT’S UNIQUE TO THEM.

VALIDATED: TELL US ABOUT OTHER VENTURES YOU'RE CURRENTLY WORKING ON.

BONNIE GODIVA: OUTSIDE OF MUSIC AND BATTLE RAP I AM DROPPING A SMALL CLOTHING COLLECTION OF BODYSUITS, FAUX CROP FURS, HATS AND TWO PIECE GYM SUITS FOR WOMEN. I'M ALSO GOING TO BE RELEASING ONE IF NOT BOTH OF MY FIRST TWO PILOTS ON YOUTUBE THIS YEAR AND I'M SO EXCITED TO SHOW MY WRITING ABILITY ON THE FILM SIDE AS WELL AS MY ACTING SKILLS. 2019 IS MY YEAR!

VALIDATED: WHERE CAN THE READERS FIND YOU ON THE WEB?

BONNIE GODIVA: FOLLOW ME ON EVERY PLATFORM UNDER "BONNIE GODIVA" AND CHECK OUT THE BIO IN MY INSTAGRAM FOR ANY WEBSITE UPDATES OR EVENTS COMING UP.