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Jean Grae Can't Make A Living In Hip-hop   Print 
Tuesday, 04 January 2005
Jean Grae, critically acknowledged as the best female emcee, and one of the best living emcees period, recently lamented the fact that she can't make a decent living in hip-hop.

"I was reading some Web site the other day about how artists like Jean Grae can still live comfortably making $70,000 a year, and I was like, 'Whoa...is this the other Jean Grae?...because I want to make $70,000 a year!'"

Grae, who released one of the best hip-hop CDs of 2004, This Week, is known for her intelligent lyrics and top-notch writing. She's also suffering for the fact she doesn't play by the rules the industry lays out.

"It's definitely a struggle to balance the marketing and promotion," Grae says. "If you have enough money behind you, it doesn't really matter what you sound like. I could put out a record of me farting and burping, with a 10 million dollar budget, and it would sell."

Despite constant critical acclaim and the admiration of her peers,
the South African born artist still remains an underground artist.  Fellow emcee, Talib Kweli, said: "She makes me think of Lauryn Hill, just more fierce. Lauryn is one of the best MCs ever, but she didn't have a love for MCing. If Lauryn had a love for MCing, she'd be like Jean Grae."

"I'm thankful to be able to sell records without actual promotion, or without video or radio play," Grae continued. "To be thought of as important and the semi-recognition I do get makes it worth it, but I think the perception of it is really not what we're going through and sometimes it's difficult to get that across."

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 January 2005 )

 

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