merely a year ago. Inspired by her own self growth and experiences, her lyrics are relatable and infectious. It's safe to say... don't underestimate this Lady.
With three WYCE Jammies under her belt, it's hard to believe that Lady Ace Boogie dropped her highly acclaimed debut album Feel Good Music merely a year ago. Inspired by her own self growth and experiences, her lyrics are relatable and infectious. It's safe to say... don't underestimate this Lady.
Rapid Growth: Back in February you won three 2016 WYCE Jammie Awards
, including: New Artist, Hip-Hop Album of the Year, and Critics’ Choice Award. How did that make you feel?
Lady Ace Boogie: Honestly, I still can’t describe how much winning those awards meant to me. We (the Hot Capicola
team) worked very hard last year. Making the music was only the beginning. There’s so much more to being heard and getting the attention and the respect of your community. That night was truly one of the best nights of my life. I am extremely grateful to have been acknowledged and awarded for my contributions to Hip Hop.
RG: What inspired your debut album, Feel Good Music
LAB: If I could narrow it down to one word, that word would be growth! I was at a time in my life where I was growing. Growing as a human, as an artist, as a sister, an aunt, and as a daughter. When I realized my potential to empower people with my words, it became an obsession. When I first decided to create this project, I had met producer Curtis Manley through mutual friends. We instantly vibed. Feel Good Music
would not be Feel Good Music
without him. He pushed me creatively and we formed a bond that I had never formed with someone on that level - musically and spiritually. Curtis produced, recorded, and mixed about 80 percent of the album. He was also featured as an MC on the song “My Life." So, again, my growth and knowledge of self is really what inspired the project.
RG: What were you previously working on prior to your acclaimed album?
LAB: It all started with the song “Underestimate Me." At the time when I wrote it, I was introduced to an artist by the name of Maurice Clark, who is considered a conscious emcee. Back then, my music wasn’t really the same. Mostly explicit club music, with not much substance. Don’t get me wrong, it was good - just not great. Anyway, Maurice Clark reached out to me and expressed that he wanted to do a track together. A few days later he changed his mind; he mentioned that he didn’t think I would be able to step outside of my box and get lyrical. Well, that’s when it all started, with that one song. I felt underestimated.
RG: Where does the name “Lady Ace Boogie” come from?
LAB: Nothing too interesting but, my original nickname was Ace Boogie, which turned into my stage name. Once I started doing shows - and in the process of making my mark - I would always be mistaken as a guy. So, I guess back then I was tired of being misgendered, and decided to put the Lady in front of my name. I still get misgendered but now it doesn’t bother me as much as it use to.
RG: As a continuation of that, it has been stated that your message “aims to inspire and encourage people to live right and break the cycles of inequity which affect our under-served communities.” Do you feel like it has been effective?
LAB: I think I still have a ways to go to reach the amount of people that I would like to reach. However, I do believe I have accomplished inspiring those who I have had the pleasure of reaching. Many random people have expressed their gratitude for Feel Good Music
to me. I just aspire to continue to have that impact on anyone listening.
I also believe people of color (POC) face obstacles that non POC don’t face, so I mostly speak from that perspective considering I am a person of color. The more and more I grow, I realize that we all face our own individual challenges. But when it comes to music, it’s universal, and it can touch the hearts and souls of anyone. I think I have proven that with my demographic.
RG: You are also a big advocate for the LGBT community. Can you tell us more about that?
LAB: Well, outside of co-founding the LoveGR
movement, I can’t say I have done much more than being an example and being vocal about standing up for what should be a human right. LoveGR was originally a response to an anti-gay billboard, and it has turned into sort of a hybrid of all things love. We are still sorting out exactly what we are. But what we do know is, we love this city and we will stand up against anything that takes away from it’s beauty.
RG: What are a few other things that you think the Grand Rapids community is missing the mark on, when it comes to diversity and inclusion?
LAB: To list a few...
- More opportunities for Hip Hop to be celebrated - and not just with artists and content that people are “comfortable with."
- More POC-owned businesses.
- Marketing and promoting life changing, great experience, events to POC and not just the same typical crowd.
- There’s a strong opportunity for non-profits and social initiatives to reach a larger audience, and step outside of their own circle. I think people get too caught up into social media and making things look good. There’s not enough focus on making real change happen for everyone who's in need.
RG: Lastly, what brought you to Grand Rapids?
LAB: Well, my former relationship is what brought me here. But the endless opportunities, countless number of amazing people, the music scene, and all of my endeavors are what keeps me here. I have met some of my closest most dearest friends right here in GR. My best friend and business partner, John Longchamps, and I met right here in Grand Rapids.
Jenna Morton is the RapidChat correspondent for Rapid Growth Media.