Rah Digga Interview
Before we do anything, allow me to apologize for the stream not working. If I had known that there would be a problem, trust me, I would have rescheduled. When “The Queen Behind The Scenes” HunnyB, first start telling me that the stream was down, she said she saw a bit of concern (read:panic) on my face but I’m pretty sure Rashia didn’t notice. (more on that later) Again, I am very sorry that so many people who were looking forward to it ,missed it and what I will attempt to do on this blog is tell you what Rah Digga and I discussed and try to recreate that moment for you.
First off, let me tell you how this even came to pass. I was getting ready for the 4 hour long ladies night and I get songs in my email all the time so I really don’t even check it regularly. As I’m sitting there thinking about what I’m going to say and so on, I decide to check my email. There it was just sitting there and all it said was “Can we still make this happen?” Now there’s a little backstory here. When I secured a date for the Jean Grae interview, I started working on Rah Digga for the following week. After reaching out to Rah Digga’s people and not receiving a response. I went on and planned my show. No hard feelings. Well, here’s this email about an hour before I had to get ready to go and I had to tell the class, rearrange my show and try to study the artist’s backround a bit. This is where HunnyB saved the day. While I was getting the show ready, she did some backround on the artist that we all know and love as Harriet Thugman, and took great notes. You all owe her a huge debt of gratitude for ALL the things she did to get this interview on the air. Anyway, she gave me the notes and we headed to the studio.
We get there, start our set up, I report to the class on Facebook that I’m in the building and ready to go, and I start reading my letters from the Breakfast Club. Once it’s time for me to go on the air, I start off the show with The Fugees joint from The Score that introduced Rah Digga to the world ,”Cowboys”, and I’m getting fired up!
I told her people that she could call at about 10 after 10. My first instrumental has finished and she hadn’t called so now I’m nervous. I don’t let on to the audience and I go right into the “Imperial”. While Busta is in his “Like Ya’ll” part of the song, the phone rings, IT’S DIGGA!!!! We exchange pleasantries and I tell her about how she had me a lil nervous but she said she wanted this interview to happen and apologized for being late. I told her Jean called early the previous week and we laughed about that. I assured her that I knew she’d be worth the wait. The song finished and I introduced her as only I can and then we got started.
What better place to start than the beginning? She spoke of how she was discovered. She came up in the Lyricist Lounge camp which Rah described as the “Mickey Mouse Club” for MC’s. Q Tip saw her tearing the stage to shreds while she was 8 MONTHS PREGNANT!!! Q Tip loved her and wanted to put her on but Tribe was on the front end of their break up so he sent her to Busta. Tip’s loss was Busta’s gain. She appeared on “Imperial” and that was that. This is where a little detour became a life changing experience. She went out to Hollywood to audition for Baby Boy, after not getting the part she was sent to an audition for 13 Ghosts. This was one of the highlights of the interview. Digga told me, when she got to the audition she was more than a little tipsy and had forgotten her lines. After she collected her thoughts, she did what any great MC would do. She went off the dome and improvised what she would do in that situation.
Her improvision worked! In fact, her improvised version of the character went over better than what was written so they let her put more Digga Digga into the role. Her Hollywood takeover didn’t stop there. The original script had her character being killed off early in the movie. Rah Digga, enjoying the experience and not wanting her per diem to end(Yes she actually said that. She is so ghetto fabulous!) She asked could there be a rewrite that allowed her to live. They thought about it and agreed it would be too traumatic if someone that was such a big part of the family was killed so the agreed to let her live. I told her that I don’t like horror movies at all but I went and saw that in the theater to show my love and support for my then “play girlfriend”. Her experience in this film would play an even bigger role in her life later on.
After the release of her Dirty Harriet album and 2 Flipmode album, Flipmode was released from their label. They hit the mixtape circuit but Digga soon grew tired of waiting for something to happen so she departed Flipmode amicably (she said they all still speak to this day). She went to school to explore something that she had gained an interest in since being in 13 Ghosts. Rah Digga left hip hop alone and Rashia Fisher enrolled in New York Film Academy and began to study directing and editing. While becoming proficient in those skills and despite her crush on Larenz Tate (“when I met him I was over it, after seeing how short he was!”) And her love of The Original Terminator (her favorite movie) and QuentIn TaratIno (her favorite director and editor) Hollywood could not keep Digga away from us. She got back in the game.
To be truthful you all may not have been aware of her hiatus because you kept seeing her name popping up on various tracks including one of my favorites “Life Is A Movie” (she was impressed I was up on that! Bully for the Professor!) But late last year as the 10 year anniversary of Dirty Harriet was approaching she decided to do something special to commemorate that event and set out to do an EP. She wanted to reassemble some of the producers that worked on her classic debut, but her manager had another idea in mind. He suggested to her that it just be Digga and Nottz. Digga balked at the idea initially but she warmed up to it and what started as an EP became the album appropriately titled “Classic”. For this project Digga and Nottz came together in the studio to put together a lyrical album. No club banger and no guest appearances. Just real rhymes from a real MC. I asked her would she be leaving us again to which her response was an emphatic NO! She is planning a remix album for Classic that will have some guest appearances and she said other than that follow her on Twitter (I do @TheRealRahDigga)
The next part though was my favorite part and the most real. Did anyone know that Digga is VERY active in the community in Newark? She started her Feed the Homeless program after getting a submarine sandwich and giving the remainder to a homeless person she met. She came to the realization that all it takes is a couple loaves of bread, some turkey and some mayo and you can feed a lot of people. So she takes up contributions and goes to the store and buys enough food to feed them on some real grass roots charity ish! She also volunteers and teaches kids how to use editing equipment and Protools. We also discussed Mayor Cory Booker. to whom she gave a ringing endorsment. I complimented her endlessly because she deserves it. She hit me with several “Awwws” and “Thank Yous” when I complimented her on her looks, her style, her contributions to the community and most importantly, her MC skills.
I had to thank her for her line in the Whoa! remix about nice toes and I asked her her shoe size(9 , you know I did! And she asked me was that too big and you know I said NO!) I told her we would be looking for her feature film directing debut. She told me that she had done some local around the way videos and any movies she does will be credited to Rashia and any video work she does will be attributed to Rah Digga. She promised to come back and we closed with the questionaire. She was gracious, regal, flirty, funny and a joy to interview. I, for one, am glad she’s back and if you pick up her new album, Classic, you will be too.
The highlights of the questionaire were when she said “Nigga” was her favorite word and her least favorite word. She said it just rolls off the tongue but she hates to hear it in public. She said having momey turns her on so naturally, the adverse was a turn off. Her favorite curse word is motherfucker. The job she would like to try of course. is director. The job she would not like to try is miner. (We laughed at that). When she gets to the pearly gates she said she would like for god to say “Open Bar.” It was a pleasure talking to her and I am committed to have a lot more interviews in the coming year. Again I have to apologize for the link. Thanks for hanging with me through it.