RESPECT.MAG: What was it like working with the Trackmasters?
Marquee: When I was working with Trackmasters I was in the group Femme Fatale, I was still learning not musically more like industry etiquette. I wasn’t super good at it I had to learn as I go. We not only worked with Tone and Poke as producers we also worked with Gowdy and L.E.S. Every meeting we had Steve Stoute was extremely intense and intimidating. Creativity was hard to flow due to deadlines and they just wanted hits. Tone is a fantastic producer focused and extremely easy to work with. He knows exactly what he wants and how to get it out of you. Working with Poke was different, we worked with him a lot more cause Tone was in high demand. It took me places I would have never been. We worked with Dr. Dre, N.O.R.E, Nas and more and I’m forever grateful for the learning experience.
RESPECT.MAG: How hard or easy is it being a female lyricist in the game?
Marquee: I was really kinda raw and stubborn it hasn’t been easy coming up amongst celebrities starting out in the game. Femme Fatale we was straight wild at the time. I had to get the label to like me but I felt misunderstood. Other than that it’s been easy cause I look at myself as a MC a writer and an artist it’s not about gender but skill. When I write I always had my bars set at whoever was best at the time I want to be better than that. I’m grateful to be doing what I love. The business side is challenging but I’m learning as I go.
RESPECT MAG: Who inspired you to become a femcee?
Marquee: I’ve learned from some of the best artists of our time and grew up listening to legends. I started off with “battle cheers” against the girls in the PJ’s then to poetry, ciphers, the lunch room and I started building a rep by word of mouth. I linked up with Lord Finesse, Queen Latifah and people was like who is that. My mother inspired me the most.
RESPECT.MAG: Who do you currently like in mainstream hip hop?
Marquee: The newest would have to be J Cole, I like his relatable lyrics. I like Jungle Pussy, Kendrick Lamar, Azealia Banks and I don’t listen to the radio much. I listen to a diverse array of writers and I like soulful music.
RESPECT.MAG: Do you enjoy performing as an indie? Why or why not?
Marquee: I absolutely enjoy doing indie because I have control of my creative vision. I don’t have to compromise my ideas like being in a group. When you’re in a major and you have to fight for everything from producers to how you look you have to answer to too many people. If you love fame and the machine then major is the way to go.
RESPECT MAG: What do you think of the current landscape of female emcees?
Marquee: We are holding it down at the moment we have that slot. You’re seeing an influx of women who have been grinding. The landscape is so versatile and now is our time to shine. It’s no longer just room for one female at a time.
RESPECT.MAG: Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I see myself running my company, Blockshare Inc. which I started with my two partners. I’m working with all kinds of artists that inspire me and I want to be doing what I love. I see myself being a role model for these young girls instead of selling porn wrapped up in a bubblegum paper.
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