With an desirable sex appeal and an hustlers spirit like no other, Boogie Down Bronx native Nya Lee is ready to see her due diligence finally paid off with success. After all, she’s no rookie to the spotlight on and definitely off the wax.
An former exotic dancer (btw, a huge crowd favorite in some of NYC’s most popular strip clubs) turn emcee, this Patterson Housing Projects bred lyricist was able to take advantage of the notoriety she was gaining and turn it into an opportunity to showcase her true love, music. The hardwork was starting to pay off as she was able to work with some of hip hop’s most decorated heavyweights such as Fabolous, Jadakiss, Rick Ross, Jim Jones and many more. Recently, she collaborated with the “Baddest B*****” herself, Trina with an song called “Thick” which they “torture racked” the OT Genasis party banger that has the streets going crazy.
With a new project on the way, the former Love & Hip Hop star was able to take time out of her busy day to bless us with an RESPECT exclusive.
RESPECT: You recently create some new material with Trina called “Thick”. Outside looking in, people can say that they can never see this coming. How did this collaboration was orchestrated?
NYA Lee: Well I did the remake of Certified Gangsta by Jim Jones and The Game, and one of the bars I had on their was a reference in which I shouted out and pay homage to Trina. I said ” I’m the baddest b***** since Trina 06″.
I was really reaching and I wanted to see if she would catch it (chuckles). No lie, within 24 hours, she reposted the video. I have been around her but I had never formally met her. I was very surprised like “OH WOWW”. So next thing did was I went under the comments section and told her “Thank you for reposting the video”, then I said to myself “Man, let’s take this to the dm’s, so I slid in the dm’s (chuckles). I made small talk with her by thanking her again for repost the video then we started to go back and forth through the dm’s then I just mentioned to her how I have this song that everyone really really likes on this SoundCloud project I put out called “Thick”. I got great feedback even females told me they get ready to party or have fun with their friends to this song and I ask her can she give me a verse to the song. She replied “Ok sure” and I lost it. So I literally sent her the record with the open verse, she sent that over within a week and then it took us almost two weeks to figure out the date to shoot the video. The song took us about three weeks to organize and to put everything together. I was so grateful for her to give me the opportunity.
RESPECT: How was the creative process of formulating the balance of North meeting South?
Nya Lee: You know “Thick” is a song you can really break it down and master it how you want to master it. You have a catchy hook, and with the beat, it was perfect to use where you can have any type of flow that you wanted on it. So I went on it with my flow and she came on it with her down south flow and it just blended so good. You can ride that beat no matter how you rap on it. Her verse was just crazy. I know the words to her verse word for word and whenever I listen to it I’m just reminded of that good late 90s, early 2000s classic vintage Trina verse. I’m fortunate she didn’t give me a throw way verse and she really gave me a good verse.
RESPECT: Speaking of collaborations, what are some of the artists that are popular or whose music you like to vibe to in which you like to work with?
Nya Lee: Hmmm. I like Justine Skye. I think she’s dope and I’ve been watching her for awhile. It’s more females artists I would like to work with rather than male artists especially now with women empowerment in hip hop. Don’t get me wrong, I’m cool working with male artist but I prefer females because the embrace we show towards another and the vibes are just perfect. So pretty much, any female rapper that’s up and coming or established, I’m really willing to work with. I’m willing to come into the game in that route in which I can bring in the unity in hip hop. A couple of days ago, I just posted a video of Lil Kim bringing me up on stage at the Galore Magazine party. I recently went on my Instagram and said in the past 10 days, I shot a music video with Trina and then I go to a party and I got pulled up on stage by Lil Kim and we were going back and forth on the mic performing “All About The Benjamin’s.” She let me rap her verse while Paris Hilton was DJ’ing. I’m saying to myself “YESS GOD, YOU ARE LISTENING TO ME”. I really want to come in and push the girl empowerment movement. For me to get two co sign’s for two legendary female rappers within the past 10 days, I just have no choice but to thank God for the blessings he bestowed on me. I really been fighting for a long time for woman to embrace me and embrace each other in the game.
RESPECT: Majority of the fans remember you and your antics from Love & Hip Hop. Ever since you made the appearance on the show, did any critics give you a hard time to take your music seriously?
Nya Lee: The way I was portrayed on Love & Hip Hop was me, at that time frame, it was me. I take full accountability to that but I just didn’t appreciate the fact that I didn’t have any scenes where you can see me my humility, where you can see me being calm, and where you can see me having an normal conversation. So, the audience takes what they see in those little minutes in each scene and think that this is who I am 24/7 because I wasn’t really granted a fair chance to be me. So the backlash from Love & Hip Hop was more so of a portrayal of me being an mean, bitter, arrogant b****. It’s not so that people think I can’t rap because they already was saying that. I got a feature with Jadakiss within the 4th year of me really taking this serious and I knew Jada since I was 11. He’s one of the first to tell me that he’s not getting on the track if your s*** is wack. He got on it and we did a video together. So, me being on Love & Hip Hop kinda scared people and it intimidated people away from me that they wasn’t able to pay attention to the quality music I can make. The stigma that they see me in was just horrible so that was the hardest thing for me to overcome. I’m glad that people are starting to realize how genuinely nice and talented I am after it took me so many years to show that.
RESPECT: Myself and a lot of fans know you had a huge following and was a favorite in the strip clubs. How do you feel about the theory of strippers/exotic dancers and the strip clubs are the new A&R to the rap game?
Nya Lee: I definitely can say it’s true because I remember during my days when I used to dance down south in Miami, Houston and Atlanta, I would hear records that I heard at the club and it wouldn’t be on the radio two-three months later. I do think that the strippers have a voice and they the reason why everything is rocking and rolling.
RESPECT: How do you tend to incorporate the strip club lifestyle into your music?
Nya Lee: I try not to forget that aspect for my life. It was a fun time so I try to go back into that mindset where I used to remember how it was and not be so selfish with who I am today. I try to make sure that I am representing and painting them in the correct image. I try to show different sides of what it is outside to just being a stripper. I definitely try to incorporate them and not try to pain them as “thots”. I know some of these girls personally and some of them are really going to school, that has a boyfriend and are not to be played with. I try to represent them in the light of just them being normal human being not as the stereotypical whores, thots that the general public would look at them as.
Signed by Our Cut Records, Nya is planning to release her next project called “The Darkest Hour”. Fans may be familiar with “Fur Season: The Mixtape” in which it’s still receiving major feedback after the release three years ago. After realizing how much of an classic project it was for her career, she is planning to bless her fans and critics with the Fur Season: The Album, which will debut on her birthday.
Fur Season: The Mixtape was and still is my baby. So with the debut of this album version of it, you are going to see a much more mature sound to it. You going to see so much growth compared between both of these projects. I really can’t wait to share it with all of my fans.
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