's Microphone Queen Art of Emcee-ing Contest Winners

Congratulations IFE JIE! The judges have selected YOU out of many very talented sista -emcees from around the world as the winner of's Microphone Queen Art of Emcee-ing Contest. Listen to the winning song at Ife Jie's myspace

In addition to a copy of Assata Shakur’s Biography Assata, an official Microphone Queen Tee Shirt and a stuffed gift bag from Boss Up Inc, Ife won the grand prize of her choice of $1,000.00 or an all expense paid trip to perform with dead prez live in concert!
She has chosen the live performance! Check back with us on our calendar page to see when and where she will be rocking with us! Now, in her own words…meet

Ife Jie — Interview

1. Tell the people your name where you’re from and what you do?

My name is Ife (EE-FAY) Jie and I'm from South Central Los Angeles. I Grew up down the street from the Slauson Swapmeet. I just graduated from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga with a degree in African American Studies. My research was on Africanisms in Hip-Hop Music and Culture and have been fortunate to present this research at several conferences.

2. How did you get started emcee-ing? your influences? what are some of your goals as an emcee? define your style.

I started rhyming real young, my dad is a musician and a piano and guitar's where always somewhere in the house. I used to make up songs really for fun to entertain myself and my two sisters at the dinner table. When i was about 9 my dad bought me a piano of my own, and really since then i made a conscious effort to create my own songs. The first time i ever performed in front of an audience, i was about 12, and i was apart of the A.M.E. church youth auxillary, yeah i grew up in the church real hard. We were apart of a conference that had to do protocol, basically acknowledging every paster, deacon, bishop etc. in the building. My youth group decided to rap the protocol, you know to spice things up. Myself and my folks wrote the rhyme and i performed the whole thing. Its was funny because as i was rapping the church folk started to really feel it, and the musicians started to accompany me on the mic, and it was on... I guess you could say i got the rappin' holy ghost. I've been on stage ever since really. Because of that i really am influenced by everything i've experienced, and listened to growing up. From Sting and the Police, to A Tribe Called Quest, i was exposed to a lot of stuff. Peter Gabriel used to be one of my favorite artist and i loved some Red Hot Chili Peppers, really it was the feeling i got when i heard these songs and the beats would just get me. I like to create that feeling that makes you feel good, to connect with the audience is my goal. I don't know how i would describe my style, i just do what i do....

3. How has it been as a woman striving to do your thing in the rap game?

It can be kinda challenging being a woman in the game. My biggest issue with male producers is they try to take the session for something else, its like undertones about why there working with you in the first place that you later find out. As far as i'm concerned its just business, but sometimes its more on there part. Overall though, i've learned to have someone in the studio to balance things out, so its cool, not to give my brothers a bad rap or nothing. When we are clear, beautiful music is made..... I think also its important to be aware of how you present yourself to the game in general. Whatever your image, make sure its really you and not what they want you to be.

4. How did you hear about the contest?

I heard about the contest through a friend, and was encouraged by folks who thought i was good to enter into the contest. I was actually kinda hesitant to do it, but i said, it'll be a good reason for me to get in the studio and see where i stand among my fellow lady emcees.

5. What artists, labels would you like to work with?

I would like to work with all kinda folks. If i had my choice i think Lauryn Hill could teach me a lot musically and developing a voice in the industry. I look forward to working with Dead Prez, maybe even doin some stuff with the Outlawz, that'll be dope. I think i would get a kick out of working with Snoop, Murder was the Case was my first album i memorized from front to back, so it would be a pleasure to rep my hood with a O.G. And because i'm in the A i could use a beat from Lil' Jon or do a collabo with Luda, that's wassup.

6. What are some useful things you found in The Art of Emcee-ing?

The most useful thing i found in The Art of Emcee-ing is how to develop a song. I read that if your describing something, like a party, its important to write about all of the party. From whose there, whose not there, what are the sounds you may hear, what are the smells your smell. What the weather is, how your feeling, what your doing at the party, what you trying to do at the party, all that good stuff. I think that was really key to creating a song that first makes sense, and secondly that all the verses support the hook and you create one complete idea, one thought.

7. What other skills/interests do you have?

My other skills, i dare to say, is in African Dance. I'm an artistic direction of an African Dance Ensemble, Folade na Weusi, which means honor arises in blackness. I love to dance, that is probably my most physical release. I also write poetry and have been asked to perform by some churches for special events. As i mentioned before, i braid hair for a living, and enjoy hosting events around the city like Kwanzaa programs or Festivals.

8. What can people expect from your ideal project in the near future?

I want people to get a good representation of a lady about her lyrical style. For me the lyrics are just as important as the beat. I also want an album that you play over and over, and the beats are off the chain, you get caught up in the feeling they give.

9. Any shout outs or comments?

I would like to shout out Run it Bac Productions, Big Nel, for doing my recording for this contest, also all the underground artist holding it down for the A. Also to 'Stic' of Dead Prez for recognizing a lil spark in my music. Shout out to my loved ones, my sisters, and all my cousins that bump my music on there myspace page!!!

10. Did you enjoy the contest? Would you recommend The Art of Emcee-ing to a friend?

I enjoyed the contest, a challenge is good, and fo sho' ya'll need to pick up that Art of Emcee-ing, it'll change or confirm some things about the style of writing and your goals as an emcee.

11. How can people contact you for business?

People can get at me via email- or on myspace or
And really the best ways is telephone, but ya'll can ask that over the e-mail or the myspace....

12. What inspired the song/s that you submitted to the contest?

Boss Up inspired me mostly, I like the concept and thought as a lady emcee what would be my take on Bossin Up, so i wrote about my perception of thangs. And i really was feeling that if it won, it would flow with the book and the whole Boss Up Bu ideal. My second song was inspired by growing up in L.A. I had the lyrics to the song for a while, but i thought it would be a good idea to record and give the contest judges a lil of my Cali flavor.

Ife, we wish you continued success in your career and again we thank you sincerely for your participation. Keep it up and never give up!

Boss Up Inc
real recognize real

Now, the first runner up, who all the judges agreed ran neck and neck with our winner is an amazingly talented sister that you will definitely be hearing a lot from in the near future.

Her name is Madam Brown aka Brandi Kane and as our 1st runner up for the Microphone Queen Art of Emcee-ing Contest, she has won a copy of Assata Shakur’s Biography Assata, an official Microphone Queen Tee Shirt and a stuffed gift bag from Boss Up Inc!

Here she is in her own words!

Brandi Kane Interview

1. Tell the people your name where you’re from and what you do?

My name is Madam Brown aka Brandi Kane, the hood donna aka the dope mans daughter. I am from Los Angeles, CA and I have been emceeing, writing rhymes, recording and performing nationally for 11 years.

2. How did you get started emcee-ing? Your influences? What are some of your goals as an emcee? Define your style.

I got started in 1995 just listening in on ciphers in high school, one day I wrote a rap like one hundred bars long, and i spit it into a tape recorder over the "hurricane" instrumental (e 40 and the click) and the next day I took it to my road dog Devon brown and I let him hear it in confidence but later that day other people told me they heard and that it was good so that sort of set it off and that was the genesis of my career. My first influence was my boy Devon brown AKA numb nuts, and as far as mainstream artists I looked up to the lady of rage for her aggressive no nonsense style, snoop of course, i was listening to DJ Quik in like 1991, the Geto boys, 2pac. I remember when I first saw the trapped video and i really remember reciting every word from Brenda's got a Baby. I like a lot of 80's R&b i.e. Loose ends, SOS Band, Midnight Star, Morris Day and The Time, early Prince, and Michael Jackson. I used to stay up late at night and watch Pump it up and see groups like, NWA, HWA, BWP, Salt n Pepa, JJfad, Public Enemy, Kid n Play, MC Hammer, Da brat, Dr. Dre, and really too many more to name...

My goals as an emcee are to get my message across internationally to millions of people and make money at it as well. I would love to become rich of course, but more importantly I have to maintain the integrity of my music first and foremost. Beyond selfish gain i would then like to use some of the finances and "star power" gained from emceeing to empower the black youth by placing community centers in the ghetto's globally.
From reading the art of emceeing that I have what is classified as the straightforward style, not too much trickery just hard core street but thought provoking and conscious content. Not preachy but definitely not ignorant.

3. How has it been as a woman striving to do your thing in the rap game?

As a female in the game its been a challenge to stand my ground in the era of the sex kitten, and not go that route. Because the industry wants copycats and puppets for the most part so it's been hard to get some one behind the desk to put their career on the line, for me and completely see my vision for myself. However i do feel that there is a void in the game, where a positive yet attractive female emcee who is actually dope is concerned and i believe that one day i will be around to fill that spot. I may bend but i won't break and if and when that time comes i won't be bending over for damn sho!
I don't see anything wrong with a woman having a sexy image i just believe that our lyrical content should be greater than our sexuality.

4. How did you hear about the contest?

I heard about this contest via email.

5. What artists, labels would you like to work with?

I would like to work with, Dj Quik, Nas, Ice Cube, Young Buck, dead prez, UGK, L- boogie, the Lady of Rage, Rah Digga, Lady Saw, I-Wayne, Erykah Badu, India Arie, Daz and many more. As far as labels, I want to work with whoever would present me with the most just situation, as far as marketing and promotions go points and things of that nature that could change my living situation and take me from good to excellent. (if they exist) other than that I will soon be incorporated and working on my own imprint and company.

6. What are some useful things you found in The Art of Emcee-ing?

I like the whole book but my favorite parts were the sections on style definition, and vocal care and preparation. Those stood out to me because they told me things i didn't know, i never knew how to classify my style such as straightforward and I never knew that a toothbrush could affect the health of your throat and vocal chords in such a big way.

7. What other skills/interests do you have?

Aside from music I am a sociologist, activist in my community and iI have a gift for working with those whom society has labeled as "troubled" or just plain bad. I work with kids in gangs doing intervention and young ladies in group home placement providing counseling to them.

8. What can people expect from your ideal project in the near future?

Bangin tracks! Doper lyrics than ever and even me doing a lil bit of singing. I also wanna do some soft rock tracks.

9. Any shout outs or comments?

Shout outs to stic man and dead prez! Your music truly has enlightened me as well as entertained me and thats what the each one teach philosophy is all about. So once again I really do appreciate you guys as artists and as activists, and as my brothers and I want to thank you for providing us sistas with a platform to be heard through the Microphone Queen Art of Emcee-ing Contest and Boss Up Inc.

10. Did you enjoy the contest? Would you recommend The Art of Emcee-ing to a friend?

I enjoyed the contest, I wish I could hear all the entries! Just cuz I hate to miss out on good music, underground or mainstream. And I do recommend The Art of Emceeing to people all the time, I had to cop another one cuz I gave my first one away, since its such a good read. Its even educational for non -emcee's so I have passed this piece along. And how many books come with beat CD's?! Good lookin Stic!

11. How can people contact you for business?, or
323 373 7494 and also

Thank you so much sis. Continued success in all your moves. Keep shining! You deserve it! Boss up!

Boss Up Inc would like to thank all the judges for their time and participation in the process…

  • Dj Beverly Bond
  • Crystal Johnson
  • Lady bug Mecca of Digable Planets!

Tune in soon for the next contest in the ’07!