It’s been long overdue, but we’re finally seeing the renaissance in hip-hop that so many people have been waiting for so long: a new generation of women rappers are claiming their space in the genre and giving their male peers a run for their money. The explosive debut of Cardi B two years ago arguably set off the domino effect that has led to wider recognition for women rappers who may have had a harder time getting their careers off the ground before.
Amena is an Atlanta-based rapper who’s ready to throw her hat into the ring too. She just released her latest single “Lose It” (along with an accompanying video), and spoke with SPICY about her career thus far and what she plans to do next.
Take me back to when you first decided to pursue music. Did you always have a musical background growing up? And what led you to want to make a career out of it?
When I was in middle school I was in the band and on the dance team. I tried various instruments in band but I was the best at the bass guitar. My run in band didn’t last long but it started my career in music. In college I took an internship at Street Execs (who manages 2Chainz) and worked there for the summer. I’ve worked in the business side of things and am now the artist, and what I love about being an artist is the opportunities that are available to create a team for yourself and direct your own creative vision. I believe I have an important message to tell the world, and I hope to spread positivity with my music.
Who are some artists that you credit as inspiration?
I have a wide range of artists who inspire me. As far as rap goes, Missy Elliott has always been a huge inspiration to me creatively because she’s a true trend setter and innovator who takes pride in her craft. I love to make fun upbeat music that makes people want to dance which is why one of my favorite girl groups of all time is The Pussycat Dolls. I love the dance routines they had in their videos and the confidence that radiates when they perform. Lastly, I would say Nicki Minaj is a big inspiration for me due to her work ethic. Regardless of how some people may feel, she singlehandedly held the rap game down for women for years, and that can only be done with passion and work ethic. All of these ladies have paved the way for myself and other new women artists to come in to the game.
What was the process of writing and creating “Lose It” like?
I wrote “Lose It” at around 6 in the morning. Sometimes I’ll wake up early in the morning randomly and the sun will give me the energy and inspiration needed to write a song. I knew I had to put my fellow Atlanta rapper Nep NoHoe on this song because his rap demeanor and the power of his voice fit perfectly with the track. Overall, this song was written for everyone who likes to have fun, get lit, dance, and have a good time.
Tell me a little bit about the “Lose It” video.
I knew I wanted it to be a club scene with me and my friends having fun. This was also my first video where I had a dance routine in it (shoutout to my choreographer EndiBivi). I was so nervous to perform it but it definitely got everyone on set hype to record the rest of the video because it was the first scene we shot.
What do you hope to achieve for yourself, and what would you love for women of color artists to achieve in the future?
For myself, I want to spread positivity through my messages. I want to inspire people to continue pushing forward and encourage others to chase their dreams through my music. For women of color, I want us to focus on the positivity in life and to look at the glass half full. I want us to continue collaborating and working together. Overall, all we have is each other in a male-dominated industry and we have to remember that when the stakes are high.
What are you looking forward to next?
I’m planning on dropping one or two more singles and then an EP. I’m naming my EP Risky Behavior because I’ve taken a risk to follow my dreams. I’ve ignored my doubts and listened to my faith, and I’m excited to share with everyone the magic I have been working on.