Lady of Rage: Waiting to Exhale Part Two When you left Death Row, what was your relationship like with Rap? Lady of Rage: Basically, I was through with it. After Tupac died and Biggie got killed, it took the love away from me. It seemed like it was turning to something ugly. I didn’t wanna be on stage performing with someone and […] When you left Death Row, what was your relationship like with Rap?

Lady of Rage: Basically, I was through with it. After Tupac died and Biggie got killed, it took the love away from me. It seemed like it was turning to something ugly. I didn’t wanna be on stage performing with someone and because you have beef with this guy I’m performing with, you taking aim at him – and I’m skipping along singing, and I get killed because of somebody else’s animosity for who I’m with. I didn’t like that. DMX’s album is what made me want to get back in this. Which album?

Lady of Rage: The first two:It’s Dark, and Hell is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood.I was listening to him, and I was like, “Yeah, that’s how you do it!” I was in awe with him. I’m gonna do this s**t. They need me. I like his single now with The Ruff Ryders, “Get Wild” too. I can relate to his passion for it. I rhyme with conviction, and that’s how he strikes me. I need some clarification though. You’ve got this line on a song on the mixtape: ”Arrest me if ya catch me, playa / I was locked on Death Row, so misdemeanors don’t impress me, playa,” Are you dissing Missy, who is also from Virginia like you?

Lady of Rage: I’m glad you asked me about that. When I did that song, I didn’t think about it. I didn’t think people would take it as a diss. When I went to Virginia, two people asked me if I was dissin’ Missy. When I got back to California, one person asked me if I was dissin’ Missy. No! Not at all. I would love to work with Missy. Beef is not my thing – unless you do something to me, personally. It had no reference to Missy at all. I admire her work, plus she’s from Virginia. That’s not my style. Tell me about your relationship with Tupac…

Lady of Rage: My relationship with Tupac was… I don’t know what it was. He thought I didn’t like him. What I didn’t like was the vibe that seemed to have come with him to Death Row. Because he was beefin’ with Biggie, he wanted me to diss Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown. Before that, he told me that I was the weak link on Death Row… He told you this to your face?

Lady of Rage: Yep. Because at [1995] The Source Awards, when Suge said at that stuff, most of the people from Death Row stood up, I didn’t. I didn’t agree. With Biggie, Junior M.A.F.I.A., and Lil’ Kim came out, I stood up. I liked the song. I’m the type that – you can’t make me dislike somebody ‘cause you don’t like him. So I said, “I don’t think that makes me the weak link, I think it makes me the strong link. I’m an individual.” He thought I was the weak link – okay, that’s fine. Me and Foxy Brown never had any type of beef. Secondly, me and Lil’ Kim used to talk on occasions. I liked her stuff. He said, “You not my homegirl?” I said, “Yeah, I’m your homegirl.” He said, “You not gonna diss someone, they tried to kill me!” I said, “Why don’t you see ‘em face to face.” He said, “I’m not trying to kill the motherf**ka, I’m tryin’ to kill his career.” This is what he told me – he didn’t wanna kill Biggie or Puffy, he just wanted to make it bad for them to make money.

We had another incident. We were always coming to stuff. In the studio, he was always coming in on my time. I told him that. He said, “When I call up to the studio, and they ask me what studio I want, and I tell them, they say, ‘Okay, it’ll be ready for you.’” I went to the office. They were like, “What it is, nobody wants to tell ‘Pac no.” I’m like, “What about my stuff? It’s just not important?” There was no answer. I told [‘Pac] what was said. The next time, he was like, “You need more time?” He was trying to work with me. He was more concerned. He asked me if I was gonna be on the One Nation album. He’s like, “I got East Coast mothaf**kas on there, we need you.” I said, “Aiight, I be on it.” That’s why I wasn’t on his album. I didn’t want to be in any controversy. That’s how I played it.

The Saturday he got shot, they went to Vegas, they came over. I was staying at Suge’s house at the time. Everybody left from there. I can’t see too good. I’m supposed to wear glasses but I don’t. I believe he waved at me, but I don’t know. After I got in, I was like, “Damn, was ‘Pac wavin’ at me?” I never got to say bye to him. He never came back. Other than that, he was a cool guy. I remember he told me, “Rage, I don’t like big girls. But there’s something about you I do like.” I said, “Yeah? Okay.” He expressed hisself. He didn’t bite his tongue and I didn’t bite mine neither. I guess we had a respect for each other. Was “Big Bad Lady” on your album an actual collaboration? Or did the label do that?

Lady of Rage: Yeah, he did that. Your comments on Lil’ Kim are interesting – the friendship. I remember on Charli Baltimore’s first album, you were on a posse cut called, “Thorough B*tches.” I always thought that was an answer to “Ladies Night”…

Lady of Rage: Oh, I don’t have a clue! Wow. I was invited to do “Ladies Night.” Uh, the powers that be, being that they had creative control and all that, I couldn’t do it. “Thorough B*tches,” Jacob [York] asked me if I’d be on the track. I never thought of it as an answer or anything. I think DaBrat was on [both songs]. Touching on acting briefly, was your character in Next Friday at all a reflection of the Lady of Rage?

Lady of Rage: No. Rage is not that character. When people meet me, “Don’t beat me up.” I think my rhymes – my style of rhymes is so hard. I separate Rage from Robin. When people meet me, they getting Robin – they expecting Rage. Rage is when I’m really angry, when I’m on stage, or when I’m writing. I’m not like that in person. I tend to play these roles very well. If I had my ideal role, it’d be showing a range of emotions. But I can’t knock what gets me from point A to point B. I don’t wanna keep doing those roles, ‘cause I don’t want to be – typecast. In two or three months, I’m gonna start auditioning again. I would love to be on The Wire though. Lastly, Jean Grae is a staff member of AllHipHop. On your outro, you shouted her out. What do you like about Jean?

Lady of Rage: She reminds me of myself. Conviction, a passion. You can hear it in what she’s saying. She’s not rhyming about her diamonds, or what anybody else is rhyming about. Because I’m not rhyming about what everybody else is, I might not get too much play. But the people that’s checking for the realness, they know Jean Grae. The [women MC’s] I didn’t mention [on the mixtape outro] are because they’re not underground, or they didn’t come to my mind. They blew up. I’m mentioning the ones that didn’t blew up. DaBrat blew up, Eve blew up, Foxy blew up, Kim blew up, Missy blew up. I’m [shouting out] those that didn’t. But, in time – in time. Where can fans get the mixtape?

Lady of Rage: Very soon at [as the site finishes construction,