- Can you give us a brief Bio of yourself.
Hey what's up. How's it going everyone? My name is Shin-B and I'm a female Hip Hop MC from Los Angeles. I've performed all throughout the States and Korea. I've recorded with Large Professor of Nas' Illmatic. I've been featured on the Los Angeles Times. I'm currently working on a new album to be released later this year, 2010. For more info, www.facebook.com/shinbhiphop or www.myspace.com/shinb. I'll be performing with Jay Sean ("Down feat. Lil Wayne") on April 3 @ Shrine Auditorium. Tickets are selling out fast. Go, go, go.
- How was you like as child?
I was a tomboy. I never liked dolls or played dress up. A majority of my closest friends were guys. I played basketball and made fun of people. I was somewhat of a bully.
- At what point in your life did you decided that rapping will be your career and how does your family feel about it?
It was during middle school that I really fell in love with hip hop. It was during the time radio was major. Everyone would tune into Power 106, 100.3 The Beat. I would record their daily countdown on my ghetto walkman and listen to songs by Tupac, Bone Thugz, Coolio, Dre, Queen Latifah, etc. for hours and hours. I'd make it my job to learn the lyrics to all of their songs and show off to my friends. I'd record myself rapping on their beeper/pager intros. Hah. It was classic. Then, towards the end of high school, I started doing local talent shows and it just kinda took off from there. I had a passion for it that never died. While all my other friends gave up on their dreams, I never did. And, that's when I knew this was what I wanted to do and had to do. I work hard at it every single day to make sure it becomes all I had hoped for and expected. Largely, I leave it ultimately up to God though. I used to be so cynical and bitter towards God because I felt like He wasn't allowing it to happen for me. But, as I get older and mature in thought, I realize He's got a plan; a real specific plan for me and that I need to be patient and trusting. My family is very supportive now. They were against it in the beginning because they thought it would lead to nowhere and that it was embarassing for them. Afterall, I am Asian and I am female. I understand. What parent would want that for their daughter? However, after seeing me sticking with it for years and years now, they've finally realized I will never quit and have thus accepted it. They even help promote my name to their friends and whomever related in the industry now. I am so thankful and so blessed.
- Do you present yourself an Asian or Korean Hip-Hop artist?
I represent whatever I feel truly comfortable with. I don't really go around representing this or that. I just represent me and only me. Yes, I'm Asian. Yes, I'm Korean. Yes, I'm female. Yes, I'm a hip hop artist. I'm everything.
- Rap battles, what was your most memorable one that you was involve with?
Actually this is really embarassing, but that's what life's all about, right? You live and you learn. Experiences are what shapes the individuals we are today. I entered this rap battle that took place at Le Prive in Koreatown, Los Angeles. It was to promote Jin right after he'd won 106 & Park. Basically, there were about 4 other male mc's battling. And, there I was... the only female in the competition battling it out. When it came to my turn, they turned off all the music and made us go acapella style, no music. I kinda choked and yeah, flopped. But, I was proud I had the courage to do it. Many times, females feel so discouraged to do anything like that and that's why there's such a lack of presence. I say, who cares, go for it, you only live once.
- Do you feel underrated because you are a female MC or is that to your advantage ?
Both. It's a blessing, but it can also be a curse. I get a lot of attention because I am female. But, sometimes I get underestimated and belittled because of that. People are quick to judge and they tend to look down upon female mc's. I don't think music should be based upon gender, but based upon solely the music itself. It gets a little lonely sometimes. I wish there were more legit female mc's, especially Asians. It would be refreshing. I'd love to do more collaborations with female mc's, but good ones are hard to find.
- How many album have you put out and where can we find them?
I've put out 2 albums and featured in 3 other albums in the UK and Korea. I was featured on an album produced by DJ K-Delight in the UK, England. Our record was entitled "Shake Rattle Throw" and it was a song about graffiti art. He's worked and performed with DJ Kentaro of Japan and DJ Jazzy Jeff in the States. I was featured on an album produced by The Sophist in Korea. Our record was entitled "Moments" and it's about the struggles I've faced throughout the years while pursuing music. Both are available online and in certain itunes and various music outlets. The 2 albums I've put out so far were mixtapes. One was entitled "The Atypical Mixtape." This one is out of stock.
- Do you have method in recording a song? How do you go about preparing or coming up with subject or topic matter?
I write randomly everyday and if I hear a beat that matches anything I've written then that's perfect. BUT, sometimes... if I hear a beat, then I'll get inspired and write according to the vibe I got from the beat. I go back and make edits once I've done all my writtens and matched it to the beat. When I record the actual song at the studio, I like to record sitting down. I know a lot say you have to record standing up so you can project, but I like to sit. It comes out better for me that way. I also like to chew gum to freshen up my airway so I can get the maximum vocal sound. I'm currently reading a lot of novels and documentations to expand my knowledge. I'm drawing a lot of inspiration from all the classic novels like The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Flies, To Kill A Mockingbird, etc.
- We remember seeing you at the first Asian Hip-Hop summit in Korea Town and now it has expanded worldwide.
If you can recall how was that moment like for you and how do you feel about it now?
It was exciting but nerve wracking. I had no idea what it would have done for my career today. Even though the setting was intimate since it was the first and the turnout wasn't too great, it really pumped me up to want to make this a full-time thing. It motivated me and got me in touch with a lot of other fellow aspiring local mc's. It was a great start. Definitely a stepping stone to my foundation today.
- You work with so many big name producers, how is it like and who was the most difficult to work with?
It's surreal. I still can't believe it. I've been rapping for forever now, nearly 9-10 years of just straight hustling and hustling. I network and hustle like crazy to get where I'm at today. All those producers were done through my determination and persistence. A lot of times, they'll ignore you, but if you keep hounding them, then they'll eventually hear you out. But, your music and business has to be set up just right. You have to present all your goods professionally and make sure your music is quality material. Make sure your music stands out and you have all your important assets lined up and ready to go. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to approach them seriously. No one has been difficult, it's been an absolute pleasure.
- If you can work with anyone in the music industry right now, who would it be and why?
J.COLE, newly signed artist to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label. I am obsessed with him. He is my biggest influence right now when it comes to hip hop. He is a breath of fresh air. He is amazingly dope. I can't even begin to describe in words. And, he's also friends with a couple of my friends and producers I've worked with in the past. Check out his two mixtapes, The Warm Up & The Come Up. Check out tracks, "Grown Simba" + "Dreams" + Lil Ghetto Nigga. He'll leave you going wild. Absolutely mind blowing.
- You toured numerous time oversea, how as that like and how did the people treat you there?
It's great. I love to travel and experience new things. The people are so loving. I've had a few bad experiences, but I've learned from it.