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interview // miss moses

What is the logic behind your name?  

Well, I was first called "Miss Moses" by a boyfriend... He was a little upset that I wouldn't um... give in to a few pressures and he called me Miss Moses because he said I "always lay down the law." It just stuck. Then I realized that Miss Moses was Harriet Tubman's nickname, and I feel God's anointed me to release captives, both spiritual and physical. I minister to souls and I work in prisons for justice reform... It fits.

How long have you been into Hip-Hop?

I've been into hip-hop for as long as I can remember, really. I think I really fell in love though when I discovered A Tribe Called Quest. I can remember being 11 or 12 years old and hoping to one day be a Christian emcee. I thought it was a far-fetched idea though. It's funny how God works. When he calls, he equips.

What motivated you to get into this industry?

Well, to tell you the truth, I can't stand the "industry." All I've ever wanted was to make the music and poetry that God's placed in my heart. The "industry" hurts a lot of people. I try not to be concerned with the "scene" and who's dope and who's wack... and who doesn't minister how someone thinks they should. I think if we're going to be effective we need to unite. There's way too much bickering and fighting going on in "Christian" hiphop, and I guarantee this isn't the will of Christ. As far as my motivations, though, I just want to get my music to the people who will appreciate and benefit from it. If that's in "Christian" hiphop, then so be it. If not, that's cool too. Doesn't change who I am and who God is.

What was your first single/recording?

I think I was 12 years old and recorded this song called "Peace Be Chill." Man, it was so wack. I don't even think I have the tape anymore. I didn't really get serious about my art until I was about 18. I recorded a verse on Sackcloth Fashion's album, and then I started on my project shortly thereafter.

What instruments do you use?

Personally, I play the violin, but it won't be featured on my project. Profound likes to use live instruments in his production. We use live drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, bongos, mouthbow, clawhammer banjo, mountain dulcimer, Japanese koto, Native American flute, this bamboo thing with no name, spoons, washboard, harmonica, lots of different percussion, piano... It's going to be unique, for sure.

How would you classify your style as an artist?

Well, my style's extremely eclectic. I am influenced by everything from The Doors to The Roots. Gil Scott Heron to Simon and Garfunkel. I'm a poet first and foremost, and my soul thinks in music.

What artist(s) have you not worked with, but would like to?

Peter Tork (formerly of the Monkees), the Dixie Chicks, ?uestlove from The Roots and Stevie Wonder.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Probably still in graduate school, finishing up my PhD. Shortly thereafter I want to be teaching at a university. I'll still be writing poetry, hopefully taking the world by storm with my crew.

What do you feel is the toughest part of the music industry?

The toughest part is that other soldiers kick their own brothers and sisters around. People backstab too much. People argue over things that are inconsequential while other people are dying and hurting. These things are amplified in the "Christian" scene, and it shouldn't be that way.

What would the ultimate reward for you be?

I know everyone's going to say this, but I want God to be pleased with me. I just want to make him proud.

What message are you trying to get across to fans?

I don't have any certain agenda or message, aside from the fact that God is beautiful and kind and loving and that he has a plan for every one of us. He's brought me through so much in life, and more importantly, he's transforming me daily. My music is just a reflection of my constant state of growth (or the one that I strive for).

What is your favorite Bible verse?

James 1:17.

If someone were to look in your CD player or tape player right now what would be in it?

The Doors, Brainwash Projects, Tonex, Stevie Wonder, and Nicole C. Mullin.

Personally what does hiphop mean to you?

Well, I think I used to almost idolize hiphop. Lately I've distanced myself from it. I didn't want it to come between me and God. On a general level, hiphop's a beautiful culture, an expression of beautiful, creative people. A voice of the voiceless... and it encompasses so much. I still have love for the culture, but I don't let it limit me or become my god.

Who do you feel is your biggest influence and why?

Of course, God. Aside from that, my crew... ban Lyricists. They are the most incredible eight poets that I've ever met. They influence my art,Ur my life, my thoughts, my spirit... I'm glad they found me.

How do you feel your music will effect its listeners?

They'll think. That's really all I'm aiming for I guess. I just want people to dig a little deeper. It might make them angry, uncomfortable... and that's fine. I just can't stand complacency.

If you could change one thing in world, what would it be?

I can't stand injustice. I know there will never be a utopia until Jesus returns, but I'd like to see justice prevail. No innocents in prison, no economic and cultural disadvantage... Things of that nature.

If you could have one superhuman power, what would it be?


What should we expect from you in the future?

Expect that I'll evolve and change in my art. Expect that I'll be loyal to my brothers and sisters. Expect that I'll challenge traditions.

What would you like to say to all the new artists in the game?

Well, since I'm a relatively new artist by lots of standards... I don't know. I just wish more people would make music from their soul, not from starry-eyed dreams of fame and fortune. Maybe that's the artist in me.

How can your fans contact you?

I can be reached on the web at http://www.missmoses.com or voice mail 877-291-8184.

Any last words?

If you want to be a bridge, you have to be willing to get walked on from both sides.


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