Interview: Carolina Dirty & Dominique Larue (of Heresy)
(@WeAreHeresy @dlaruemusic @Carolina_Dirty)
Monie Love, Dominique Larue, Carolina Dirty, and MyVerse make up the all-female hip hop group Heresy. After watching the music video for “Da Call Out“, I was excited to see a group of dope, strong-willed emcees doin’ the damn thing for women in hip hop. For hip hop, in general. I was eager to hear more, and I wanted to know more.
On August 14th, they released their self-titled debut EP, released via Polar Entertainment. The EP features 5 tracks that were produced by Mista Lawnge (of Black Sheep) and J Rawls. I had the pleasure of interviewing Carolina Dirty and Dominique Larue of the group, where they talked about their earliest hip hop experience, childhood memories, their influences, fears, identifying with the group name, the purpose behind “Da Call Out”, and more. Although we only scratched the surface of this EP (because the Q&A took place before it dropped), it’s still a dope read and look into their ladies’ work. So, check it out.
Tiffology: Tell our readers a little about yourself/yourselves.
CAROLINA DIRTY: I’m Carolina Dirty, from South Carolina. I’m an emcee, hip hop lover, and registered nurse.
DOMINIQUE LARUE: Dominique Larue, born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Rapping since Elementary school.
What are some of your earliest memories of hip hop?
CD: My earliest memories of hip hop are watching videos and practicing via tv with pioneers such as male/female emcees from the late 80’s. I fell in love!!
DL: I remember when I first seen the video for Wu Tang’s Protect Ya Neck in 93 and literally thought, “Are they the black version of the Klu Klux Klan?” Spare me, please, I was 8. My mother wouldn’t ever let me buy rap CDs but somehow my brother and I still bought them behind her back. The first CD I ever bought was Fugees The Score.
When you first got into hip hop, were there any emcees that you were watching that really influenced the way you came to present yourself as the emcee you are today?
CD: My biggest influence came from the female emcees of the late 80’s and late 90’s. It’s how I have a mix of conscious, motivational, and straight hard emceeing.
DL: Busta Rhymes, Redman, Method Man, Lauryn Hill, and Outkast (to name a few) inspired me as an adolescent; these days it’s mostly been Andre 3k.
How do you each relate to/identify with the group name?
CD: The name Heresy identifies with me because as a female emcee I go against the grain of flashy and sexual appearances. I’m just doing what I love and delivering good hip hop!
DL: I’m definitely all about going against the grain. Or just simply being myself which IS going against the grain. Being an individual is going against the grain. Being exactly who you are is going against the grain.
We already know that Mista Lawnge (of Black Sheep) produced a song on the album (“Da Call Out”), as well as J Rawls (“Hip-Hop (An Ode to the mighty RSC)”), so who else has production credits? On top of that, what else can you tell us about the album?
CD: One track is produced by Mista Lawnge and the others are J. Rawls. The album is truly hip hop purity!
DL: Mista Lawnge produced Da Call Out and J Rawls produced the rest of the project.
Being four powerful, outspoken emcees, what is it like working with each other?
CD: It’s dope working together because when we do songs it presents and comes together as a project of pure versatility and dominance of the variety of styles hip hop can relay.
DL: We haven’t spent much time together in person but the time that we have has surely been fun.
Being spread out across different states, how did the creation process of the EP go down? Did you all fly out to one specific location to record in the same studio, or was it handled with file sharing across the internet, or a little bit of both?
CD: The creation process of the EP was a little of both recording together and sharing files but the latter occurred the most.
DL: A little bit of both. Mostly done in our respective homes.
For those of you that have kids, do they listen to and like your music and have they heard the new Heresy EP yet?
CD: No kids for Carolina Dirty.
DL: Yes, my son is a fan of my work.
How do you balance the life of an emcee (making music, touring, promoting your music / your brand, etc) with the life of a regular human being (holding a job, having some you time, sleeping, etc)?
CD: Balancing the many hats is, indeed, difficult. At times, it became overwhelming, but I’ve learned doing what you love should never be stressful, so I just focus on one objective at a time. There are moments it’s all about music and times when it’s all about life.
DL: It’s easy and at this point it’s natural. I’m a mother, I work, and have many music endeavors, it’s just apart of life. There’s really no How-To, if you will.
We were blessed with the song and video for the first Heresy single, “Da Call Out”. Through the lyrics, you promote self-respect, unity, love, and womanhood, while protesting police brutality, violence, and hate. Are those topics visited throughout the rest of the EP, too? Also, how important is it for you to discuss female empowerment and social activism through the music, especially in today’s world?
CD: The topics on “Da Call Out” was an specific to the song……calling those out that try to project images of what’s not hip hop. In today’s world people, especially young women need images and models to look up to so it’s very important to the hip hop culture.
DL: The project is mainly a showcase of skills, there are a couple stories told especially the bonus track with Monie. We’re living in the communications age, news travels at an alarming rate so it’s very important for people to see positive images no matter the capacity. Women definitely need to be seen in a positive light and maybe Heresy can help with that.
Have any of you dabbled in, or do you currently excel at, the other elements?
DL: I’m just a rapper, I DJ’d for a day but the way my patience is set up…
The self-titled EP was released on August 14th, via J Rawls’ label Polar Entertainment. What’s it like working with him, and how excited are you for the world to hear the project?
DL: Rawls and I have been working together since 08 and he’s always been the homie. Really great, positive spirited person. Much thanks to him for getting behind this project. Excited but yet apprehensive because I’m like that with every project I put out.
What do you hope listeners and fans walk away with, after listening to it?
CD: I want listeners to walk away understanding that hip hop is more than just putting a song together. It’s a life force for many and keeps us alive!
DL: That damn, these ladies spit and are on some no holds barred with it.
Where will we be able to listen to and buy the album? In what format(s) will it be available?
CD: The album is on iTunes and multiple sites via digital download, CD, and Vinyl.
DL: It’ll be available through iTunes, hard copies (CDs & Vinyl) are available through UGHH.com and FatBeats.com
If you could give any piece of advice to other women trying to make a name for themselves in the hip hop community, what would you say?
CD: My best and only advice at this time is to be you, be true, and don’t sell your soul when you have talents that are priceless! If it takes a while, it’s cool! Best to wait instead of selling out for half price as I repeat a line from Dreams on the EP.
DL: Be you. As long as you’re you then everything else will fall into place.
Anything else that you would like to say, or people that you’d like to shout out?
DL: Much love to any and everyone who’ve helped me on my plight.
We here at CrayonBeats like to ask people random questions, that usually have nothing to do with music. That being said, here are 7 of them. If you had to spend a couple of Groundhog days with anyone (think of the movie with Bill Murray), who would it be? Why?
CD: If I could spend a day with anyone it would be my grandmother Bertha. There’s always so much to learn from the older generation.
DL: Bill Murray, because I want to be like him when I grow up. A wanderer.
What’s a great childhood memory that you hold on to?
CD: A great childhood memory is being a part of the Shadow Runna’s crew and performing over the state.
DL: The first time I ever got high off the reefers.
If there were a class that you could teach, on anything, what would it be?
CD: If I could teach a class it would be on being motivational and positive in life to reap good benefits! Something we need in today’s world.
What’s something that you’re afraid of?
CD: I’m afraid of roaches and water bugs! Lol
DL: It’s actually a person and that person is Aaron Hall.
What’s your favorite comfort food?
CD: My favorite comfort food is macaroni and cheese!
What was the last good book that you read or a TV show that you’re currently addicted to?
CD: My favorite show is Game of Thrones. I love it!! No recording and no writing! No phone calls. Lol
DL: Last book I read is The Hunger Games
If you weren’t an emcee or involved in hip hop at all, what would you be doing?
CD: Outside of my profession, If there was no hip hop, I would be writing poetry which I excelled at in school! So it would always be verses and rhyme.
DL: Wow. I have no idea. Probably somewhere being mundane.
You can catch HERESY at the A3C festival this year, on October 10th, in the Polar Entertainment showcase. Check the flyer below.