In the wake of Nicki Minaj’s record-breaking success, there’s a talented crop of young female MCs making noise — Iggy Azalea, Lola Monroe, Azalea Banks. Perhaps inspired by this new generation, at least one veteran femcee who never got a fair shot is trying to regain a foothold. Shawnna, who had several hits alongside Ludacris in the early 2000s including “What’s Your Fantasy” and the chart-topping “Stand Up” is stepping out of lost-and-found and back into the rap game. She recently sat down with The Breakfast Club morning show on New York’s Power 105 radio station and discussed her hiatus, her relationship with Ludacris, industry sexism and her newfound motivation.
The Chicago rapper, whose last album was 2006’s Block Music, hasn't been getting busy on the mic, but she's certainly been doing just that elsewhere. “I’ve been making babies,” Shawnna said of her milk-carton status. She explained that she has three children, including one who just turned two.
However, it seems that industry drama, as usual, may have played a big role in her break. Shawnna was once signed to Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace imprint, and it seems the divorce wasn’t quite amicable. Show host Charlemagne Tha God said that Ludacris was “highly upset” when they asked him about it in a previous interview, recalling that Luda and Shawnna were supposed to do a “battle of the sexes” album together, but that she reportedly pulled out “at the last minute.”
“It’s more complicated than that,” Shawnna replied. “I don’t like to talk about it.” She hinted that her independent streak, which has earned her reputation as “difficult,” may have played a role. “I don’t bend over,” she said. “I’m not just a puppet. I’m not just gonna go where you tell me to go. When it comes to women having their voice and speaking up for themselves, they always try to us shut you down and say, ‘Oh, you can’t work with her.'"
Shawnna shot down rumors that she had signed with T-Pain a few years back, and more recent reports that Rick Ross was signing her to his Maybach Music Group. “I don’t know how that came about,” Shawnna said of the latter. “The day before that, we had done a big show with Rick Ross in Detroit, and I didn’t even see him that night. I woke up the next morning and they said Shawnna is possibly going to sign with Maybach.”
Either way, the rumors are only going to help Shawnna as she preps a long-awaited comeback. “I’ve been gone so long, so my main focus is just to flood the industry with Shawnna music,” she said. “I definitely feel like I didn’t really have a chance to really get out there and show people the full extent of my talent. If I stop now, I’ll feel like I gave up.”
To see Shawnna’s entire Breakfast Club interview, check out Power 105.
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(Photo: Courtesy Power105.1FM.com)