Anattitude Magazine Interview
Founded in 2005, Anattitude is an awesome print magazine created as an antidote to the one-dimensional representation of contemporary female Hip Hop culture. Featuring superbly researched articles and interviews, the mag hits all the elements – rap, graff, breakin’, photography, fashion and film – all wrapped up in a super tidy package. We caught up with Jee-Nice, (Anattitude’s head mistress) and got the lowdown on just why there’s a massive need for a publication dedicated solely to the ladies!
Hey Jee-Nice, how is Berlin treating you?
Berlin is treating me nice, but in the meantime I’m living in Brussels, the capital town of Belgium. I just came back from Paris, where I lived and worked the last six months.
Tell us about your awesome magazine Anattitude?
Anattitude presents the dopest ladies in the international Hip Hop scene, with an attitude. Anattitude encompasses the classic elements of Hip Hop: Dj'ng, Rap, B-girling and Graffiti, but also presents female Hip Hop history, film, photography and fashion. Hip Hop is our motto…that means Hip Hop is open for everyone who’s living Hip Hop and who’s creating Hip Hop regardless of race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, etc. The main focus of AM lies on detailed interviews, good photography & graphic design.
Why did you feel it was necessary to bring out a magazine dedicated to women in Hip Hop?
We die for Hip Hop and we want to be represented! We felt that such a magazine was missing, because there’s not one magazine we know that is representing and presenting the ladies of the Hip Hop world. Some magazines present one lady per issue, but we felt like “this is not enough!”. If you look around the globe you’ll discover that our culture is so rich that we can fill out many magazine issues….and we have done!
How long has it been in publication and how long does it take for each issue to get made?
I made the first issue in 2005 – a double issue. The interview issue included pieces on Dutch MC La Melodia, Detroit’s MC Invincible and Switzerland's B-girl crew Dismissed. It was accompanied by a photography issue titled “Real Hip Hop Doesn’t Know Any Gender”, an issue full of photographs of what Hip Hop could be, and already is. The second one was released in Summer 2007, but it took a long time to research. It was about the Parisian Hip Hop scene, and when I came to Paris in summer 2006 I didn’t know anything about the scene so it took me two months in Paris to research my interviewees. I’m really satisfied with my research and the ladies I found - it’s a great issue with great ladies and great content. What’s so important about the French scene, regardless of the elements, is that they are very political, politically interested and conscious about everything they are doing – that’s really a thing people should adopt. The next issue will be a strictly old school issue – it will present the coolest and dopest ladies of the ‘80s, and those who are still influenced by the ‘80s. This will be a great issue too! Amongst others we have got Janette Beckman, who I’m really proud of, because she is the most important lady in Hip Hop photography. She did the early Run DMC, Eric B & Rakim, MC Lyte photographs for album covers and magazines. This issue will also present the only existing women graff magazine “Catfight” on some pages, presenting the female writers in Hip Hop history! I would say it takes about 6 months for one issue, but it's full-time for me with a lot of help from friends and contributors!
How can girls all over the world get the mag?
The mags are sold in selected shops like record stores, (art)book shops and galleries around Europe. It can be also purchased online at anattitude.net and in some mail order web shops like www.graffitmag.com and hhv.de.
Lets talk about the Hip Hop Ladies With Attitude festival Anattitude is organising with Catfight magazine. How did this come about?
We are organising a 10-day “Hip Hop Ladies with Attitude” exhibition during the one-month female Hip Hop festival “We B*Girlz” in Berlin in August 2008. As I invited F.Lady, the publisher of Netherland's all-female graff magazine Catfight to contribute in the next Anattitude Magazine, we thought 'why not present our knowledge and networking skills during that festival.' That’s how it came about. That was in Summer 2007, and since then we have been working on the concept and on the financing of the exhibition. And yeah, there can’t be a festival without the only existing female Hip Hop magazine, that’s pretty clear! “Hip Hop Ladies with Attitude” expo will, for the first time, present an overview of the female Hip Hop and Graffiti history. Our expo is accompanied by our 'Women in Hip Hop' library which consists of the most important books and mags concerning the female Hip Hop culture. During the whole expo, mix-cds from the dopest DJ's will be played. Our expo is also a place to chill and relax during the festival and where you can meet up with others and build up networks. The first day we’ll start the expo with a big opening party featuring amongst others DJ Mok La Rok, better known as the graffiti artist Rosy One and That Fucking Sara. And at the same time we are going to make a Tag-Battle!
What will be going down at the festival and whom can we expect to see there?
2008 is the year of the Hip Hop women!!! The “We B*Girlz” festival will be the biggest event to celebrate the Women in Hip Hop in Europe. In the US, the “B-Girl Be” festival has been taking place every year since 2005 in Minneapolis, and I think it’s a little bit similar to this. “We B*Girlz” will be taking place in Berlin, the capital of Germany during the whole month of August. The festival will offer different workshops concerning all elements of Hip Hop. There will be several film screenings, different expos, our exhibition etc. At the end of the exhibition, a two day party is planned, with big graffiti jam, different panel discussions and a massive concert. Some of the best known MCs and DJs around the world are invited, like Bahamadia, Invincible, Eternia, Stacy Epps, Yarah Bravo, Pyranja, DJ Shortee to name just a few.
How was it possible to get this massive event off the ground? How long did it take?
I don’t know exactly when Nika Kramer, the main organiser of We B*Girlz festival started her work, but I think it was in 2006. F.Lady and I started in summer 2007 to work on the concept, to find financers, to invite the girls, to work out the content. It’s a lot of work, and we still hope to find some more financers!!!
What other ladies are involved in the event and how is it incorporated with the We B*Girlz Festival?
We are working closely together with the team of We B*Girlz event. F.Lady and I have been working via email, because she’s living in Rotterdam (Netherlands) and I’m living in Brussels (Belgium). Nika’s team is working in Berlin (Germany), so that’s not always easy but it works. F.Lady is working with female graffiti writers from all over the world. For the history part, I am also working with lot of girls from around the globe. And a lot of artists and helping hands will be involved in our expo in August.
Who would be your dream performer at the event, apart from me, haha?
For me, my dream team would be Roxanne Shanté and Sparky D both on stage, like in the battle of 1985!
Visit Anattitude online at www.anattitude.net