Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Dec 23rd 2009 2:45PM by Shelley White
There's no doubt that the Philadelphia-bred rapper is perfectly at ease with the sexually explicit party songs she's been making since her late teens.
"When I first started rapping I was pretty young and I was boy-crazy, and it was fun for me to rap about fooling around with boys and going to parties," she tells Spinner. "I'm private about certain things, but that's not one of them."
At the same time, she doesn't want the world to think that sex and drugs and booty-shaking on the dance floor are all she's about. Her debut release, 'I Love You' -- which features stuttering hardcore beats courtesy of Diplo and Switch -- contains as many emotion-laden songs about love and heartache as it does party anthems. Her freaky, foul-mouthed rhymes are impossible to ignore, but to her it's just about being honest as an artist and a woman.
"I think it's important for girls to feel that it's okay to be open and as explicit as they feel they need to be, and not feel like they need to live up to any man's Madonna/whore standards of what a woman should be," she says. "When guys say they want a lady in the streets but a freak in the bed, OK, that's cool. But you know what? Then you're not man enough for me, because any man who's gonna date me has to know I'm gonna be me all the f---ing time."
Though she's proven on the mic she can hang with the boys, Amanda is a self-proclaimed girl's girl. She's one of six sisters who "lucked out touring with the coolest women on the planet," including Santigold, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and, most recently, Canadian raunch-rap maverick Peaches. Santigold has been an especially important influence on her music and her confidence ("She told me you can't let a critic or a record label or a douche with a blog make you decide how you're gonna feel about yourself," Blank says). She also attributes some of her success to having honed her craft in the City of Brotherly Love.
"People go a little crazy in Philly," she says. "It's a very inexpensive city to live in so it's a breeding ground for people who want to be creative. With the big cities, you meet a lot of people who are artists that never create anything because they're too busy hustling to try and make enough money to live. They don't have any time to produce anything unless they're rich and someone else is supporting them. You can live in Philly and work three days a week in a coffee shop and then spend the next four days of the week working on your art."
And as for the state of hip hop? The MC has choice words for those people not keeping up with the times: "You hear a lot of people saying hip hop is dead and it's like, you're old," she says. "That music is for the kids. The lifestyles of these children are changing and if they are going be rapping about text messaging and video phones than that's what the f--- they're going to rap about, this is what they know."
Despite her affinity for party songs, Amanda says she wants more than just a quickie from her fans. Part of her move into more emotional territory in her songwriting is an attempt to reach out to her audience in a deeper way.
"The music that means the most to me is the stuff that I want to repeat over and over again. Nothing in the world can hit you like a certain song, I mean, it's really otherworldly, it feels like a religious experience, it touches you so profoundly," she says. "I want that connection."