For Black Girls Rule, discover each day a different personality from a talented, creative and innovative black woman.
People may label her as a “feminist rapper” but she explains her album being an extension of her experiences as a woman during the first 24 years of her life.
Her name is Lay, and she’s a straight shooting rapper as well as activist for female rights in her native Brazil. Her sound references everything from dancehall to punk, tying it to a steadfast belief that invisibility kills and nothing will ever (ever) stop her from saying what she feels. “I’d love it if all women discovered what is to be feminist, and how to be feminist,” she tells us on the aim behind her brilliant 12 91 29 EP. “From inside out, getting rid of the shackles, being free to ourselves from the inside.”
Here is our exclusive interview with Lay !
Do you think it’s important to dedicated a day / a month to women ?
Every day we, women, are disrespected, devalued, abused, lynched, murdered – by men AND women. Every day we, women, fight, kill dragons, face lions, and deal with angels and demons to keep ourselves alive, in flesh and spirit. There are billions of women around the world without a name, a voice, a platform. I’ve grown up on this, and I think one month is not enough, one year is not enough, even one century is not enough. Every second, minute and hour should be dedicated to we, WOMEN, who bear the weight of the world on our shoulders.
Who is the woman that inspires you the most ?
I have a lot of women who are references to me, and I could talk about them, but what I know about them is superficial, in the end of the day – inspirations for my work and my image. I’ve learned that my life, the things that I did right and wrong, are my true inspirations to progress as a human being. I know my pain, my pleasure, my sadness and happiness, my troubles. I have the power to make myself stronger or weaker. We are all imperfect beings, so the women which inspires me to learn and evolve is called LIFE.
What song do you listen to when you need motivation ?
I’ve been listening to a lot of brazilian artists right now: Costa a Costa, Racionais Mc’s, Nego Gallo and Don L.
What movie could you watch a 100 times ?
“Million Dollar Baby”
Which book do you consider your bible ?
The Bible itself.
What is the object you always have with you ?
Books, prayers, music, and work work work.
The best advice you could have given a younger version of you ?
I was raised by my grandmother. I always saw myself as a free woman and I’ve learned a lot on the streets. But when I was young, and even until very recently, I didn’t see that I needed to have people who can bring me real growth around me. Smart and rightful people. I see myself in a transition, from girl to woman, and it is a continuous transition. My time is now, and now I’ll let behind everything that don’t bring me anything good – I need to stay on my “aim and focus”, because to get where I want to get I need to work A LOT, and time is money!
The perfect meme that describes your current state of mind ?
I’m not a meme person, but there’s a recurrent phrase of Racionais that maybe is best understood in our local context: God is the judge!
Photo Credit : Raphael Narciso (Vida Fodona)