“I’m not trying to be no damn sex symbol. Lady Twist is not here to be sexy, let the record reflect that. Lady Twist is here to entertain.” And so she does. Below the rapper-cum-soon-to-graduate journalism student (commencement’s on Friday — congratulate her!) talks about being gay, being big and being unwilling to let anything get in the way of her career.
Early in the last episode, you said you were ready to leave. Did elimination come as a relief?
Yeah. I was getting really frustrated. First of all, I’m a private person. I like to have my own space. Living in the house with all these crazy-ass women, all this s*** going on, the only privacy I had literally is if I went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. Plus, I’m a drama-free type person. I didn’t even know what the hell was going on. I didn’t know why Byata and Chiba didn’t like each other till I saw the episode! Looking back at it, I slept through all the major arguments. That’s why I was like, “Let’s sit down and talk about it.” I didn’t know the s*** had already hit the fan.
YoYo said that you didn’t show and prove as a storyteller. What’d you think of that assessment?
I thought that was complete bulls***. All the people that I meet on the street say they knew what I was talking about. All the people in the house knew what I was talking about. How is it that it only went over YoYo and Serch’s heads?
Do you think they had an ulterior motive?
Real talk, I think they had to find a reason to send me home. I think I was sent home because I wasn’t in the drama. I wasn’t ratings material because I was trying to sit back and make peace.
It seemed like the show turned you away from music.
Naw. I was just so frustrated with everything going on. It didn’t turn me away from rapping, because that’s my passion. But the pressure was so intense with cameras everywhere, I couldn’t find a private place, and I wondered, “Is this really how I want my life to be with a camera in my face all the f***in’ time?” That’s why I thought I’d maybe jump harder into the journalism thing. In the conversation I had with shorty, I was basically saying that I was going to switch around my priorities and make school No. 1. But then after I got home and smoked a blunt or two and got over the pressure, it was like, never mind. Music’s first. It was one of those heat-of-the-moment type of things.
What happens if you do blow up and are always surrounded by cameras?
I’m just going to have to deal with it. I don’t think God blessed me with all this talent to amuse my damn self. It comes with the territory. Even now, everywhere I go people recognize me. Now I understand how people meet celebrities and they say they were a bitch to them, because they’re tired of people f***ing with them all day. I love my fans, but after a while, it’s like, leave me the f*** alone. I’m always real cordial and everything, but I understand how all this can push someone into acting like a fool on somebody.
I know you value your privacy, but I saw online that someone referred to you as an “out lesbian.” Are you?
When you were talking on the phone about wanting to leave, the person you were talking to was identified as your “friend.” How did you feel about that?
I didn’t care, really. At the time, she was more than a friend, but now that she’s not, I appreciate that they only said “friend.” It was all good either way.
Do you think your sexuality plays a major factor in your music?
I’m just me. I don’t sit around and think, “How gay am I gonna be on this song?” I do have songs that talk about things related to my sexuality and females or whatever, but I’m just myself at all times. By that being part of me, it’s going to be reflected sometimes.
What did you make of the sexual tension in the house?
(Laughs) I should have expected it. A lot of people say, “Chiba and Byata need to f*** and get it over with!” I mean…it was bound to happen. You got a house full of female rappers. Somebody was bound to like somebody.
Thanks to the dancing challenge, another issue that came up was your size. What was your take on that?
First of all, they didn’t air the fact that I f***ed my ankle up the night before and they didn’t air the fact that that was at least 50 percent of the reason why I wasn’t able to jump around and sweep the f***in’ floor. Thing is, I ain’t never been a dancer. I make the music, y’all dance to it. Real talk: how often do you see 50 Cent stirrin’ it up or sweepin’ the floor? Rappers don’t dance! I don’t know what the hell that was about. I mean, it was a cute twist and I have officially accepted the fact that I can’t dance, thanks to VH1.
The world being unfair as it is, is your size a concern, going forward with your career?
People are so ignorant, angry and bitter. I don’t understand the human race sometimes. I see how it can be an issue, but the truth is that if I was Nicky2States’ size, people would still find something wrong with me. But I’m not trying to be no damn sex symbol. Lady Twist is not here to be sexy, let the record reflect that. Lady Twist is here to entertain. I’m an entertainer, I’m not a goddamn go-go dancer.
Did you choose your name to make yourself a female counterpart to Twista?
I get that a lot. It’s a complete coincidence that I call myself “Lady Twist” and I spit fast like Twista. When I came up with that name, I was just writing a rhyme one day and it popped in my mind. I ran with it ever since then. All respect to Twista, but he was the last thing on my mind when I came up with that name.
What’s coming up for you creatively?
I got a mixtape out now, it’s double CD, The Demotape 1 and The Demotape 2. I’m addicted to recording. I express myself best through music, so every time something happens, I gotta write a song about it. I’m working on a new mixtape called The Trilogy. I’m planning to do an album soon.
There’s a lot of talk about how the industry isn’t really so open to female rappers right now. Is that frustrating to you?
Everybody wants to play Follow the Leader. Everybody wants to do what the last person did and just add a little to it. The female artists that are in the game are sexually provocative characters. In the country, period, not just music, females are underrated. It’ll take just one good female artist to jump out there and change the game. Give people something new. It’s just a matter of stepping out, all of us really, as female artists and showing everyone that we’re worth our salt.
Do you feel there’s an inherent activism in putting Lady Twist out there?
For starters, I just want to entertain. But with the world being so narrow-minded, me jumping out in the industry is a form of activism. I’m pulling for the big girls, I’m pulling for the females, I’m pulling for the gays. My whole existence is a form of activism. It’s not really intentional, but that’s the way it is since I’m so different from what the “norm” is. And normal is so overrated, by the way.
Keep up with Lady Twist via her MySpace.