Should Rece Steele not be able to fulfill all of her duties as Miss Rap Supreme…well, don’t count on the first runner up to take her place. Byata seems more than fine with not taking the crown: “The contest is Miss Rap Supreme, and I’m more Miss Music Supreme,” she explains below. She also talks about being “pop,” her sixth sense and why that kiss with Chiba meant nothing to her.
Did it take you any time to get over not being named Miss Rap Supreme?
No! I knew that was going to happen. The contest is Miss Rap Supreme, and I’m more Miss Music Supreme. My whole thing is music. I’m not saying that Rece isn’t music. She’s rap. She’s hip-hop. She’s second-generation, and the title should be hers. It’s all good.
When you say that you’re Miss Music Supreme, does that refer to the fact that you sing as well as rap?
No, it means hip-hop is not the only type of music that moves me. I can do a rock beat or a house beat or a disco beat. It’s just music that moves me.
What did you make of Ms. Cherry comparing you to Gwen Stefani and Nelly Furtado?
I don’t mind that. I’m crossover. At the same time that I’m pop, I’m still hip-hop. I have both worlds listening to me. I have the punk world listening to me and loving me. I’m opening doors that the other girls can’t.
When you sang for will.i.am, he said, “I want to produce that.” Do you have plans to work with him?
No, I haven’t talked to him, but I have some people working on the situation. He seemed like he wanted to work with me.
Were you surprised about how much the show focused on your drama with Chiba?
I’m not surprised. That was the drama. That kept Chiba in the house. That kept people wanting to watch. I kinda knew that. I already was beefing with her, and we were already not frieds, but I decided to play it up. At the end of the day, it’s good TV. I didn’t like her, don’t get me wrong, and everything that came out my mouth was real. But I did resolve to make her life a living hell, the way she tried to make mine a living hell.
It seemed like you were very close in the beginning. What was the final straw for you?
We started off close, and when I say “close,” I don’t know her from a hole in the wall. I liked her style. I liked her image. Her gimmick sold me. There was something about her that made me say, “If she can rap as good as she looks, I want to roll with her.” I like to roll with talented, pretty females. Who wouldn’t? Once I really saw how she was after the first challenge we were together on, with me, her, Rece and Bree, afterwards, I won Miss Representation, and I saw her sour attitude to me about my winning. If you’re my friend, you’re happy for me. The same way I was happy for her.
Did the kiss you shared complicate the situation?
No! That was a truth-or-dare kiss! That wasn’t an oh-my-god-I’m-turned-on-and-need-this-passionate-moment-with-Chiba kiss. Someone dared us and it happened. It wasn’t that serious.
She told me she was attracted to you.
I bet she was. A lot of people are attracted to me. Not to be cocky. She thought she was gonna be my boss, and it was just like, “You’re not the boss of me.” Her tactic in the house was to be everybody’s boss. For the first couple of days, we were all friends. Everybody loved Chiba. Chiba was the center of attraction. Everybody flocked to her. And then all of a sudden, it was like, wow, that was all a front. That was just a tactic.
Just be completely sure, your feud with her wasn’t any semblance of a love spat?
No. I don’t…no. It wasn’t a love spat. I don’t fall in love that easily.
You ended up bonding with Rece. Was it weird having to go up against her in the final round?
When we got into the house, I didn’t pay attention to Rece because she was so quiet. After the episode when we were at the gay club, and I saw her go off on Chiba, it was like, where did this girl come from? Hello! I just saw the Bronx come out of her. From that moment, I knew Rece was going to win. Because you know, I have dreams and all that, like when I said I had a dream that Chiba was the devil. I saw it. So I would tell Rece that. I didn’t think it was going to come down to her and me. I thought it was going to be Rece and Ms. Cherry. But I said to her, “It would be real funny if it ended up being me and you, since we’re both cool and we’re both from New York.” That would be a cool showdown, Brooklyn vs. the Bronx.
When you say that you have dreams, you mean that you have a sixth sense?
Yes. I have gypsy blood in my veins. It was something I was born with.
You live in Cali now. What is it about California that attracted you?
Hollywood is the land of dreams. You can come here and work for a fried chicken stand and become Brad Pitt. There are bigger opportunities here than in New York. In New York, everybody’s grinding and people don’t pay attention to you the way they should. But out here, because I’m so authentic and different, it’s cool.
In your experience, is it as hard being a female rapper in ’08 as the show makes it out to be?
Yeah. I feel the struggle, because the right female hasn’t come along yet. That female has to be able to crossover. She has to be that female: beautiful, trendy, stylish. She has to have a lot of different things. She needs to be classy, she needs to be sassy. She needs to be sexy, but she needs to be hood. She needs to be everything, and she hasn’t come along yet.
But you think you’re that female?
I don’t think, I know I am. It’s just with the right direction, the right producer and the right money. That’s why I don’t mind Cherry saying I’m like Gwen Stefani or Pink. Those girls sell so many more records than Foxy or Kim.
Are you working on anything now?
I’m always masterminding something. Plotting. I just recorded five new songs. Bangers. Basically, the album that I put out, the album that’s going to make it into stores, that big one, is going to be intense. It’s going to be the sickest hip-hop album ever.
So your time on the show was worthwhile, then?
It was worth every moment. If I could do it all over the same exact way, I would, except I’d probably focus more on me than Chiba. But it was beautiful. It was what I needed.
Keep up with Byata via her MySpace.
Miss Rap Supreme show page