We caught up with Denise from Phuturehype to find out about the Female MC Competition she's organising and her views on how female artists are treated in the scene.
Please introduce yourself and tell us where you're based.
My name is Denise Destini and I'm based in Wood Green, North London.
What is Phuturehype and what interested you in founding the company?
Phuturehype is a company that helps to showcase up and coming female rappers through the annual female mc/rapping competition. I wanted to do this as I feel that the music industry in this country doesn't really understand UK undergound music.
Where did the motivation to start the female rapper competition come from?
I wanted to start this competition as I felt that there were potentially a lot of talented female rappers out there but that they needed some encouragement to show their talent. I feel that my competition is a stepping stone for them in their rap careers.
How long has the competition run and what have been some of the highlights in its history?
This is the third year of the competition. One of highlights of the competition was being featured on the Channel 4 documentary "Chancers". That was a big thing for me as it was the first year of the competition and having Channel 4 there to record the event was amazing. Also, having Lady Sovereign perform at the first comp. She was an entrant!
How do you feel the quality of female UK hiphop has improved over the past few years?
I think it is slowly getting better. I do feel that there are a lot of female rappers out there who need to show their talent that aren't doing so though.
Who do you think has the best skills to move female UK hiphop forward in 2006?
Def Baby Blue. I've got her latest mix CD and it''s heavy. I think she's gonna do a lot in '06. Also Nchyx, a former Phuturehype finalist from Birmingham, who has already put out her debut album, and Renee Silver, who is a wicked wicked rapper.
Where can would be contestants find out more information about the competition?
For more information about this year's competition, they can go the Phuturehype website. www.phuturehype.com
Do you agree that the hiphop and music media have become more open to female orientated hiphop in recent years?
I think they have, though only recenlty. Female rappers are still seen as a rarity and there are some male rappers who still think that female rappers can't rap for shit. I tell them that a lot of female rappers out there are better than a lot of male rappers.
With only Ms Dynamite and Estelle having significant success, does a female MC have to be a good singer to break into the mainstream?
I'm so frustrated when I see Dynamite and Estelle. They are heavy mcs but they are singing and they can't sing! I blame the major record companies though. They don't know how to market hiphop in this country. That's why I believe that anyone who wants to do hiphop or RnB should do it themselves. Don't sign with a major record label. They still don't get it.
What are your opinions of Lady Sovereign's much talked about links with the hugely influencial Jay Z?
There are various opnions floating about regarding the whole Lady Sovereign/Jay Z link. If it works, it will be big. On the other hand, I feel that her people are concentrating too much on America when she is still to conquer here. I dont think any of her singles have gone top 40 yet and they have put major major promotion behind them. Her album is due out soon, so we will have to see. I personally think that her earlier stuff before she was signed, was really good. I'm not too keen on her recent stuff. And you have to remember that yeah she will be on Def Jam, but Def Jam is part of Universal which she is on anyway.
Have you got anything you'd like to add?
I'd like to big up rapnews.co.uk for giving me the opportunity to share my project. To all the UK underground artists out there, keep striving and keep doing your thing. We will get there!