One of the most talented new rappers to emerge from the always entertaining Philadelphia rap scene is Lee Mazin. The versatile emcee/producer/singer went from jokingly kicking a rap for her friends to chasing rap star status full time. Lee Mazin has hit the stage alongside acts such as Meek Mill, MC Lyte, Young Jeezy, T.I., Mac Miller, Rick Ross and more. This year she joined the cast of Sisterhood of Hip-Hop, the Oxygen reality show that chronicles the lives of up and coming female rappers. Recently we linked up with Lee Mazin to discuss Sisterhood of Hip-Hop, navigating the digital world and her jampacked A3C schedule.
How would you describe yourself as an artist to someone who hasn’t heard your music yet?
Very raw, versatile, and lyrical.
What do you think you have that makes you stand out from other artists out now?
I just stay true to myself. Outside of just going with the flow of things that are already out, I try to create my own sound. I just stay in tune with me while also staying in tune with what is going on today. I don’t just go with the flow. I follow my own lead.
What’s the biggest thing you got out of being on the Sisterhood of Hip-Hop?
Obviously more exposure. And being able to work with other female artists.
How has working with the other artists on the show made you better?
It definitely gave me a better appreciation for other female artists. I’ve worked with female artists before but most of the artists that I have worked with that were female were already legends in the game like Trina and Remy [Ma]. Just to work with my peers that are actually chasing the same dream as me right now, it gave me a better respect for this generation of female rappers.
Are you close to your castmates from the show?
Yeah, we keep in touch for the most part. We support each other. If we are in the same city we hangout. Stuff like that.
What’s it like making friends in the industry? A lot of people have varying opinions on that.
It’s like making friends anywhere. We have people that come and give us a genuine good vibe. Then there are some people you feel kind of sketchy about. So I go off vibes. Whether you are an artist, in the industry or just someone I meet walking down the street--I just go off of good vibes.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the media's treatment of female rappers and the line of questioning they get in interviews versus what male rappers get. Do you feel like you get treated a certain type of way because you are female?
Most definitely. It doesn’t bother me but there definitely is a difference. For one, most females that I know always get the question of ‘are you single or dating? What’s your relationship status?’ They may ask males that as well but it’s not as often. It’s not too many interviews you see where males are being asked "what type of situation are you in? Are you gay? Are you into girls or guys?" Nobody is ever going to ask a guy that. "How did you get to where you are?" But sometimes it seems like they are seeking "who put you on?" But they wouldn’t really ask a guy that either. So it’s a lot of different things. But it doesn’t bother me at all because I know I worked hard to get where I am and I know at the end of the day my personal life doesn’t really matter with what I have going on. So I know how to maneuver through interviews. But I do feel like there are a lot of questions interviewers only ask us as females.
How do you stay on top of your online presence and keep everything fresh?
I feel like everything moves so fast, you always have to have something new. Whether that is visuals, videos, of course music. And I think I do a lot of interacting with my following on social media. I may not answer back to every comment or DM. But I always make sure I interact some way. Even if it’s just a quick "thank you" to all of my followers. People like to feel in tune with the artists and celebrities and famous people now days. They feel like they are more appreciated because we are more accessible now. Whereas back then, we didn’t have social media. So you couldn’t see what Beyonce was doing all day. You couldn’t see what anybody was up to or what their kids looked like. You didn’t see that type of stuff. And now you have access to see what we are doing, when we are in the studio, how we make the music, when we are shooting a video, what we are doing on our personal time. They feel more of a personal connection. So I feel like sometimes it’s good to interact with your followers. Just staying new and staying true basically.
Are you excited to be returning to A3C?
Definitely. I think this is like my third year being involved and it gets bigger and bigger everytime I go. There are more shows, bigger stages and more exposure every year. I’m excited for that. I think right now I’m locked in for like five stages and still counting. And we just signed up to do A3C this year because we actually had another event going on but we made it work so I’m excited. You just have to stay tuned for the all the info on all of the shows. I know I have an all female show. Another show with PNB Rock and A Boogie with the Hoodie. And another show with a Philly stage with Kur and Philly the boss. And a couple of other things. So there is a lot going on.