Crackin' Nutz 

Women MCs struggle for a place of their own amid the misogyny and violence of gangsta rap.

Page 7 of 7

"There's a singing part to my songs, and a rapping part," Jamaica continues. "A male part and a female part, because that's how my mind is." Thus, Both Sides of the Game. Her cousin and fellow rapper Shaka Diesel contends that Jamaica's ability to embrace this duality is what distinguishes her from other rappers, women or otherwise. "There's a difference between being 'soft' and being 'emotional,'" he says. "Jamaica's bringing something new to the table because she's talking about feelings, but she can also keep up with the fellas. That's different from a lot of the female rappers you see on TV who just like to talk about their ass."

Even with that insight, so far the road for Jamaica has been rocky at best. The young MC consistently wins the talent shows held at the Bayview Opera House, but occasionally it takes more than skill to beat her detractors. Last November, a guy stepped up to her after she took first place and said, "I think they were doing too much, letting you win like that." Almost a year later, Jamaica retorts that "males get intimidated by tight female rappers," but at the time his comment stung, even though she walked away. "I wait until people put their hands on me before I fight them," she says. "Otherwise, I might challenge them to a freestyle battle or something." That same month, another female MC stepped up to Jamaica after a show, and she says they ended up fighting.

Jamaica says she kicked the girl's ass.

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