Thursday, November 26, 2015

Trans Faces #19: MzzAmirraO: The Hardest Working Sister in Hip Hop

By Sabrina Samone, TMP


Whatever comes to mind when you think of a trans-female rapper, forget what you've heard, Amirra Daye Smith aka. MzzAmirraO is breaking down all misconceptions, and glass ceilings with one lyrical rhyme after the next. She's not afraid to step out of the clones of 'video vixxens', and be the strong lyrical stylist she's becoming known for. Her rhymes says it all, "walk through with a shoe so vicious swag on a thou and the crew all vixxenz, sit so pretty but we came here to dance, we came to get loose grey goose."

Last month I had  the pleasure of chatting with another member of her crew, Nicki Andro. Together they have collaborated on tracks that are growing a fast fan base. What make these rappers stand out from the others in our community, is that they aren't afraid to share the stage. They realize to make it. it will take a team, a community, and teams get noticed. That's exactly what's happening with MzzAmirraO, and her crew at SMG group.

I'm a lover of music, and I appreciate a good rhyme with meaning, but that's not what caught my attention by these two artist, or why I've chosen to signal boost them. Years ago when I popped my first premarin pill, a wise mentor once told me that there is something that money can't buy and every t-girl needs to posses. Hormones will not deliver it, a man, job or surgery can't fix it. You either have it or you don't, and it's called class.

It's time my friends of TMP meet the classy, talented, strong, and the hardest working trans woman in hip hop, Amirra Daye Smith aka MzzAmirraO.

 TMP: I’ve been told you’re becoming known as the hardest working trans-rapper out there. What’s the motivation behind your music, and drive?


Amirra Daye Smith:  My main motivation is the youth, so that the young trans girls/boys, can see that yes, we can be rappers too.! I wanna break that door down, and break the stereotypes of transgender women all together. I like to make music for all people. Music that anybody can relate too. My VixxenZ & Vix Fans, keep  me motivated. My Trans sisters, and brothers keep me motivated. They all wanna see me make it, and not just for myself but for all of us. I don't want to let them down. The world needs to see that there are positive minded, and talented transgender people. We need to be respected.

 TMP: Like many leading hip-hop labels, their crew collaborate together. I’ve noticed a lot of collaborating on your part with other trans-hip hop artists. Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with recently?

A.D.S.: I haven't really worked with any artist this year besides, Nicki Andro. After putting out my mix tape, I started working on the EP, and there was supposed to be other artist involved, but it didn't work out that way. Nicki Andro, is the only collaboration that's on my new EP. I'm looking forward to working with other artist in 2016. I'm also working with the first artist on my own. I wanna have my own label and start grooming my own artist.



TMP: I’d like you tell our readers, in your opinion, why it’s so important that we support trans rappers?

A.D.S.: It's important that people support transgender women, men, and the youth, because we are people just like everybody else. There's so much hatred, and ignorance out there in the world, so when we get support, it's genuinely appreciated. You lead by example, so when you support a transgender person, it opens up the eyes of others. No one should be judged by their race, gender-identity, or sexual orientation. As human beings, we have no limits, and we shouldn't be limited simply because we are trans.

TMP: Our community, especially our sisters of color, have experienced an unprecedented rate of violence towards us. How much of a positive impact on the African-American community, in particular, do you feel could be achieved for trans society if a trans hip hop artist were to reach the level of popularity, and acceptance in music, as Laverne Cox has done in film?

A.D.S.: There would be a major impact in the African-American community, to see a transgender woman or man, set the bar high when it comes to hip hop. Some people will never change their opinions of us, and that's fine too. Also, being a hip hop artist gives the transgender community a voice in hip hop, and would definitely change the way some folk see us.


TMP: Do you feel that if more trans-musical artists were to collaborate creatively that, that would or could bring more visibility and acceptance of all trans-musicians?

A.D.S.: Yes! More collaborations, and more unity is very much needed to help with the acceptance, and visibility of transgender people. There's power in numbers, and there's a war going on right outside our doors. More of us will have to stick together if we wanna survive it. At this point, it's not about competition, it's about unity, and perseverance. If we wanna make an impact in this industry, we have to stick together. If we wanna make an impact on the world, we must work together, and put differences aside.


 TMP: Music itself can be a political force. We witnessed it in the 80’s, which led to the wall in East Berlin to be taken down, the fall of communism, and great humanitarian relief efforts. Do you feel that could be possible with trans artists, and the plight transgender people face every day?


A.D.S.: Yes!! I completely feel that way. Music is very powerful, and is easily shared around the world. The hip hop culture is big on coming together, fighting for what's right, and what's fair. It would be great for a group of transgender artist to come together, and do a record together simply to say, 'Hey we are here, and we just wanna live our lives in a way that makes us happy, and comfortable. Be free to follow our hearts, and not be killed for it.!'

TMP: Did you ever have any concerns about entering hip hop vs. any other genre of music considering the hype of masculinity, and the domination of it by men?

A.D.S.: My mom use to always say, 'why rap?' Of all music, why would you wanna try to be a hip hop artist.' I'd tell her because they say I can't. People always told me I would never be accepted in hip hop, and I say they don't have to accept me, but they gonna have to deal with, and respect me, because I'm not giving up. Trans-people are very strong people, stronger than most rappers. Rappers run around pretending for the most part, we on the other hand, actually have to live with the toughest skin, and we are the one who are actually fearless.

TMP: Tell our readers, if you will about your latest EP, and are there any scheduled performances that we could catch?

A.D.S.: My new EP, which is titled 'The Prototype', can be found on Reverbnation.com/MzzAmirraO. This is my first EP, after releasing four mix tapes. I titled the EP 'The Prototype', because I look at it as a blue print for trans rappers. It's an all hip hop project, that reminds you of 90's rap, but still sounds like nothing you've heard before. This is the original copy that will also be copied by many. The style, the swagger of the album has never been done quite this way by any other trans rapper. It's a hood album, something the streets can rock to, and the people in the suburbs can rock to at the same time. Seventy percent of the EP, is produced by trans-rapper/songwriter/producer, Nicki Andro, also with Tracks A Team in North Carolina, BBK Productions, and Pootie Moe. There's an instrumental also done by ATL's producer KO. I write all my own music, and it was an easy ten records to write. It explains how I've been feeling the past few months, yet is still just a sample of what's to come in the future.

TMP: Where do you see trans-rappers acceptance in the hop hop industry a year or two from now?

A.D.S.: I can definitely see some movement happening as fan bases grow. More people are starting to come around and at least tolerate our community, but we still have so far to go. A major record label would have to pick one of the girls up to make a bigger impact. Once a machine is behind me, there's no stopping me. I don't really know what the future holds, but what ever happens I'm ready.

TMP: I like to ask my guest here at TMP, if you could tell the world something unique about MzzAmiraO, and you knew everyone would hear, what would you like them to know about you?

A.D.S.: Something unique about me is that I don't watch television, lol. I don't really have the time to dedicate to any shows, but people find that weird. I'm not just a songwriter, I can write anything. I wrote a screen play for an animated TV show when I was 15 years old. I would love to get into film, television, and books. I have a very creative mind, and I'm gonna make that work for me. My community, and anyone that's entertained by it.





TOUR DATES AND PLANNED PERFORMANCES
New York
Washington, DC
Atlanta
Starring Sacoyia Prodigy, MzzAmirraO
Starting the second week of January. For more details and dates go to MzzAmirraO Fan Page.


MzzAmirraO's latest EP 'Prototype', available now for purchase and download

To Contact and Follow MzzAmirraO
Facebook Fan Page 
Reverbnation.com  
Twitter 
Instagram 
Youtube


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Trans Faces #16: Alejandro Santiago Lord; Building A Legacy of Service, One Act At A Time



JOIN IN ON THE DISCUSSION OF THIS INTERVIEW & MORE TOPICS ON TMP @



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Is it Free Speech or is it Bigotry Disguised as News

By Sabrina Samone, TMP


According to a recent article in the Advocate Magazine, hate-motivated violence against transgender people rose 13  percent last year. The overall incidents of hate-motivated violence against LGB, and HIV-affected communities dropped 32 percent, compared to last year. More recently, we came together as a community, to speak the 271 names of our fallen brothers and sisters.

Currently, there are only 20 states, including Puerto Rico with hate crime laws that include gender identity. South Carolina is not one of them, even more terrifying is that South Carolina has no hate crime laws, period. It's why an article by a conservative columnist, Kevin Fisher, titled "LOL at USC Protest", referring to a recent attempt by transgender students to protest, so damaging. It's even more disheartening that the paper Free Times, a pseudo liberal free newspaper defended the columnist and themselves for publishing it, by pointing out their support for "Gay Rights". They also stated, that reaction to Fisher's comments, were a decline in free speech, yet they admitted that a statement by Fisher was insensitive, when he questioned whether there were any trans students at USC.

The column by Fisher was written  in reaction to a push among students, and staff  to make the University of South Carolina inclusive for transgender students. Fisher's column begins with him writing, "Maybe it's because I went to college in the era of the Vietnam War and its protests, as well as the civil rights movement and its protests. Or Maybe it's because of the respect I have to this day for the courage and commitment shown by those student protesters in the face of REAL DANGER and SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES."

Either Fisher was hoping to stir the pot with a public statement like that, just two days before a planned TDOR event near USC. Or worse, he didn't see that the 271 transgender people who died were  in any "REAL DANGER", and did not suffer "SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES".

Neither did he even attempt to recognize the call for black equality, that was also apart of the protest, which were organized predominately by Cis and Trans women of color.

That was only a start with the insults to the transgender community. He went on to call the protesters, "the self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, self-is-everything students, pretending to be protesters while making a mockery of that term and its tradition."

His reaction he states, to the idea of a protest for transgender inclusion at the states 2nd largest center for higher learning? "My reaction", he writes, "to this week's protest at the University of South Carolina was LOL. And I mean that literally. If you WANT A GOOD LAUGH, LOOK AT THE VIDEO on the The State newspaper's website, which includes an interview with a student spokesperson for the protesters."


This past Nov. 20th, we spoke the names of 271 transgender people who have lost their lives. Lost
their life because someone thought of them as nothing more than a joke, something to point, and gawk at. They lost their lives to people who thought their life was nothing to fight for, their freedom was somehow less than others. 271 people were denied the right to live their authentic self. Fisher talks about making a mockery out of the act of protesting, but what about the lives of those died by the mockery filled with hate that was inflicted upon them?


The columnist and the paper, that supports hate are no different from the murderer that wants to bash the head open, of another trans person. Words used to easily disregard a people are forms of hate Fisher, and Free Times. It is not free speech, it is bigotry, hate, and insensitivity to the plight of another human being. A true liberal journalist would not assume there aren't any transgender people but get the facts, even if they are already starring you in the face as you mentioned, "in a video from the State Newspaper. You would also have known,  that just because Fox News can dress shit up and sell it to a zombie audience, doesn't mean we all don't know the difference.
Even this amateur knows it's still bullshit bigotry.







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Monday, November 23, 2015

Friends of TMP's Choice for Most Influential Trans People of 2015

       By Sabrina Samone, TMP


It's almost that time again TMP readers. Our 4th Annual Top 20 Most Influential Trans People of 2015. Three years ago on Nov. 18 when I started this blog, one of the first few post was a top 20 Influential Trans People list. That post and last year's second annual list remains the most popular on this blog.

This year's list, we have formulated a list of nominees from the countless post, tweets, and comments by our readers here and on the various social media pages. As well, as on TMPlanet.net, our new online social network for our friends of TMP. Now it's your time to cast the vote and help us this year make the final top 20 list.

The nominees were selected by their mentions in post throughout TMP, and chosen for their commitment to excellence in their chosen fields, and to the overall visibility and empowerment of Transgender society. Some of the criteria for making the list:
1. Being leaders in their field
2.The ability to inspire our community, and allies
3 Being positive role models
4. Exemplifying the purpose and beliefs TMP stands for: 'The celebration of the Duality and Unity of being Trans.'

Cast up to five votes for those you feel best represented these qualities, or has inspired you.



Cast your vote ABOVE for five of the most Influential Trans People of 2015


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