Resurrecting Queenz, an all-star collective of female rappers from the DMV, have collaborated on a remake of the classic hip-hop track “Self Destruction.” The artists featured on the song and video are: MC Fran, DJ Mim, Mana, Dutchess of Rap, Mychelle Lee, Lil Sleepy202, Ms. Gray, Kenilworth Katrina, Vivid, Slim Jenkins, Judatrufe, Royal Cash, Uptown Shane, Keylow Black, Sonic Boom, Styles Montana, Betti Bi-Polar, Solo, IamGrynd, The Mafia Twinz, Kristie Yamagucci, Choppa Locka, and Roe B.
The concept behind “Self Destruction” is to address and raise awareness about the rising local homicide rates. In 2015, Washington D.C. experienced a 54 percent increase in killings from the previous year. Suburban counties Prince George’s and Montgomery also saw their homicide rates soar in 2015. Montgomery had one of its deadliest years in two decades. And nearby Baltimore, which of course spent much of the year feeling the after effects of the Freddie Gray case, saw their homicide rate skyrocket more than 60 percent. The Charm City tallied 350 murders – one of the deadliest years in its history.
The Resurrecting Queenz were brought together by fellow rapper Kenilworth Katrina. She hand-picked each MC for their lyrical skills and then set up the recording sessions at Traknomics Studio (Suitland, MD). The video was produced by Abstrak Media and executive produced by Ja-Mel aka Mr. City. Katrina also reached out to media sources like MC Fran and DJ Mim and brought them on board. Another one of the Queenz, Keylow Black, handled much of the promo work for the project. This was truly a collaborative effort – every artist wrote their own verses and made a significant contribution to the final product.
The original “Self Destruction” was part of the Stop The Violence Movement created by New York City rap legend KRS-One (Boogie Down Productions) in 1989. KRS was moved to act after his close friend and DJ, Scott La Rock, was killed in a senseless shooting. “Self Destruction” was a response to violence in hip-hop and in many inner-city African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods. It was produced by KRS and D-Nice, and featured some of the best MCs in the game: Public Enemy, Doug E. Fresh, Heavy D and MC Lyte. Stop The Violence was primarily a New York thing, so a year after “Self Destruction” was released, a group of Los Angeles and Bay Area rappers, the West Coast All Stars, were inspired to record their own anti-violence and anti-gang track “We’re All In The Same Gang.”
The Resurrecting Queenz are currently doing a press tour to promote “Self-Destruction.” Last week, they were interviewed by DJ EZ Street at WKYS, and each member spoke eloquently and passionately about the importance of female self-empowerment. The group will perform on February 10th at the historic Howard Theatre. Tickets for this event are available for purchase at: www.eventbrite.com.