Siya is a true survivor. Hailing from Bed Stuy, Brooklyn--home to some of the greatest rappers of all time like Jay Z and The Notorious B.I.G.--Siya faced challenges growing up with a mother on drugs and a father incarcerated. Despite being taken in by her strong-willed grandmother, Siya had her own demons to battle. “I had my fair share of [legal] run-ins,” she remembers, eventually landing behind bars for two years in her teens.
After her release, Siya set out to pursue her childhood dream of rap. Now, under the guidance of R&B singer Tank, Siya is ready to take on hip hop as the first openly gay female rapper. Meet Siya, and watch Sisterhood of Hip Hop premiering Tuesday, August 12 at 9/8c!
How did you join Sisterhood of Hip Hop?
I wasn’t even thinking of doing a reality show. T.I. already knew about me. He reached out and I did the audition for it. The rest is history.
What made you to want to be a rapper?
Honestly, the first time I saw Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. That’s the reason I started rapping. I didn’t understand shit they were saying but I was like, “I like that!” What I loved about them, was how melodic their music was and they tried different shit. I also felt like I looked like Lazy Bone. It’s so crazy because I met him—I was with Chris Brown at Powerhouse-and I was starstruck.
Were you worried at all about being a part of a reality show?
I was just worried about the stigma of reality television. I didn't want to get into a situation where TV would make an ass of us. Once I had a meeting with them, they made it clear it wasn’t that type of show.
Did you know any of your cast mates beforehand?
I knew Nyemiah. I knew about Brianna. I had heard of Bia but never met her. I, of course, knew Diamond. It’s cool. When you kick it with women sometimes, you expect certain attitudes and egos but I didn't get none of that from the girls. Plus, we all different but I’m really different. They're all girly girls.
Would you describe yourself as a tomboy?
I’m definitely a tomboy. In the gay world, I'm considered a "stud" whatever that stupid s*** means.
I hate labeling people. How do you see yourself?
Me too. I'm just me. I always want to focus on music but at the end of the day, they don't really have a choice. I’m not ass and titties. You really don't have a choice but to listen to the music.
As an openly gay female rapper, is it important for you to rep that?
It’s very important because I’m representing myself and a whole culture of people who are true to themselves.
What do you want us to know about Siya after watching the show?
That it's okay to be yourself. It’s okay to fight for what you stand for. You don't have to succumb to anything. I don't care if you're a man or woman. If you stand up for something, people are gonna respect it. That’s it.
What should viewers look forward to?
People are gonna see. I'm the first openly gay female emcee. It’s gonna be a gamechanger.
Watch an interview with Siya below!