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Interviews

KUTTIN KANDI: SPINNING THE TRUTH


By Tachelle "Shamash" Wilkes

Kuttin Kandi, synonymous for hip hop. She is a dj, activist and puts humanity where it belongs. Having practiced with innovators such as the X-ecutioners known as the X-Men back in the day, Kuttin Kandi is a dj with a mission in mind. Sit back and pay close attention as Kuttin Kandi spins the record of her life.

Tachelle: Who is Kuttin Kandi in your own words?

Kuttin: I'm everything possible and impossible. I've been through a lot in my life - ups and downs. You can see when you look close in my eyes. I'm about struggle. I've been in a reflective state in the last three years. It changed my view of life - changed my view of things completely.

T: What does struggle mean to you?

K: I am struggle. It made me who I am. Without struggle there is no progression. Struggle made me appreciate what I have and I should not be afraid of struggle. It humbles you. I'm a DJ, a poet and I'm hip hop. When it comes to being a DJ I have always been outspoken. Within the last 3-4 years I have learned that revolution starts within. I've worked inwardly - I can now give myself to people better. I've been trying to bring people together and I'm louder than ever about the war - on radio and documentaries. I don't want to hold myself back on what I feel. I may be dangerous on radio. Companies may say, "this is not what we want to endorse or sponsor." I know that this is gonna come up, but I don't think of it as limiting myself.

T: As a dj and activist what plights do you stand behind?

K: The conditions in the Philippines have worsened. I definitely want to go, see and witness for myself. Many don't know that the conditions in the Philippines are worse with the troops being there. Women are getting raped. We protested yesterday - we marched from 16th - 19th then up to 34th. My feet feel really sore, but it felt really good to be there.

T: What's going on in the Philippines?

K: The troops have been there for a year and a half. When there is military - women will be exploited. There are recreation ships where women are prostituted. This is what goes on in the Philippines. President Ferdinand Marcus raped our country. I marched with the Gabriela Network (gabnet.org), and NISPOP. No one knows what's going on. It's not exposed - sex trafficking, mail order brides. Many are forced to become domesticated wives who are beaten. Men buy these women for ten thousand or however much and these women are treated as slaves. It's horrible what's going on. The troops - that's another part of the story. It's been a very big battle.

T: Who is Kuttin Kandi internally?

K: There's gigs I won't do because I don't feel the vibe. I can't take fake people and the industry is filled with billions of them. I also believe that I should not own more than I should have. My boyfriend has a lot of kicks and I only need one or two. There are so many people in Africa who would die to own a pair of sneakers and I think about the sweatshops and the people who made them. It's easy to get caught up in this system where you can lose yourself.

T: Talk about how you got started as a DJ.

K: I started in high school. I didn't take djin' serious when I was 17 or 18. I hung out with people who were djs. My ex-boyfriend was a dj. He was a battle dj. I wanted to compete too. I laid low for two years and practiced. I didn't want to be a trophy. I wanted to be a real dj and put my skills to the test. I didn't want to be just a female dj, but a dj. I started practicing and practicing. Many see female djs as a gimmick where there's only one female to a crew. This is a male dominated scene and even the women on top put you down.

T: Do you have a signature style?

K: My Ladies First routine that I did for major competitions. Ever since then it has become my signature routine. I bring it back at times.

T: Tell us how you got down with the Anomolies.

K: Anomolies means something not of the norm. We have different styles and flavors that we bring to the table. We are not about sex or hardcore thugs. We represent the four elements and have been together since 95. We are trying to bring the truth back to hip hop. We are the answer.

T: Are you a part of any other collectives?

K: I am a member of 5th Platoon, which is a crew of djs.

T: What projects are you currently working on?

K: I've been trying to get into production - back at square one. Staying home in the lab.

T: Where do you want to be by 2005?

K: Putting good music out. I want to make people change their lives producing. I just want to bring talent and art to bring social change.

Check out Kuttin Kandi's upcoming performances and events at www.kuttinkandi.com

copyright © 2005 femmixx.com

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