It’s still ladies first

Windy City rapper Psalm One finds a label home in the Land of Lakes

Megan Kadrmas

Psalm One does not like to be compared to other Chi-town natives like Kanye West, Common and Lupe Fiasco.

“It’s good to be in that company, they’re all talented. But I don’t like to be compared to anybody,” Psalm said.

Unlike the Chicago boys, Psalm One is a woman, and she displays her strong and brazen form of feminism in her music. Her voice is real and her lyrics are down to earth.

But like Common and Kanye, Psalm uses the city for musical influences. From jazz and blues to rock and punk, Chicago has a little bit of everything and Psalm said this jumble of sounds shapes her music.

“I come from a really talented area. I come from fertile land when it comes to music,” Psalm said.

Psalm once again found herself the odd-woman-out in the boys’ club when she signed with local record label Rhymesayers, which released her latest, “Frequent Flyer.”

“I’m like their little sister. But I’m obviously there because of my skills,” she said.

It is easier to explain what Psalm One is not than to describe what she is. Psalm is not a mainstream female hip-hop artist. She does not force her sexuality on her music, unlike Lil’ Kim or Foxy Brown.

“I don’t dwell on sex. My music is a little bit sexy, funky and intellectual, but not too serious,” she said.

Psalm One rhymes about things everyone can relate to, but her lyrics hit especially close to home for women. And she has a message for hip-hop women, unlike empty vessels like Trina and Eve.

Psalm raps about growing up as the chubby girl and references all of the changes and outside influences young women experience.

On “Rapper Girls,” the album’s track addressing the role of females in hip-hop, she raps, “You’re used to getting away with spittin’ that dumb shit/ then I get on the mic with sick words that hurl/ go get your hair done, miss/ go get a pedicure, bitch/ go watch Lifetime/ get inspired by strong women.”

Psalm One
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis
TICKETS: $13 adv/ $15 dr, 18-plus, (612) 332-1775

“You can be who you are, but just because the mainstream forces this one idea of what a woman is on you, doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself,” Psalm said.

Far from a raging feminist who doesn’t shave or wear bras, Psalm encourages girls to find their own definition of being feminine. Psalm’s sexiness and femininity come across effortlessly in her music, like the pretty tomboy whose male friends are secretly in love with her low maintenance.

“It takes too much energy to fake it; I’m already exhausted from being myself and expressing who I am in my music,” Psalm said.