Directed by Darren Alexander Cole, ‘Lovely Imperfections’ is the newest video from Milwaukee-bred, NYC-based rapper SigNif. Its taken from her album “The Transition”, available now for free download at http://signif.bandcamp.com/album/the-transition.
Also check out the Q&A below that SigNif recently did with Express Milwaukee.
Rapper Signif splits her time between New York and her native Milwaukee, and her music bears the stamp of both cities, blending classic New York hip-hop à la Gang Starr with smooth, Midwestern soul-rap. This year, she released her debut album, The Transition, which is available for free streaming and download at signif.bandcamp.com. Driven by Signif’s laid-back, loquacious flow and colored with shades of Little Brother and Digable Planets, it’s an assured, compulsively replayable effort, featuring contributions from Milwaukeeans Haz Solo, A. Prime and Prophetic. I caught up with Signif for a brief Q&A.
How did you start rapping?
I started writing poetry at a young age, which eventual turned into songs. I was always around music growing up, from watching my brothers freestyle and write lyrics, to my female cousin who was a rapper doing shows and battling. Music was something that was a part of my childhood that manifested into something I can never see myself parting with.
What brought you to New York?
Music is what brought me to New York. I was back and forth visiting between ’04-’05 when I first started recording my music, and I was hooked. It got to the point where I was like I’m just going to move out there and see what happens. Several years later I did. A kid chasing a dream pretty much.
What do you think of the Milwaukee rap scene right now?
I’m not there 24/7 but I always keep my ear to the streets, and from what I hear the scene seems to be growing which is always a good sign. My roots are Milwaukee, so I want for more than anything for the city of Milwaukee to get the hip hop recognition it so rightfully deserves.
What kind of beats do you gravitate toward?
My heart and soul will always be boom bap. I also love beats that have that story telling theme attached to them already, but I’m slowly opening up to different things. I definitely want to work with more live instruments when recording.
How does being a woman shape how you approach rap?
My approach to rap music is straight forward, but at the same time I put my womanhood first. Knowing I have nieces, and little cousins watching I’m careful on what I put out there. For me, it was a learning and growing process. When I was 19 the language was foul and aggressive, but once I started to grow and mature as an artist I became more comfortable in my own skin, and felt I didn’t have to keep up with my male counterpart, everything started flowing naturally.