Published on August 10th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford0
Queens of the South- Spotlight: Cheeky Blakk
Angela Woods, better known in the music world as, Cheeky Blakk continues to cement her legacy that has spanned over the course of 25-years. In the early 90’s, bounce music was a male dominated industry. Blakk, not only fit in and held her own, she kicked the door down and became a trailblazer for bounce music and proved right away, that she could stand on stage with any man. Her aggressive, in-your-face style of music been packing dance floors for more than 2-decades. In 1994, she released her album, “Gots To Be Cheeky,” which featured the song, “Twerk Something.” It was the first time the word “twerk” had been used in a title track. Her influence on today’s culture is undeniable and her longevity has placed her amongst music royalty. In 1996, she came with her sophomore album, “Fuck Being Faithful.” That album was produced by the legendary, Mannie Fresh.
The Hype Magazine spotlights the legendary, Cheeky Blakk in a new series that will showcase the accomplishments, careers and achievements of these southern queens.
How is everything going, Cheeky?
Cheeky Blakk: Everything is going well.
I never knew how you and, Pimp Daddy were connected until recently. For those that still don’t know, can you expand on your relationship with the fallen great.
Cheeky Blakk: I think we would be incredible if he was still alive. I started dated him. We met when I was dancing for, Ju’C… Cicely Crawford, the girl that made, “Eat The Cat.” I used to dance for her. That’s how I got to meet, Pimp Daddy on Frenchman Street. From there, our communication advanced. I became pregnant. He was doing music. I was doing music too, but he was really on with, Cash Money then. At that time, I was just dancing. I was messing with it, but I really wasn’t messing with it because of my pregnancy. Once the baby dropped, everything else dropped (laughing) and that’s where we at wit it.
I literally was just looking, Ju’C up not too long ago. Is she still around?
Cheeky Blakk: She’s deceased. She got killed.
Damn, I hate to hear that. I was definitely one of those people that had the white and yellow, Cheeky Blakk tape, “Gots 2 Be Cheeky.” Your lead song on that tape was, “Twerk Something.” That dates back to 1994. You truly started that phrase. Did you ever think that term would be so mainstream?
Cheeky Blakk: I can say, yes. Because if you go to my, “Keep It On The Real,” song which was wrote in 1996 on the, “Fuck Bein Faithful” album, I talk about how, “Twerk Something” was a smash hit. So, I mean, I spoke it into existence and it just appeared to happen years late.
I don’t blame any of the New Orleans artists who feel so type of way about the culture being stolen or jeopardized by the masses now, but it was refreshing to see you embrace it. You did an interview after, Miley Cyrus performed in New Orleans and you embraced her efforts and putting twerking on that huge platform. What made you embrace it and not rebel against it?
Cheeky Blakk: Right! I loved it so much. They don’t understand… I’m going to put in my own words of what it is. They don’t understand how, God work, ya heard me. Because he took that lil white girl and she took it to her community, the creator and brought it to their community and then the queen right chea to walk straight through and do what she do. That’s how I see it and that’s real. No matter how you feel about it being there [mainstream] now, it’s there now and now I gotta do what I do like I’ve been doing and just push.
You have had a 25-year career and you are still going hard. Does it feel like you have impacted to culture for that long or does it all feel new to you still? And did you think it would last this long or did you feel you would have been faded to black so to speak?
Cheeky Blakk: No, I ain’t gonna never fade to black. I stay black all day with them 2 kk’s. I’m an angel in the sky, birthstone a diamond, so I’m gonna shine regardless. I just thank, Elton Wicker [executive producer at Tombstone Records], Kenneth Taylor [executive producer at Mobo Joe Records], Courtney Faulkner [executive producer at Total Respect Records] and God for them embracing me on their labels. And, Bobby Marchand for being my booking manager. And me being a female raised by her daddy, I’m just glad to have their talent because they blessed me with it to know how to keep going and stay focused. That’s where I’m at wit it.
When you came on the game down south was male dominated and not only did you fit in, you kicked the door down because you were talking your talk even back then.
Cheeky Blakk: I went in and I’m still going in. I ain’t finished. You saw me start that trend back then and now I done flipped it. Not only with my own track which is, “Bitch Get Off Me,” which is played in everybody songs, not only that, plus they terking wit it. This is history in the making. I can’t make this up. Plus, I did a track with the, Rebirth Brass Band; New Orleans own, the got a Grammy. I did this back in 2003 when, Soulja Slim did his as well. We were in there the same night. So, whoever come with this new, they did bounce with Brass and the second line first, that’s a lie. Don’t lie. I got history. Matter of fact, Google me, you’ll see. Been there done that and still doing it.
Is there a difference performing with a live band?
Cheeky Blakk: It’s the same feeling because I bring everything to it. All I need is a beat. All I use is my hand and my chest and that’s where it’s at with it. That’s a beat for me. It just sounds so much better when you have a sound that’s big and rumbling with you and you just have to spit lyrics. I love both sides. Music is inside of me, ya know.
You were one of the first ones that used the live sound. It was so good; I don’t know if you were live in the club or live in the studio.
Cheeky Blakk: We was live in the studio. When DJ Duck and Mannie Fresh did, “Bitch Get Off Me,” yeah, that was live. That wasn’t pre-recorded. That was live. They mixed it while I was inside the booth. That’s how live that was. I’m known for doing live stuff, I’m known for messing with bands, but a lot of people don’t know, I’m very versatile. They think I just do bounce, but I do everything. I’m very versatile. I represent the New Orleans girl with PJ Morton, in a series called, “Down By The River.” I’m in a lot of stuff. All in Japan with it; ya know.
You came up during a time where it was rough in New Orleans. The whole, murder capitol of the world era. And now you’re New Orleans and Louisiana royalty. What is that like to survive the test of times and reach the royalty status?
Cheeky Blakk: The same way it felt in the beginning, it’s still exciting to me. I really live my music. My music is my life. So therefore, it’s just a certain growth of it for me. I stay humble. I have to stay humble because I can’t allow what the worldly things and the foolish things that people come and bring now to me, I don’t let that get to me because I know what track I’m on. I know what I gotta do and I know my purpose. I been rich in spirit, so that ain’t nothing. I been a queen. I just love… when you got your whole city and your whole state rooting for you, that’s good. That’s big time. And then it gets spread around the world, that’s even better. Katrina did that.
What was the impact of Hurricane Katrina to you personally?
Cheeky Blakk: Listen, it just taught me this, don’t cherish the material things, cherish the memories. Because I ain’t never seen a U-Haul behind a hearse. I can’t take it with me, so I gotta do what I gotta do while I’m here.
I know some New Orleans artist that lost footage or music with the flood waters. Did you lose any music?
Cheeky Blakk: Yeah, that kind of happened, but I know how to take warnings and go head bout ya business. Ain’t no acting like, “I’m a man-up against this,” No! You not about to do that.
It was so good to see, you, Jubilee and Choppa on that, “Twerk Baby Twerk.” That was a classic video and it truly felt like, the New Orleans party song that’s been missing.
Cheeky Blakk: Yeah! I recently did that. I recently did a couple of joints. I did one with my son called, “Cheeks Where You Been At?” My son 29 and my grandbaby just made 5. I’m blessed. It’s blessing with the Blakk 1 Family. That’s the name of my label, Blakk 1 Ent. But you are going to see more of that on that, www.cheekyblakk.com. I’m on Instagram, datgirlcheekyblakk.
I appreciate your time, Cheeky. It is an honor and you truly are a living legend and a pioneer for a lot of what we have going on down here. Thank you. Shout out to the homie, Ricky B so setting this up for me too.
Cheeky Blakk: Thank you so much. I appreciate your time