Published on February 8th, 2024 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
West Coast Goddess Medusa: A Lyrical Benchmark in Hip Hop, Et al.
This conversation started over 20 years ago when I first met the dynamo Medusa the Gangsta Goddess so it was a warm reunion with Medusa as we reminisced over our initial meeting through mutual acquaintances. It was fun to talk about the support received from each other early on and the impactful women in our careers, and generally touching on past experiences in the entertainment industry.
Medusa Discusses Hip Hop and Inspiration
I kick this one off, a little in-depth, with how Medusa has inspired me and took a moment to express gratitude for her support. Medusa came back with how it energizes her when she reflects on her impact on others and touched on her involvement in the entertainment industry beyond music, including film soundtracks.
Medusa: Reflecting on Her Journey in Hip-Hop
Medusa went deep as she laid out her Hip Hop journey, emphasizing her roots in L.A., experiences with pop locking, and her transition to becoming an emcee. The Goddess has worked with just about every name in the culture so I got her touch on some of her collaborations with other artists. Staying true to oneself can be a challenge and she shared her determination to stay true to her unique style and influences. Speaking of leadership, she was the first female Hip Hop artist on the LA scene to perform with a live band.
Life and Career
Engaging in candid conversation and pivoting to Black women and their record for being the backbone of our community over the centuries of Black people in America. Medusa and I shared our deep appreciation for the resilience and support of women in our lives. We discuss mental health impact, the role of women in the black community, and pivotal career moments. This went beyond the surface right here…
Her Initiatives Supporting Hip Hop Culture and Education
Medusa shares her involvement in the Next Level program and teaching Hip Hop. Emphasizing Hip Hop’s history and authenticity, she encourages students to be true to themselves. I added my two cents on Hip Hop culture versus rap as its visible representation. Speaking of education, Medusa is one of the first images you see as you enter the Hip Hop Archive Department at Harvard University!
Medusa the Gangsta Goddess – Hip Hop Archive Department – Harvard University
With her inarguable immersion and regard in the world of Hip Hop, Medusa is considered a professor of the culture and art form, a title which has placed her as one of the key voices of the Hip Hop Department at Cal Arts and sees her teaching in El Salvador for Dizzy Gillespie’s government program “Next Level” which is backed by the U.S. Department of State under its Jazz Diplomacy umbrella.
Medusa Talks Music Analysis and Preferences
It’s not possible to work in this industry without garnering a knowledge of other forms of the art so naturally we discussed our appreciation of various genres and production styles. The conversation was sparked by my asking her if she could still listen to music as a consumer or if she was stricken with the “I analyze everything” syndrome…we had fun with that. Another highlight for me was Medusa breaking down nuances in rap delivery and music’s emotional impact, we explored timbre and intonation as well.
Writing Process and Song Creation
We got into a comparison of writing processes for journalists and storytellers such as herself, one element we agree needs emphasized is capturing genuine emotions. The Goddess of off tha dome also touched on the significance of freestyling and deep music connections. The recent joint from Medusa “Warning Shots” is a collaboration with Patrick Antonian where the two mesh so well and the energy combined with sonic mastery…this one is a taste for those who’ve not experienced the Medusa presence! I’m calling them lyrical missiles delivered with pure VOA (look it up).
Identity and Reincarnation
Medusa passionately rejects societal labels, emphasizing freedom in defying stereotypes. I expressed belief in reincarnation, engaging in a brief exchange on the topic…oh boy this was a moment!
Medusa shared her upcoming schedule, including performances with Slick Rick and Faith Evans. Mentioning new singles and projects that’ she wasn’t ready to detail just yet but gave us a bit…”Top Shelf Funk” will be the next album up and produced by Georgia Anne Muldrow and then her Amethyst Sheen project produced by West Coast production legend DJ Battlecat…watch out now!!! The lead single get out At It (How The Game Go) is set to drop February 16th…get ready.
Tune in to the first of a two-piece with Medusa…there was just so much to cover with this dynamic figure and her schedule…not sure how she does it. Let us know what you think of the conversation.