The female MC, a rare find to most hip-hop heads of this decade, once obtaining credit in the 90’s, has seemingly disappeared inside the belly of the music industry. A passion for sneakers and love for music led LifeHasNoScript to cross paths with a female MC by the name ofEyeriswho’s rhymes ride melodic beats from The Brown Bomber, has allowed her to perform at events such as the heralded South by Southwest Music Festival all the way to Hip Hop Kemp in the Czech Republic. She’s definitely has some experience behind her mic, recently dropping the mixtape Tha Carter.5, as she continues to gain attention and fans around the globe with her dedication. We got the chance to pull her away from the mic stand for a minute to tell us about her and the music she creates, keeping female MC’s relevant despite the stereotypes and decreasing number of female artists.
Thanks for the interview, so what made you choose the stagename “Eyeris”?
No problem, it’s great to see NT fam supporting each other! So I was around 16-17, and my stage name then was “Kid Rumi”, which is pretty lame haha. My boy Dain was like “you need a new name ASAP”. At the time, I was really into Greek mythology. Iris was the messenger of the gods, and united the heavens and Earth with her messages. So we switched around the spelling and made it “Eyeris”.
In a lot of your songs you seem to tell a story, do you believe you can connect better with your audience by painting that picture for them?
Of course. People love to feel what you are saying. I know for a lot of people music is an escape- and if you can make those tracks that allows people to just zone out even for a few minutes, you’ve accomplished something great.
Many artists in the industry are sacrificing substance for better production in order to sell, why do you make your music?
I make my music for me, it’s therapy. But its not just about me- we have this scene in NYC with a lot of younger artists, designers, writers, etc and I do this for all of us as well. We all have a message and a story to tell; I want to show the world our everyday lives.
What do you think of artists who do end up sacrificing the quality of their music?
You know what, when I was younger I would knock people for this so bad. But at the end of the day we need to eat, provide for our families, etc. It saddens me when people take the art out of the art-form and ignore where they came from. I think to truly get a wide range fan base and make it- you need to have the balance of art/quality and that business drive, and thats what a lot of people don’t understand.
You made a song for “people working 9-5,” how has your background influenced you?
I wrote that song when I moved back to NY after dropping out of St Johns. I was living in a basement 1 bedroom apartment with two friends in Richmond Hill. At the time, I was working at this upscale bakery in the Time Warner building and was just fed up. Working like 50 hours a week, still being broke and hardly having time to do what I loved. Going into work mad early, then not getting home until around 1 am, having to deal with the dudes on the block. It was taking all of my energy, but I’ve realized that when I’m at my lowest points, that’s when I write my best stuff.
We can’t avoid it, but you’re a female MC and not too many female emcees have had wide success, what makes you different?
I wouldn’t say I’m extremely different from other dope female emcees, but I study a lot. Business, attitudes, sales, other songs, everything. I’ve been very aware of what’s going on around me and in the industry. I know that there’s like no female emcees on the radio, on MTV/BET, etc but I want to change that. I’m hungry as hell, and I want to show people that there IS a market for female emcees. I think it helps a lot that I have so many guy friends and I’m working in a male-driven industry. It sounds funny but when guys know that they can’t even “go there” with you, it makes the work a LOT easier because that opportunity for sex and all that is not even there so its straight to business.
Is there a particular reason you paid homage to Wayne and made the Tha Carter .5?
Haha, well at the time when it came out everyone was hating on me for liking his music. I think Lil Wayne is very talented, a smart business man, and honest. He has that formula you need in your music. But I wanted to think of something clever for my mixtape- and my last name is Carter as well, so we just went from there.
For those who aren’t familiar with you, how long have you been in the music industry?
I started getting into the underground scenes when I was around 17, in Portland Oregon. But it wasn’t til I was around 18-19 and moved to New York that I really started taking things seriously and working hard. So it’s been about 4 years.
Give us some the names of artists you’ve worked with and how has it allowed you to grow?
I have a track on my mixtape with Steph Pockets, that right there was just crazy to me. Anyone who isn’t familiar with Steph, she is an emcee/producer from Philly but has a huge following overseas in Japan. She was on the top 10 hip hop charts there, but just makes amazing music. I added her on Myspace back in high school and she hit me up, it was really surreal to me. And we just became close friends. I’ve learned a lot about keeping the honesty in music through her. Rev Shines from The Lifesavas/ Quannum Projects was really crazy for me too. He is from Portland where I used to live and hit me up to give me a beat CD. I remember I went to his crib and his basement was just filled with vinyl, it’s really dope to see behind the scenes with producers. Working with them especially just made me realize “okay, this is for real now… I’m working with artists I’ve looked up to a while so it’s time to show and prove”.
You’ve been real busy lately,recently taking the stage at the infamous South by Southwest Music Festival, is there anywhere you would love to perform?
Last year I rocked at Hip Hop Kemp in Czech Republic, this weekend long festival (think Woodstock but hip hop). But we had an all female stage. I’d really love to perform there again but on the main stage- which usually has a crowd of about 20,000 people. Rock the Bells is on my list too. It really bothers me how there’s like never female emcee on the bill, I hope that changes soon.
Which group or solo artist, dead or alive, has influenced you the most?
Jean Grae, hands down. She has such a good balance of honesty/life/comedy and just straight spitting in her music. Her music has gotten me through so much, but on top of that her grind is crazy. She shows people what its really like to be a female in this industry, and just doesn’t give a fuck what you think because she knows that she’s one of the best, male or female.
What’s up next for you and your music?
I’m going to be working on a new EP with my boy/producer The Brown Bomber called The Chocolate Milk Sessions. Apart from that I’m going to be working on my new mixtape also. The Chocolate Milk Sessions we are planning to drop near the end of summer, and my mixtape sometime in the fall/winter.
What’s one quote, possibly a song lyric, that has a constant presence in your life?
“Stay far from timid, only make moves when ya hearts in it/ and live the phrase “skys the limit” – Notorious BIG