New Orleans recording artist, 3D' Natee has just announced that she has signed a recording contract with industry titan, Russell Simmons. 3D' Nat'ee is the latest artist to become a part of Russell Simmons latest creation All Def Digital, a division of Universal Music Group.
Disregard the term "best female rapper". 3D' Na'tee is one of the best rappers, in the industry hands down. Yet she has been overlooked, time and time again.
Some would consider 3D Na'tee's signing a victory for the entire city. 3D' Na'tee embodies the soul of a New Orleans recording artist on the independent grind. Following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, 3D' Na'tee's daily grind has been nothing less than a theatrical of well documented music videos, vlogs, and freestyles created exclusively for her demanding fans.
Her early fans even remember 3D Na'tee the days following Hurricane Katrina. Vlogs documenting her struggle as an artist showed her resilience every step of the way. The progress was visible. 3D' Na'tee went from looking for recording studios, to purchasing her own studio, and mixing her own songs. She mastered the learning curve of graphic design. She developed unique marketing and engagement techniques, that actually worked.She designed, branded, and hand delivered her own exclusive merchandise. To top it all off, she purchased her own film equipment, and began filming and editing her own videos. The results were quality every time. 3D Na'tee set new standards and raised the bar with each release. Now let's be clear, these days you can rarely get an artist to re-record their ad-libs correctly, let alone do anything outside the recording booth.
Given 3D'Na'tee's, drive, perseverance, intelligence, quality and consistency, there is one question that remains unanswered. What took soooo long?
Is the entertainment industry that messed up? New Orleans has bred its fare share of multimillionaire entertainers who could have easily reached out, and assisted Na'tee get to where she needed to be. The same goes for industry professionals that have visited the city. A person would practically have to walk around covering their eyes and ears to be oblivious to the fact that Na'tee is the hottest artist in the city.
Yet in still, we've witnessed a slew of less talented artist getting signed to labels, some of which have been signed for years now, whose projects have quietly flopped, or will never see the light of day. Grant it, 3D Na'tee was offered petty deals, but they weren't even decent. Give credit where credit is due.
Na'tee's situation brings the harsh reality to the home front, and its a reality that all independent artist should be concerned with, especially female artist. So was it fear of competition? A mixture of money and politics? Maybe it was outright sexism and discrimination? To me, its quite obvious. If Na'tee had been given a chance three years ago, the cashflow in the industry would have been totally different, and the people who are currently on top, wouldn't be on top. This scenario only brings to mind more issues. Do you ever wonder why is it okay to have 10 male artists on 1 record label, yet 2 female artists are considered way too many? This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Let's face it, sexism, classicism, favoritism; they are all there. Don't belive me, just ask Mannie Fresh. Any potential threat to a persons position, power, fame, and wealth would be taken as a serious offense. 3D' Na'tee is that offense.
In the end, we can only hope that 3D' Na'tee and other female artists continue lead the way in changing the current standards, and that powerful decision makers show the type of courage demonstrated by Steve Rifkind and Russell Simmons when it comes to providing solid opportunities for independent artist.
Heavy is the head. Salute the Queen.