INTERVIEW – Liza Monet: « I am a feminist because I support gender equality »

Since the release of the « Monet Close » album in October 2013, the video for « My Best Plan » was seen more than 5,600,000 times on YouTube. How do you explain this success?

It wasn’t really a success, but more a bad buzz. LOL. Curiosity, scandal and so on…

Your hypersexualized image and your raw lyrics didn’t win unanimous support. You have been harassed and insulted online. How do you react to this violence and how do you analyze it?

Before, it’s true that I felt bad about it but with time, I learned how to face it. It’s only entertainment. I am an artist but people take everything seriously and my character isn’t popular among everyone.

You either like it or don’t and if many people don’t, it means I need to change my image. I worked on it and still am today.

And yet, in the 1990’s, artists such as Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown or Trina  in the US, or Roll-K in France, already marketed this “trash” and sexually explicit rap. The same goes for Nicki Minaj or Rihanna today who openly talk about sexuality. Why do you think your approach is still perceived as offensive in 2016?

I think many girls can relate. Since I revived this trend in France, many do the same but with more money and more guys behind the scenes.

Which other female MCs do you most relate to from an artistic point if view? Why?    

I feel close to Nicki Minaj because I can play with my voice and instrumentals and I’m not afraid of singing what I want.

What are you listening to these days?

Right now I’m listening to a lot of rappers like Young Thug. And I’m following new emerging US artists.

You posted a snippet of an upcoming track called « Evil Queen », in which you sing: “Too many girls rap, it’s getting worse and worse”. However, female rappers are hardly ever seen in the mainstream media. Why do you feel that more and more women take up the hip hop scene?

Well simply because I am in the game and people outside don’t see it. But it’s true that women are hardly ever seen in the mainstream media. Only when you’re in the game, you truly believe that the thing is huge and that everybody thinks the same as you, whereas they don’t.

You also sing: “These bitches who don’t have class and look alike like twin sisters”. Are you targeting anyone in particular? : )

I’m talking about all women because they all do the same and don’t innovate. It seems like they have no brain and act like puppets. All they do has already been seen and done before. And the ones who are not feminine copy male codes, that’s fucked up.

Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why?

I am a feminist because I support gender equality. Men are not better than women, they need women just like women need men.

What are your upcoming projects?

I’m going to release a mixtape called Pyrrha, in reference to Pyrrha and Deucalion from the Greek mythology.

What do you think about Madame Rap? What should be changed or improved?

The site is pretty cool and well detailed. It helps us discover female hip ho artists. We need more sites like this!

Find Liza Monet on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Éloïse Bouton

Lire l’interview en français ici.