|© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2004-03-17
Tekitha is a sista I ran into at a fashion show at San Francisco State, where she was singing. We talked a little before the interview backstage, but this is basically me meeting her knowing nothing about her. I liked how she carried herself and how she was very assertive about who she was, and that’s why I decided to interview her. If you don’t know her name, I’m sure if you listen to Hip Hop you know some of her work. So check out this up and coming locally cultivated bi-coastal artist, because she is definitely on her way up …
JR: Where have the people heard your voice?
Tekitha: Earlier on, I would have to say Ghostface Killah was the first record that I did with Wu-Tang, which was “All That I Got Is You.” I re-did the vocals that Mary did on the album. We put it out as a single and video. I moved on from there and did some movie soundtrack stuff like “Slam” and “Soul in the Hole.” I went on to do “Wu-Tang Forever” which is a double cd. I did “Impossible” and second coming off of that album.
After that I did “Ghost Dog,” Shyheim’s album, Killah Priest’s album, Cappadona’s album, Meth’s album, U-God’s album. I’ve been all over everybody’s shit, but that’s family and that’s how you do. If somebody calls you and says that they’re going to the studio, you need to be there, and handle yo’ business.
I guess that would be the most familiar work that people would know me from is Wu-Tang. But I do have a solo career, and Rza produced 90 percent of the album, and I co-produced some tracks on the album. I have a live band, so it’s a whole new level of the game. I done moved, not on, but just up. It’s still family. It’s still locked down.
JR: So are you one of the few that are California affiliates of the Wu?
Tekitha: Well, I don’t consider myself California Wu-Tang period, because as far as the claiming of Wu-Tang and all of that goes, Wu-Tang is a clique of nine men, with the addition of Cappadona, which makes 10. There is no women involved in that. If I’m a featured female artist of the clique, than that’s my family, and that’s how it is.
But I let them claim that, and they do. They run around the world talking about “Tekitha, Wu dida dida da,” but you won’t never catch me doing that. I’m from California for all of my life. I’m from Sacramento, that’s where I was born and raised. I lived in Oakland for the last two years.
I claim what I really know, what I’m born and bred of, and that’s the West. That’s really what I know truly. I know New York from living there in and out from ’95 even til today, but you can only know a thing so much. When you’re of a thing, that’s totally different, and I’m not really of that.
JR: I see you repping the Red, Black and Green. What does that mean?
Tekitha: Oh my god, the blood, the earth, the land, the body. Come on now.
JR: I’m knowing, but if you wearing it, you got to represent it.
Tekitha: You know what’s crazy though is this outfit was made for me. I didn’t even choose these colors. It was made for me by Mamasan, of course. I didn’t choose the colors. (Drea, the fashion designer) chose them, fitted me up for it, and when I came out, my Mama was like, “Oh Red, Black and Green … you doing it. I’m loving that.” I was like, “Ok, I’m loving it too.” You know what I’m saying?
JR: You said that you have a solo career. When can we hear something? Tell us the title. What’s the feel of it? Is it Hip Hop? Are you singing on it? Tell us the whole 9 …
Tekitha: Well, a lot of people don’t know that I’ve been an MC before I was a vocalist, before I was just a singer. So the album is just a mixture of rhymes and vocals, rhymes and songs. It’s called “Wisdom Body the LP” - that’s the name of the album. It will be dropping in the spring. We will drop a single in the spring and drop the album somewhere near the third quarter. I want to say spring-summerish. Hopefully we’ll get the album out not too long after the single drops.
It’s authentic with that Wu sound, that Rza sound. Rza did the beats, but I have a lot of live stuff in there too that is kind of reminiscent of a lot of classic soul, you know what I’m saying, but not that neo-soul, because I’m heavy on the ground a little bit. So I’m not really floating around in the air. I kind of got that bass knocking a little bit. It’s that trunk-funk, you know what I mean? So it’s a little of that. I haven’t heard a bad review yet.
JR: What are you talking about on it?
Tekitha: No bullshit, I’ll say that. It’s all real talk. It’s my life experiences, really, some emotional things, but my perspective of it, not just the actual situation, but my perspective of it, then a lot of social issues. So it’s either one of those. Either my direct experience with something or something that I’ve been observing socially that’s been happening to the youth or the elders or lack of respect for the ancestors. But it’s all kind of funneled around what I know. I can’t talk about what I don’t know.
So if you are looking for guns blasting and coke-running, you got the wrong album. It’s not going to happen here; club-hopping and pussy-popping, it’s not going to happen because I don’t know nothing about it. If I knew something about it, I might could talk some shit, but I don’t know anything about it.
So that’s pretty much the base-line of the album. It’s smooth but it’s raw, at the same time. I’m not out there trying to be a man, because I’m not a man, but I’m raw on that microphone though. That mic is my heart and soul, you know, aside from my daughter.
JR: Tell us how you got from Cali to New York back to Cali?
Tekitha: And back and back and back. Shit, I’ve been doing that for years.
JR: Is traveling important?
Tekitha: Traveling is important because in this game, for me, the way I’ve assessed it, you got to hit the street to get people to know about you. It’s one thing to have a label fund you and they put you up and they send you around or whatever, but I’ve gotten all of the rep that I’ve gotten from getting on the street and battle muthaphuckaz on corners, in little clubs, doing little gigs.
Like there is no gig that your girl will turn down. Like I’ll get 10 people - if somebody wants to get on the stage and act tough, then we could do it. That’s really my rep; that’s how I went from city to city to city. So that’s pretty much how I got to New York in a round about way. There is a more detailed story, but just doing my thing.
I don’t even have like a format. I’m just following, I’m just going along with it. “Oh, we’re going to do this today,” if it feels right, if there is good people involved. I’ve gotten caught in some bad situations, but that’s apart of growth too, and it got me sharper where I can feel the presence of good people, you know what I’m saying?
So I try to keep myself involved or revolved around them, you know? So it kind of moves me around. I try to plot a course sometimes, but sometimes it just happens the way it happens.
Written by JR for sfbayview.com.