Musically inclined, blatantly honest, Non-Domesticated, filterless beauty… Pretty much, a rare breed. This line has been the tag for Dina Brass on her profile for many websites. For the most part, the words perfectly describe the out-spoken and outgoing female emcee from Connecticut. Nowadays you can add the word “inspiration” to the list, as she is a breath of fresh air in the era of “video vixen”-looking female emcees. Brass lives her hip-hop craft, not only as a emcee, but as a dancer and Graffiti artist. With the focus and drive she has, you would be hard pressed to find anyone that who embraces the culture more. I was lucky to get the lovely lethal beauty of CT Hip-Hop to slow down long enough to answer some questions for the GuysNation readers.

Mr. Incredible: I guess the first question to ask is how exactly did you get into music?

Dina Brass: I’ve always been into music, take it back to 1992, 7am, MTVs “The Daily Grind” on the boob-tube, a bunch of hot bodies dancing on a damn dock with the hottest jams bumpin’, me age 5, body rocking in my living room before I had to go get dressed for kindergarten…. I mean, when I look at it now, I wouldn’t let my kid watch it, but something in me just knew… knew how to dance, knew how to keep the rhythm, move my hips… even as a child…it sounds crazy but I feel like music was inside of me, kinda like how some people are born gay, I was born to rock.

Growing up in an urban setting, hanging out with kids cyphering on stoops and porches, in the streets and in living rooms, I just always could keep up with them… after a while I realized that I was honestly better with my word play than a lot of people I surrounded myself with.. I think as a female it was rather intimidating to dudes… so everyone I recorded with wanted me to strictly sing, and I was always doing hooks, or bridges, barely any verses… and I just ended up getting my own beats and writing my own songs…

Mr. Incredible: Now outside of emceeing and singing, you also do Graffiti and Dance.

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Dina Brass: Graffiti has always been such a wonder to me… but honestly growing up in Waterbury, there were never any graffheads or people that truly shared my interest, only part-time bombers scribbling dumb shit on the local bodegas, so I never really did any pieces until about 2006 when I moved to midtown Manhattan…that’s where I finally found people that was into what I was into, real hip hop, graffiti, breaking… I had a nice run as a back ground dancer for a drag queen, performing at places like Club Krash, Esqueitas, Lips, drag shows, the list goes on.. I made it through to the second round of auditions to be a background dancer for Beyonce but after I had my son, I haven’t gotten back into dancing besides twerking with my sister Jaquie in my kitchen! LOL… my obsession with Graff is never going to cease to exist, it’s hard because I never had anyone to show me any techniques and I basically had to self teach… I mean I guess everyone self taught, but for the most part they have crews and friends that grew up on this. I’m learning new things everyday and trying to reach out to like minded individuals that can kick it with me and rip some walls apart. I reaaaalllly want to get an all girl crew going in the Hartford area!!

Mr. Incredible: What are your music influences?

Dina Brass: Should I just rattle off some names? hmm this is a funny one… Whitney Houston, MF Doom, Lauren Hill, The Roots, Amy Winehouse, Immortal Technique, Jay Z, Jeff Buckley, Alanis Morriset, Cee-Lo, Spin Doctors, Bright Eyes, Fleetwood Mac, brand Nubian, Snow, Krs One, Jean Grae, Blackalicious, Nas, Cannibal Ox, Dallas Green, El-P, Masta Ace, Aesop Rock, Phenetiks (Roc Doogie, Deto22, JK, Cres), Atmosphere, Bjork, Boot Camp Clik, Rustoes (Cre808 BANG!! Left Handz) Common, DMX, Wu Tang Clan, Enigma, Gangstarr, Enya, J-Dilla, Erykah Badu, Phil Collins, just to name a few lol

Mr. Incredible: Do you feel that being a mother has changed your outlook on Hip Hop?

Dina Brass: I guess, I have an urgency to instill the roots of real hip hop in my children… as a life style, healthy gateway of expression, but the way I view hip hop is the same… it’s just more of a teaching tool now

Mr. Incredible: With that being asked how do you feel about women’s place in Hip Hop as a whole? Not just emceeing but all around.

Dina Brass: Well I feel like it’s a fair playing field if these dudes wouldn’t be so afraid of a woman getting shine… I feel like a lot of men feel inferior when a female is dope… like if I go to an event and shut down the set and no one pays attention to the rest of the performers, you kinda can get people feeling a type of way… like I’m not trying to sound bitchy but it happens a lot, and with a performance that leaves a crowd speechless or amped or whatever they’re feeling, why wouldn’t I be getting more shows? Why are people booking the same artists over and over and you don’t see Dina brass more? I’m telling you I go to a show and I can’t, for the life of me comprehend why some people are holding a mic… like why are these people performing, face all big on a flyer, and lyrically there where I was as a freshman in high school and not one person reached out to me.. Is it because my ex boyfriend makes you nervous? GET OVER IT and respect the craft! Shout out to bucket fresh studio because Mufasa is always reaching out! but hip-hop is hip-hop and lyricism is lyricism show love, build people up, don’t let talent slip, shit if you feel inferior, step your game up.. If you don’t have it, stop trying to rap!

Mr. Incredible: It seems like if you want to find pure female Hip Hop you have to go to the underground and check out artists like Jean Grae and Eternia. Who do you listen to, female emcee wise?

Dina Brass: I love Jean Grae, but I haven’t really listened to many female emcees now a days simply because there nonexistent unless you seek them out and I haven’t had the time to sit on the computer and look up new music… I’m either changing a diaper, cleaning my house, working, writing or finally being able to sit on my couch drink a beer watch some GIRLS or dance moms… I’ll tell you this much, shout out to Exclu$ive , chick from Meriden, she be doing her thing. She’s really in it and I appreciate that.

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Mr. Incredible: Now you have been a vocal member of CT’s Hip Hop scene. What do you feel is holding us back from being the next NYC or ATL?

Dina Brass: Honestly, CT is way too clickish… if it’s not their brand, they don’t care… we are all broke as fuck, and no one is getting their music out beyond local..PLUS how are we supposed to get CT on the map when everyone is trying to be from NY? Pretty sure that’s not just CT, its everywhere… like why can’t Virginia be the next NYC? Because NYC is NYC and ATL is ATL.

Mr. Incredible: How do you feel about people saying that in order to make it, you would have to leave CT?

Dina Brass: You don’t have to leave anywhere, you just need money… money gets you contacts, contacts gets you exposure… exposure is what you need… shit if I had a million dollars I could record quality, pay MTV to play my shit prime time and be famous in a day…. I could just pay YouTube to feature my shit and be famous from my living room… you don’t gotta leave no where you just need the means

Mr. Incredible: What is going on with your career at this point, will we be seeing anything released from you in the near future?

Dina Brass: I’m gaining positive people back into my life and getting ready to step into the studio soon… so yes I’m about to be in your faces hard

Mr. Incredible: Now your look is very unique and outgoing. I’ve seen you do everything from colorful wigs and tats or shaved head and baggy jeans. Were you always this comfortable with your style and look?

Dina Brass: I guess I’m coming into my own still… lol I like everything really. The only thing I’m opposed to is like overly sexy stuff, ya know? not cuz I’m not sexy, or confident, but I really want you to listen to my lyrics and I don’t know if that would be 100% possible if you are focused on my tits… plus, if there is a stigma behind females, I don’t want to fall prey to that thought process… I want to break you of your stereotypes, not hand them to you on a platter… also, when dudes step to me wanting to build, I want it to be about the music, not cuz the curvature of my back is critical… I do what most people won’t, rip my wig off at a show,   wear some crazy shit, IDK, I just do what I feel… BUT, youll most likely never see me in heels… sneaker freak!!

Mr. Incredible: Who are some of the artists you love working with or would love to work with?

Dina Brass: Aesop rock would be a dream come true, or atmosphere… I would love to break bread with immortal tech or el-p. I mean that’s on a scale of crazy proportions… but locally, John lopes aka cre808 is one of the most talented emcees I have crossed paths with. Every time he touches a mic its magic… everything this dude is about bleeds hip-hop. I look up to him on some real shit.

Mr. Incredible: How important do you feel it is to instill the love of the art forms of Hip Hop into the young fans coming up?

Dina Brass: Well like I said before, I am a teacher to my children and I respect all my folks bringing their kids to events and building the youth up… Zulu Camacho is my dude and he always got something for the kids… much respect

Mr. Incredible: Well, I would like to thank you for taking time out to answering a few questions for my readers. Is there anything else you would like to say before we close out?

Dina Brass: Be present… be grounded, be logical, be real… and don’t be afraid to reach your full potential… respect the journey, we all got one!

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For more info on Dina Brass, you can check her on on twitter at https://twitter.com/dinabrass or

Friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dinacoviello

Videos:

Lay It Down @ Sully’s Pub

Dina Brass – Quick Verse