|© 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 thatís why I decided to interview her. If you donít know her name, Iím 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 Ö
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 ďAll That I Got Is You.Ē 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 ďSlamĒ and ďSoul in the Hole.Ē I went on to do ďWu-Tang ForeverĒ which is a double cd. I did ďImpossibleĒ and second coming off of that album.
After that I did ďGhost Dog,Ē Shyheimís album, Killah Priestís album, Cappadonaís album, Methís album, U-Godís album. Iíve been all over everybodyís shit, but thatís family and thatís how you do. If somebody calls you and says that theyíre going to the studio, you need to be there, and handle yoí 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 itís a whole new level of the game. I done moved, not on, but just up. Itís still family. Itís still locked down.
JR: So are you one of the few that are California affiliates of the Wu?
Tekitha: Well, I donít 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 Iím a featured female artist of the clique, than thatís my family, and thatís how it is.
But I let them claim that, and they do. They run around the world talking about ďTekitha, Wu dida dida da,Ē but you wonít never catch me doing that. Iím from California for all of my life. Iím from Sacramento, thatís where I was born and raised. I lived in Oakland for the last two years.
I claim what I really know, what Iím born and bred of, and thatís the West. Thatís really what I know truly. I know New York from living there in and out from í95 even til today, but you can only know a thing so much. When youíre of a thing, thatís totally different, and Iím 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: Iím knowing, but if you wearing it, you got to represent it.
Tekitha: You know whatís crazy though is this outfit was made for me. I didnít even choose these colors. It was made for me by Mamasan, of course. I didnít choose the colors. (Drea, the fashion designer) chose them, fitted me up for it, and when I came out, my Mama was like, ďOh Red, Black and Green Ö you doing it. Iím loving that.Ē I was like, ďOk, Iím loving it too.Ē You know what Iím saying?
JR: You said that you have a solo career. When can we hear something? Tell us the title. Whatís the feel of it? Is it Hip Hop? Are you singing on it? Tell us the whole 9 Ö
Tekitha: Well, a lot of people donít know that Iíve 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. Itís called ďWisdom Body the LPĒ - thatís 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 weíll get the album out not too long after the single drops.
Itís 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 Iím saying, but not that neo-soul, because Iím heavy on the ground a little bit. So Iím not really floating around in the air. I kind of got that bass knocking a little bit. Itís that trunk-funk, you know what I mean? So itís a little of that. I havenít heard a bad review yet.
JR: What are you talking about on it?
Tekitha: No bullshit, Iíll say that. Itís all real talk. Itís 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 itís either one of those. Either my direct experience with something or something that Iíve been observing socially thatís been happening to the youth or the elders or lack of respect for the ancestors. But itís all kind of funneled around what I know. I canít talk about what I donít know.
So if you are looking for guns blasting and coke-running, you got the wrong album. Itís not going to happen here; club-hopping and pussy-popping, itís not going to happen because I donít know nothing about it. If I knew something about it, I might could talk some shit, but I donít know anything about it.
So thatís pretty much the base-line of the album. Itís smooth but itís raw, at the same time. Iím not out there trying to be a man, because Iím not a man, but Iím 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, Iíve been doing that for years.
JR: Is traveling important?
Tekitha: Traveling is important because in this game, for me, the way Iíve assessed it, you got to hit the street to get people to know about you. Itís one thing to have a label fund you and they put you up and they send you around or whatever, but Iíve gotten all of the rep that Iíve 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 Iíll get 10 people - if somebody wants to get on the stage and act tough, then we could do it. Thatís really my rep; thatís how I went from city to city to city. So thatís 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 donít even have like a format. Iím just following, Iím just going along with it. ďOh, weíre going to do this today,Ē if it feels right, if there is good people involved. Iíve gotten caught in some bad situations, but thatís apart of growth too, and it got me sharper where I can feel the presence of good people, you know what Iím 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.