The Ruff Ryders' first lady emeritus, who recently dropped her first album in 11 years, Lip Lock, gets candid about the downside of fame and beefs between female rappers in a round of "Would You Rather."

This feature appears in Complex's June/July 2013 issue.

I’d rather experiment than follow the same formula. I’m a curious person. It’s gotten me into trouble, but I say, “Why not? Let’s try it.” My new album is going to shock people because it’s like nothing I’ve done before. Whether people like it or not, artistically I had to do something different. Why pay attention to me if I’m not doing something new?

I’d rather be known as a tough girl than a sweetheart.Then I can surprise you. Most people tell me, “You’re so much nicer than I expected you to be!” I’m like, “Did you expect me to walk in here barking?”

 

The biggest misconception about female rappers today is that we’re trying to take another person’s light and we’re all competing against each other. I hate drama.

 

I’d rather be a master of one thing than a jack-of-all-trades. I like to dabble in different things, but music is my first love. It connects to me in a way my side projects don’t because it’s so personal. I write the words. Music is like my diary. It’s my therapy.

I’d rather make all my secrets public than have an image based on gossip. I’d rather put it out there myself and control it. What surprised me most about fame is how unpleasant it can be. I used to think it was going to be so fun. I got excited about the parties. You don’t anticipate friends being jealous of you and critics giving your music bad reviews. Media and rumors—that stuff hurts.

I’d rather raise my kids globally than exclusively in the U.S. There is so much culture and history in Europe. We have culture in the U.S. but you have to look for it. A lot of the kids I’ve met in Europe are more mature because they’ve gotten to travel. In an hour, you can be in a different country. I’m going to be one of those crazy parents who wants her children to speak three languages. They’re going to hate me, but they will love me for it in the end.

I’d rather avoid beef than use it in my career. The biggest misconception about female rappers today is that we’re trying to take another person’s light and we’re all competing against each other. I hate drama. If you have a problem with me, let’s talk about it woman to woman. Media pitting female artists against each other is the dumbest thing in the world. I don’t indulge in that shit.

ADDITIONAL CREDITS: (Stylist) Rose Garcia. (Hair) Martin-Christopher Harper. (Makeup) Ryan McKnight. (Manicurist) Casey Herman. (Clothing) Top by Osklen/Bottoms by American Apparel/Bracelet by Alexis Bittar/Sunglasses by A-Morir

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