Rapper Siya Talks Industry Fakeness And Being OUTSpoken
In 2015 the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, “Love & Hip-Hop” featured their first gay couple and an American sports icon won the Arthur Ashe ESPY award for transitioning from male to female. It’s a new day for America but being an openly gay rapper is nothing new for Siya, one of the stars of Oxygen’s “Sisterhood of HipHop” and a respected MC who has worked with the likes of Chris Brown and is signed to industry vet Tank. We spoke to her at the close of the year and she held nothing back — speaking honestly about her thoughts on celebs who treat gayness like it’s a trend and her burgeoning career in music, film and on reality TV.
Check out our Q&A below:
BOSSIP: What’s good Siya! What are you working on these days?
SIYA: I dropped my EP which is doing amazing, I’m proud of that. Starting to work on debut album either next month or February. I’ve got a single coming out with Tank called Birthday with Chris Brown and Sage the Gemini that’s going to be dropping January 8th.
BOSSIP:Was that your first time working with all of those guys?
SIYA:Second record with Chris.
BOSSIP:What’s that like working with him? Did he have any feedback for you?
SIYA:Chris is a fan. He definitely respects my music. He’s dope. I’m really good friends with Sage. He’s a good peer. The love and respect is mutual
BOSSIP:How is the relationship with Tank?
SIYA:Me and Tank are family. It’s never just business with us. It’s deeper than that, it’s a forever thing.
BOSSIP:What’s the vibe for the album? After finishing the EP are you in the same vibe?
SIYA:My fans really love when I sing. So I think I’m gonna be cutting a lot more records where I’m singing and rapping. But I don’t want to dim my light on rapping. I just want to have fun with this album, I want to be creative.
BOSSIP: How do you feel about there being so much focus on your sexuality? Does it bother you?
SIYA:No. Because I’m comfortable in my own skin. It might bother someone who is faking the funk but that’s not me. So me being me can never make me uncomfortable. It might make pther people uncomfortable but that’s not my problem. A lot of people know that the gay community supports, they’ll be at the shows, they’ll buy the albums — so people tend to play on that but they forget that they’re actually hurting us more than anything. Like, don’t try to represent a community that you don’t stand for.
BOSSIP: Do you have relationships with any other artists that are openly gay? Dej Loaf is the main person that comes to mind.
SIYA:Dej Loaf isn’t gay. I’m so tired of people saying that. First of all that was an assumption when she first came into the industry. She’s with Durk now
BOSSIP: So you don’t think that’s one of the fake relationships?
SIYA:No. I mean if it is fake then more power to them. I don’t give a fawk. My thing is just be yourself. I don’t like fraudulent isht. And it’s not taking anything away from that girl cause she’s had a successful year. It’s just when it comes to this lifestyle and this community like, I can’t fawk with people who come in and out. That’s for anybody. If you gay be gay, if you straight be straight.
BOSSIP: We thought Nicki Minaj was gonna be openly bisexual but she shied away from it pretty quickly…
SIYA:Cause she’s not gay lol. You know people play on it because they wanna get into this industry and they want that gay community backing.
BOSSIP: We remember back when Draya first started doing TV and she tweeted something about being the only openly bisexual person on TV.
SIYA:I don’t know anything about Draya but I know Hollywood is very small and Tank’s baby mother Zena is good friends with Draya but I’ve never heard that she’s gay.
They [gay people faking straight] in the industry don’t get it twisted. I’m not here for living a lie for business. I stand for what I believe in.
BOSSIP: Do you get approached by people wanting to hook up with you and get down with you but they wanna keep it on the low?
SIYA: Absolutely. Whether it be men and women who are gay or wanna play with the idea of being gay. And I honestly can’t fawk with it. I can’t fawk with someone who is afraid of other people’s opinions. I don’t condone people being more concerned about what other people think about them.
What do you think so far? Siya definitely holds no cut cards. Hit the flip for details about an industry exec who tried to kick it to her and for the exclusive scoop on “Sisterhood of Hip-Hop”
BOSSIP: What did you think about the LHH gay couple this season?
SIYA: You know I was around Miles and Milan. I did the Out In Hip-Hop special so… for what it’s worth I respect it. I thought it was great for the black gay community. For the black men in the gay community. But we all know how fake that ish can be. There were time I thought lowkey it was fake, there were times I thought it was real. But that show is so put together. It’s a lot of reality shows put together like that. They set the ish up, They set the fights up. A friend told me Milan was never really with Amber, they were just good friends, whereas Miles has been gay for the longest. It’s so much fake ish in the industry man. I don’t fawk with it. That’s why I’m glad I went on a reality show that’s empowering for women. Our show is authentic. Well… Let me keep it cute.
BOSSIP: What about the relationships on your show? Is that real or for TV? Like Nyemiah and Mac?
SIYA: Yeah, yeah. I’m good friends with Mack I’m also very good friends with Naima. But from my understanding her feelings were real… But I’ve heard that it was just for the show, but I heard out of her own mouth that her feelings were real.
BOSSIP: And Diamond and Soulja Boy?
SIYA: Oh nah thats ALL real, very real. That ni**a Soulja Boy had a great year. That ni**a was on 3 different shows with 3 different b****es.
BOSSIP: But I mean do you condone that? Or is he is what he is and you respect it?
SIYA: I mean what that ni**a eat don’t make me ish. If the girls that he’s fawking with are allowing it then more power to that ni**a. You can’t even be mad at that ni**a if the b****es allowing it. If a woman doesn’t have more respect for herself then that then that’s why ni**as be out here doing what they do.
BOSSIP: Are you single right now?
SIYA: Very single right now. Very focused. Very much trying to stay away from certain things and certain energies. I been through a lot this year as far as relationships. But I would never block my blessings. I’m very open to the idea of a relationship.
BOSSIP: We saw an interview where you were talking about a crush on Karrueche…
SIYA: Karrueche man. Karrueche, Karrueche, Karrueche. Karrueche is actually a really good friend of mine. Shoot I wish she’d swing my way but nah she’s just my homie.
BOSSIP: Talk to us about the movie you’re doing What’s the role? How much did you have to prepare for it?
SIYA: I didn’t even know anything about movies. I never went on auditions or things like that. Larenz Tate was actually courting me for a while. And Tank got the phone call and Larenz was like we got this movie we would love for Siya to be a part of it. We got this role specifically for her. I went in and I did a table read and yeah, I got the role. I play an 18 year old girl from LA named Diggs. Young wild from the streets, she’s very much about that life and we have a lot in common, and she is openly gay. It’s pretty dope that I do get to play myself pretty much. The cast is amazing it’s me Larenz Tate, Megan Good, Lance Gross, LaLa Anthony, Rick Gonzales, Rotimi. It’s directed by Jamal Hill, he directed “Brotherly Love.” Flavor Unit is behind it, Queen Latifah. So overall it’s an amazing opportunity. Larenz Tate took me under his wing and I’ve learned so much from him being on set. Right now it’s called “Deuces” (working title).
BOSSIP: What other producers are you working with for the album outside of Tank?
SIYA: I’m gonna always be working with my guy Black Metaphor, I’ve been working with him for years. I got one of my in-house guys Joe Billi. I got this young cat named Gene Bell from Brooklyn. I like working with young, hungry producers, guys on the come-up. That’s my type of vibe. I’m not really pressed to go out and work with big guys who are producing everybody and everybody’s beats are the same… Nah I’m not that. I’m cool.
BOSSIP: Outside of the relationship drama, what are some other things that you’re steering away from while trying to be focused?
SIYA: Anything fake. This is a crazy a** industry man. A lot of fraudulent ish, a lot of fake ish, a lot of fake people. I learned that real quick. Ain’t no friends in this industry for real unless they real ones. Other than that you just got to get in, make your music, make your money, and get the f**k out.
BOSSIP: Who else is family?
SIYA: Lulu (Torres) my manager
BOSSIP: Do you feel like people try to underpay you? How has the industry tried to “d**k” you?
SIYA: It’s plain and simple, and Lulu said it best, I’m not a kiss up. I’m not a d**krider. I’m not gonna be following you around like a shadow to get your attention. I’m not that type of artist. And it’s a lot of artist out there who do that type of shit to get where they are. Some of em are f**king execs just to get there. I’m not that type of artist. Everything that I have now, I worked my a** off for. My team, we work, we grind. Nothing has been handed to me ever.
BOSSIP: Have you been approached by someone about sleeping with an exec? Male or female?
SIYA: I’m not gonna name names but yeah, I have. From a female from Def Jam. Definitely tried to take me out, definitely wanted to f**k, definitely offered me things. But I just can’t get down like that. I refuse to put my career in someone else’s hands for them to say ‘ I made you’. Nobody made me. I came out my momma p***y and my grandmother raised me. Those are the only two women that have the authority to say that they made me.
BOSSIP: We noticed you’re very political on instagram. Are you going to be rapping about the current political climate and things happening in the world?
SIYA: I’m extremely affected by things that happen. I’m a lover of mankind. This day and age it’s crazy that the type of ish that can happen. It’s crazy that’s Paris was talk of the town for all of a week and nobody’s even talking about it anymore. But then there’s so much ish happening in Africa that people aren’t even talking about. Like people don’t shine light on the government and there’s thousands and thousands of women and children being slaughtered everyday out there but you don’t hear about that as often as you should. Or right here in our own backyard. I’m not a fan of this Trump character, this f**king clown. He needs to get out of there.
BOSSIP: Is marriage equality important to you? It definitely seems like things could go backwards depending on who gets elected.
SIYA: Yeah, the PC answer is to say yeah. But I also don’t think you need a piece of paper to bind your love to someone else. But of course we want the equal rights, we wanna feel like we’re secured in something… We need someone who can legally fight for us.
BOSSIP: What else pisses you off besides Trump?
SIYA: I’m pretty easy going. A lot of shit doesn’t bother me because I don’t allow it to. I’m big on not to have other energies affecting me. But when it’s pure ignorance lika a guy like Donald trump then yeah that bothers me. Or the fact that so many cheeks are being turned to police brutality, senseless murders from cops. And honestly my theory with that is, it’s not gun control it’s human control. They’re trying to put the fear in our hearts and that ish is real. The government, they want that. They want us to be afraid, they want us to feel like they’re in full control. So yeah killing a few off is gonna make people fall in line but they also need to understand that this generation is fearless. These are some fearless a** kids. They’re fighting back. These are kids that will pick up a gun and shoot the ish outta you. Shoot if I have to shoot the ish outta somebody I will, you know, if my life is threatened.
BOSSIP: What makes you really happy?
SIYA: Just knowing that I have a big fan base. Something that just really blew my mind recently, this girl she had a daughter and she named her daughter after me. My government name is Michelle, so she named her daughter siya michelle. And she wrote me this long letter saying how much of a fan she is and how much she believes in me and how greatful she is there is someone out here really standing up for the community. So for her to name her child after me, that’s crazy and probably one of the best things to ever happen to me. I like making other people happy, that’s what makes me smile.
BOSSIP: How do you deal with negativity that comes your way on social media?
SIYA: No I don’t really get that a lot. Maybe once in a blue moon I get a troll, but for the most part it’s just fans, just real authentic fans. I might get messages where my fans might be mad at some other ish and they’ll come stan on my page, like that “Empire” ish. They were mad at that. A lot of people were mad at the fact that that role was about my life. Like literally, the girl is from Brooklyn the girl has a father who was in prison, a mother who was on drugs, literally my fawking life. But fawk all that.
[Ed. note Siya’s fans were upset because the “Freda Gats” role seems to be directly taken from her life. Ironically Siya auditioned for the role.]
BOSSIP: So what’s up with “Sisterhood of Hip-Hop”? Will there be a Season 3? Can you give us an exclusive?
SIYA: We start filming in January for the 3rd season of “Sisterhood of Hip-Hop.” I just got off the phone with one of the producers and it’s gonna be some changes, a lot of people are gonna be surprised about the third season… Stay tuned.
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And for more on Siya follow her on IG and Twitter @Siya