Radar Sessions: FENATURE

HIGHLANDER/ Jaspery Goh
HIGHLANDER/ Jaspery Goh

Her demeanor is relaxed and controlled, as she considers her answers to my question. She seems at ease, and in control of her language, just as she might when she is on mic — yet, the friendliness in conversation becomes an entirely different body language anytime FENATURE (or Fe) steps up to the mic. An undergraduate liberal studies major at UCR, Fe is a rapper hailing from Oakland.

She came to hip-hop as a way of honoring her late step father, whom she lost at a young age to gun violence. “In order to cope with the pain I started to just write it away, I felt like that really helped me vent,” she stated, explaining that she initially began writing spoken word pieces and poetry before turning to hip-hop as a means of creative expression.

When discussing the origin of her sound, which is a synthesis of classic East Coast emcee culture with more contemporary production and instrumentals, Fe clarified that she does not try to mimic or follow current trends. “I make sure to stay in tune with myself, and just try to stay original. I don’t wanna give too much of my focus to other artists and sounds.” However, she did state that her favorite musician is currently Canadian artist Drake, who she sheepishly called “big bro” revealing the level of inspiration that Drake has given her.

However, an added struggle for Fe is the complexity of being a female emcee, in an otherwise masculine driven hip-hop culture. “It gives me a different edge, but I have definitely seen the male dominant side of it.” However, for Fe this only provided fuel to the fire, pushing her to be that much better. “There are a number of times when there were a series of challenges I went to where I didn’t win, and I can guarantee the fact that I wasn’t a male had a strong influence there,” she said.  Nonetheless, the struggle has kept her going, adding a different dimension to her artistic career.

So far Fe has two mixtapes under her belt, E.R.G.E.N.T. (I &II), which were released in 2012, and which are available for download on datpiff.com. These projects were named after her stepfather, and marked her first attempt at seriously pursuing her career talents as an emcee. Currently she is working on assembling her follow up to these projects, tentatively titled, “Project III.” While Fe was hesitant to reveal too many details about the project, she mentioned that she’s working on just finding the right rhythm for the project; in her words, “I just say what the beat tells me.”

Her music is available on her Soundcloud: @fenature and you can follow her Instagram: @fenaturemusic.

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