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At a time when female rappers are a rare staple in the Bay Area music industry Gemstone Official Media Group artist Ms. Be is focused on claiming her piece of the Golden State and beyond. Born Maya Garcia; Ms. Be grew up in a musical household that left an impression on the Oakland, California native.
At an early age Ms. Be would bang on pots and pans pretending to mimic the famous female percussionist Shelia E. “Hell, I even remixed the Sesame Street song when I was a little girl!” said Ms. Be. As the daughter of a saxophone player and granddaughter of a jazz manager; Ms. Be could not escape the destiny that music was planning for her.
“My grandfather would always tell me how important words are. He urged me to strengthen my vocab..Always mailing me books and articles from the newspaper,” said Ms. Be.
From there her love for words grew into a passion for storytelling.
In addition to the sounds of jazz greats John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Gil Scott Heron, Bobby Blue Bland, Muddy Waters James Brown flowing through her household. Ms. Be was introduced to a new genre of music by her father called rap and was introduced to the music of Public Enemy, Whodini and RUN DMC.
“I would be walking home from school and I could hear the music blasting from my house from a block away.” said Ms. Be. Shortly thereafter Ms. Be developed affection for homegrown independent Bay Area artists Digital Underground, Del the Funky Homosapien, 2Pac, The Hieroglyphics, Too Short, RBL and E-40.
Inspiration began to transpire as Ms. Be saw a reflection of herself in the new movement of female rappers such as Foxy Brown, Da Brat and Lil Kim. The female MCs boldly entered the rap arena and proved they had just as much staying power just as their male counterparts.
But her rap alter ego remained a secret until the late 90s when she met a Bay Area rap group called Syrkal of Souls (also known as SOS; a West Coast Wu-Tang). Gradually she began to step into the studio and test her ability as an artist while learning the industry at the same time.
After appearing on several songs and forming an all-female group (Nutrishus) in 2002 with songs that reflected the social ills of crime, poverty and drugs they saw in their East Oakland neighborhood, their songs also focused on the lighter side of life like partying and living it up. Ms. Be, always evolving, was looking for a change and found it in 2005 when she moved to Philadelphia.
In a period of self-discovery and reflection, the petite, Libra rapper migrated to Philadelphia as Ms. Balance. Taking the time out to perfect her skills, she created a new identity returning to Oakland and shortened her name to Ms.Be; meaning just "be" your true self.
In 2011 Ms. Be released her first solo project the mixtape Stix, Stones, Red Bottoms & Rap introducing her as a serious artist on the Bay Area scene the popular single iWork was released early 2012 showing her verbal maturity and signature Ms. Be brand and style.
With her witty verses, verbal jabs and feisty punch lines, Ms. Be delivers femininity, sexuality and consciousness in the same blow.
Ms Be. continues to increase her star power by diversifying her talents and becoming a radio personality, model, and event host at several music and fashion industry gatherings while continuing to remain in the public eye as an artist.
In 2012, Ms. Be has graced the stage with phenomenal recording artists DJ Quik, Dogg Pound, Dead Prez, Talib Kweli and Lil Kim. Ms. Be’s latest single Raw Deal shows just how much how appeal has spread through California, New York and Canada.
Ms. Be continues to set new heights and reach them while creating a steady buzz and a growing fan base. This femme fatale is more than a pretty face, she’s the real deal.