Lizzie G describes herself as the educated female rapper. She offers up her talents not just for the sake of personal gain but for the enrichment of the community. We spoke with Lizzie about her music, working with youth and creating a soundtrack to life.
Talk about who you are as an artist.
As one of the few positive female hip-hop artists on the scene, my goal is to spread a message of positivity through my company Lizzie G Entertainment. My music promotes anti-bullying, keeping peace and staying united. I use my platform to encourage today’s youth to stay in school and pursue their dreams. As an artist, I am committed to my craft. I grew passionate about music and music production at an early age. At the age of 11, I started playing piano, drums and rapping over beats that I produced on Fruity Loops. I also sang in my church choir and I grew passionate about the gospel. As a Christian, I wanted to choose a platform where I am sending a positive message, good vibes and not using profanity to emphasize my messages in music.
What is most important for you to convey when you perform?
Music is the soundtrack to life. Through Lizzie G Entertainment, I want my audience to be inspired and motivated to be their best selves when they listen to my music. I love music and I love hip-hop. And using hip-hop as the base for my message of education and pursuing your dreams, no matter big or small, allows me to connect with my audience on a different level. Hip-hop is the vehicle for me to speak my mind about the culture, social and political happenings of our time. On stage and behind the scenes, hip-hop has allowed me to take control of my career and guide young people to do the same.
What made you decide to work with children?
Not to sound cliché, but the children truly are our future. Given everything that is happening in the world today, where exactly do we see our future heading? The world is changing at a rapid pace, and our kids today are dealing with a lot, especially with the social media boom. Some of our kids are dealing with so much pain and suffering that they rarely hear anything positive in their lives, which can snowball into a myriad of issues. It is my passion to work with children because they need positive reinforcement now, more than ever. As former President Barack Obama recently said, part of our mission now is to help prepare the next generation of leaders. Lizzie G Entertainment works with children to help prepare them for the next chapter of their lives. My workshops and music focuses on encouraging them to stay in school and pursue their dreams. I also bring my love and passion of music into workshops and concerts as a creative tool for children to learn, especially at a time where the arts are lacking in public schools.
Talk about your relationship with the Chicago Public Schools and what it has morphed into.
Now more than ever, with shrinking budgets, schools are looking to incorporate innovative methods to provide vital arts and music education programs to every child in every school. A few years ago, I started my partnership with Chicago Public Schools through Lizzie G Entertainment to help provide to students, organizations and schools unique programming in arts, STEM and music education which fills that gap that schools are desperately looking for. The work has been extremely fulfilling so far. I now have worked with dozens of schools, not only in CPS, but nationwide as well, to provide workshops and conduct concerts for the youth. Our youth are extremely intelligent and giving them creative outlets to express themselves is worth it. I try to do my part, and I encourage my generation to do the same. That is why I’m excited about the work that influential Chicagoans such as Chance the Rapper and others are doing in our communities.
What projects do you have coming up?
I am currently in the middle of my school tour. With the school year coming to a close, I’ve been pretty busy with end-of-year performances and showcases. I am also organizing and hosting a city-wide poetry slam on Thursday, May 18 at Christian Fenger Academy High School in collaboration with Youth Guidance and Rainbow P.U.S.H. Coalition.
Talk about the inspiration behind your most recent project.
The young people that I meet every day serve as my inspiration. They are immensely talented and bright and have a great future ahead of them. I hear from many of the students often. They write me on social media, send Thank You letters, call to say hi or talk about what’s bothering them or even to discuss their future. These interactions with them bless me and give me a sense of fulfillment. Anything that I can do to help them reach their highest potential is an honor. With them in mind, I released my fourth album on February 20, 2017, with 18 empowering tracks entitled “Level Up.” This project showcases upbeat trendy tracks mixed with inspiring lyrics to encourage young people to take their dreams and goals to the next level.
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
One of the challenges that I run into is the challenge that many schools are facing, and that is the disinvestment in the arts and music programs. To help alleviate the burden of these challenges, Lizzie G Entertainment partners with schools to help provide this vital part of education. When students are stimulated by programs through Lizzie G Entertainment, it helps to increase innovation, creativity, critical thinking and civic engagement.
Also, being a female MC in this game is always a challenge, but I have met a lot of great people along the way and my supporters, especially the kids, keep me motivated.
What words of encouragement do you have for up and coming artists?
Everyone has their timing in life for success. As long as you stay dedicated to your craft, passion and dreams your breakthrough is forthcoming. Network, always promote yourself and never burn bridges. Keep God first, stay positive in life and your level up will surely come in time.