What’s GNU With AtLas’

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Kitty: who are some of your music influences and people you look up to?

AtLas’: Definitely MC Lyte, one of the first rhymes I memorized was “Self Destruction” and probably one of the reasons I’m often compared to her is because I spent a lot of my youth listening to her. Jean Grae and Da Brat. I definitely always wanted to pay my respects to them. This is when I decided this is what I wanted to do. Lauryn Hill, I love her to death. I listened to a lot of Motown Soul Music. I’m a big Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Patti Labelle fan; major influences.

Kitty: Definitely some major players on that list. You’re from the birthplace of Hip Hop, how does that feel to be from there, New York?

AtLas’: Honestly I never paid it much mind until people ask “where are you from?” and then it comes up and other people think it’s cool.

Kitty: Do you feel any added pressure being an Entertainer?

AtLas’: Yes, my uncle is DJ Black Jack. He and DJ Kool Herc, known as the Godfather of Hip Hop, started this back in 1973 on Cedric   Ave. He and my uncle grew up and DJ’d together. They’re still close til this day and he makes sure that I don’t embarrass him or bring shame to his name and is always like “Let me hear something new, right now!“.  As far as pressure that’s it.

Kitty: What other types of things are you getting into lately?

AtLas’: Mainly HHS. I’m also a part of I Rhyme Like a Girl, a collective of female emcees who freestyle and do so very well. So when we do shows it’s more a matter of how we want to guide the energy as opposed to how we want to guide the set. As a collective we have the crowd give us topics and we freestyle based on that. In terms of youth involvement, I’m always working at the Hip Hop Culture Center in Harlem here. We do Edutainment programs where we teach youth basic life lessons through Hip Hop and the four main elements of Hip Hop.

Kitty: What types of accolades have you received for your work/music?

AtLas’: I’ve won a couple of contests, it keeps you humble when you lose as it gives you a bar and you have to stay there. We have a 24-hour Rapathon here inHarlem and each year we add an hour. There are 125 Emcees each year and I’ve been acknowledged as one of the top 12 very consistently. One of the dopest (accolades received) is when we did a tribute to women in Hip Hop and I was asked to do a tribute to MC Lyte and Roxeanne Shanté. So I learned their music and that same night, both of them came on stage with me and I got to perform with them. Kool Herc picked me up and sat me on top of the speaker and took a picture with me. Having these legends acknowledge me within my own light is the most major accomplishment I could receive to date.

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About the author

Kitty Y. Williams
Since moving to Houston, CEO Kitty Y. Williams (MissKittyTV Networks, LLC) has brought positive media exposure to Entertainers, Business Owners, Authors, Filmmakers, Community Leaders and other unique individuals Worldwide. Beginning with MissKittyTV in 2006, she filmed exclusive interviews, showcases, web cam episodes and events around the city, sharing with the world via YouTube. In 2007 she started her Kitty Williams LIVE radio broadcast on BlogTalkRadio, interviewing guests and showcasing music from several independent entertainers. (Read More on LinkedIn)

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