Artist of the day: Dynasty

Dynasty 

Diana Maria Eva Hardy, a.k.a. Dynasty, started rapping at age 14, encouraged by a family friend who had access to a recording studio. The theater arts and business grad moved to Tampa from Queens, N.Y., in 2005, with no ties here.

Her style features hard and thick “boom-bat” beats backing a shrewd balance of sensitivity and toughness. “I keep it positive without being cheesy,” she said with a laugh. Dynasty’s smooth, rapid-fire rhymes could be compared to that of Fugees’ Lauryn Hill, but a little less raspy with no singing. She sets herself apart from the rest of the cleavage-baring Dirty South female rappers. She’ll wear a fitted T and jeans but adds a touch of allure with high heels. “I like to leave something to the imagination,” she said. 

LISTEN - Dynasty, 'Femcee'

This weekend Dynasty has one of her highest-profile gigs yet. She'll perform at WMNF's Tropical Heatwave -- yes, hip hop at Tropical Heatwave! -- at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at New World Brewery. Click here for all the details on Tropical Heatwave.

After the jump, get Julie Garisto's full profile of Dynasty...


Princess Dy: Diana Maria Eva Hardy, a.k.a. Dynasty, started rapping at age 14, encouraged by a family friend who had access to a recording studio. The theater arts and business grad moved to Tampa from Queens, N.Y., in 2005, with no ties here.

Her style: Hard and thick “boom-bat” beats backing a shrewd balance of sensitivity and toughness. “I keep it positive without being cheesy,” she said with a laugh. Dynasty’s smooth, rapid-fire rhymes could be compared to that of Fugees’ Lauryn Hill, but a little less raspy with no singing. She uses guest vocalists.
Her image: Dynasty sets herself apart from the rest of the cleavage-baring Dirty South female rappers. She’ll wear a fitted T and jeans but adds a touch of allure with high heels. “I like to leave something to the imagination,” she said. 

Her CD: dreampusher, a mixtape with mostly original material, releasing June 5. Laws and Funkghost are among a long list of impressive collaborators on the disc.

Big Apple, represent: “I still rep New York,” Dynasty added, pointing to her red N.Y. T-shirt. What about Queens does she miss the most? “Pizza! But I miss my friends and family the most.”

An interesting twist: “It’s funny; I moved from the city where dreams come true to live in Tampa — where everything takes off!”

Breakthrough No. 1: Dynasty began performing at open mic nights presented by Soul Purpose, booked a show at the Skatepark of Tampa and shared billing with Little Brother at Crowbar, where she won over the highly influential DJ Sandman of tampahiphop.com. He booked her an opening slot for Wu-Tang Clan. “Sandman really gave me the push I needed to take this thing seriously,” she said. “He made me believe again. He said, 'We’re going to do some shows,” and next thing I know, I’m opening for Wu-Tang to 1,000-plus. I was like, 'Wait a minute, okay. I gotta get back into this and take this seriously.’ He gave me that push and stayed on me. A couple of years before working with him I would have never thought I’d finish a project and record 10-plus songs. I was never that kind of artist. I was a spur-of-the-moment artist.”

Breakthrough No. 2: DJ Premier, who’s worked with Nas and Christina Aguilera, played her tune Femcee on his Sirius radio show. He also included her song on a mixtape he distributed in Europe.

Shoutout to Team Dy: The people who keep her in check, along with Sandman, are promoter Deacon, who’s also on her management team, and producer/MC Jinx.

Late-night lusciousness: “At 2 a.m. on a Saturday night, you’ll find me listening to (hip-hop show) Saturday Night Shutdown on WMNF, sitting Indian-style, eating my Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. … I love ice cream. I could eat ice cream for breakfast.”

Hear her: Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. at the WMNF Tropical Heatwave Local Music Showcase at New World Brewery in Ybor City. $10 for admission to that show; $32-$40 for access to all Heatwave shows. thefemcee.com.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:19pm]

    

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