RVA’s Ms. Proper Returns to the 804 For Strange Matter 7/29 Show
Ms. Proper may not be Richmond-born, but after listening to “Just Landed (804),” it’s plain to see her heart is in RVA.
Proper, who moved to Atlanta a year ago, dropped the song earlier this year when she was feeling particularly homesick. “Damn, it’s been a minute since I seen the city / gotta be my ratchet ways / Miss them Kingdom Saturdays / The alley where we had the place,” muses the rapper on the track.
Born Shantale Person in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Ms. Proper came to the Richmond area when she was five.
“I feel like hip-hop and poetry are the same,” Ms. Proper said, “it’s just hip-hop is poetry on a beat.”
After graduating from Matoaca high school in 2005, Ms. Proper founded So Proper Entertainment intending to just “do the background role” of producing other artists, but her love of recording and performing led her to start dropping CDs of her music around Petersburg. She conquered her self-described shyness after her first public performance at the Henrico Theatre in 2007, when she realized, “I love this – I have to do this.”
Ms. Proper soon started getting press around RVA and was called “one of the hardest working women in local hip hop” by RVA Magazine in 2012. Her 2013 track “Get it Started” was featured on RVAMag.com last year.
With her popularity in RVA’s music scene on the upswing, Ms. Proper made the dramatic choice to up and leave her home for the ATL.
“I felt like I had kind of hit a glass ceiling personally in Richmond,” she said. “Just getting stuck into the redundancy of behaviors and doing the same thing every day.”
“I’m very excited for everything that I’m doing with them,” she said.
Ms. Proper is still grateful she grew up in RVA, and described her experience in the heart of the Commonwealth as “going to high school” for the “college” of Atlanta.
“The music scene [in RVA] prepared me for everything I’m doing in Atlanta,” she said. Not content to stay in one place for too long, Proper said Los Angeles may be her next big move. “I feel like there’s too many places in the world to stay in one place too long.”
Though Ms. Proper is not secretive about her sexuality, she said being a lesbian does not play a huge role in her music. “It’s not really like I’m a gay rapper – I’m a rapper that happens to be gay,” she said. The artist has no desire to “exploit” her lesbianism for more popularity.
Though her lyrics refer to the women she dates, she knows people of all sexualities can identify with them.
“At the end of the day, it’s just relating to the people,” she said.
Ms. Proper will be performing with New Orleans trans sissy bounce rapper Katey Red on Tuesday, July 29 at Strange Matter. Tickets for this 18+ show are $10. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.
Ms. Proper will be back in Richmond again on August 23 to perform at #B3RVA, a “day party and social experience” hosted by the Encore Ultra Lounge.
“It’s a slower record from the album, it’s mainly about being lost in your thoughts…”January 6, 2016
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