Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know this: There has never been one female rapper from Houston that has made a significant name for herself outside of this city. Mind, there are several good female rappers in the city (Troublesum, Kenika and Perseph stand out), but somehow none of them have ever really "made it" out of the city.
Made up of Candi Redd (the voice behind the infectious "Independent Bitches"), Surreall (of Swishahouse acclaim), Sugar (who appeared on Pimp C's "Cheat On Ya Man) and the underground supermodel Kharma, the Gutta Mamis are four femmcees who have teamed up in hopes of changing that.
Candi Redd, "Independent (Club Mix)"
We tugged on Candi Redd's coat to get her to answer a few questions. After the jump, read about Salt-N-Pepa, jean jackets and the bench-press.
Rocks Off: Okay, so can you give us a rundown of how the Gutta Mamis came to be? We're expecting this to be the gnarliest opening response of all time. If there aren't at least two fistfights in it and mention of at least one close-range shootout, we will be severly disappointed.
Candi Redd: Each member of the Gutta Mamis were actually the hated on reject from another group that was formed. [laughs] We all got together to do Surreall's "Gutta Mamis Boss Chic" song for her mixtape and we had a good vibe on the track together.
We began getting each other on songs and one day we decided to have a meeting at a producer's house. It was my suggestion that we actually be a group, so that four individuals focus would be on one project rather than four people doing four different things. But everyone wanted to be solo artist and just record music together from time to time. I think now we are all kind of on the same page.
We currently have a pretty hot record that's catching called "Wow Okay." The reason I feel Gutta Mamis will be a big deal is because there has not been a successful female rap group since Salt-N-Pepa and women have been waiting on something like this.
Sorry, no shootouts or fist fights.
RO: We were perusing your MySpace page and there was one thing we really, really wanted to ask Sugar Sugar: Where does one buy an ankle length jean jacket? That thing is amazing. It's like something Wyatt Earp would wear if he were alive today.
CR: Sugar is the flyest in the group when it comes to name brand stuff. She doesn't own anything that is not a high-priced name brand. I don't even think Sugar shops with the regulars like us [laughs]. You can catch me in Sharpstown, West Oaks, Galleria, Memorial City Mall, Willowbrook, Greens Point, etc. She probably goes and meets with the actual designer [laugh].
RO: Can you give us the actual definition of a "Gutta Mami Boss"?
CR: Surreall came up with the name "Gutta Mamis" and "Gutta Mamis Boss." In my opinion, a women who has took nothing and made something. If you come from a rough environment where the odds are against you but you keep grinding through the struggle, overcoming obstacles, not making an excuse for why you "cannot," creating a lane for yourself that was not there and just being in charge and in control of your own destiny.
To Candi Redd, that is what would make you a Gutta Mami Boss.
Candi Redd feat. Jaytel, "Grown Ups"
RO: How much does a guy need to be able to bench-press before any of the Gutta Mamis will consider dating him? It seems like it'd need to be a lot. Like, there's no way we could see Surreal dating Kid Cudi. Is this the kind of thing you all talk about?
CR: [laughs] I know a guy Surreall dated before. He wasn't super cut up and swole but wasn't skinny either. I think boyish good looks, clean-cut taper fade, six [or] eight pack [abs] and big muscles that treats his mama right and does not put money over morals is my weakness. I have to avoid those because I will get thrown off track [laughs].
We talk about a lot of stuff. Surreall is the most talkative in the group [laughs]. I love Surreall's personality. She likes to curse people out for the fun of it and likes for you to curse back at her [laughs].
I'm more laid back, cool, calm, collective, quick to listen, slow to speak unless questions are directly asked to me.
Sugar is like the group's big-balling sister because you just wanna go through her closet and borrow her Jimmy Choo shoes and beg her to drive that Crossfire. She be two damn fly in that two-seater [laughs].
Kharma is the easiest person ever to get along with. She is very kind-hearted and generous, never wants to talk about the problem but always wants to find the solution. I could never see Kharma having an enemy in this world. Kharma is the coolest thing since AC.
See the Gutta Mamis' MySpace at myspace.com/guttamamishouston. Candi Redd has several mixtapes available now. Get them at www.candiredd.com. You can purchase Surreall's album, Real Recognize Surreall, via www.swishahouse.biz. You can get Kharma's work at www.myspace.com/iamkharma. Sugar can be found at www.myspace.com/undergroundsupermodel.
And, of course, the Twitter stuff: @GuttaMamis, @CandiRedd, @SurreallOnline, @IAmKharma and @RacquelGemini.