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She didn’t have that sexy little number Lil’ Kim would wear, or that outspoken outfit Queen Latifah would rock. It was a simple outfit a woman would wear to the grocery store. No make-up, hair not fully done, and no nails. Just straight up-as is. Eagle Nebula was her name, and last Saturday she performed at the 5th Annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. The Empire Fulton Ferry State Park was filled with true-hip hop fans.

Rain did not stop the DJ’s from throwin’ down and MC’s from spittin’ the truth. The crowd was wild. Hundreds of fans moved to the hot beats of DJ Misbeahaviour, and DJ Brina Payne as they got pumped for dead prez[read their interview here], Styles P, and Pharoahe Monche[watch his interview here].

But it was the sounds of Eagle Nebula that left the crowd dry. I was confused. Had we not just been movin’ to these beats? She was speakin the truth. She calls herself a “ghetto sage” and opened with her single “Daily Debut” from her album Cosmic Headphones. “Look at the time, less than an hour. Gotta be swift like Jack Bower- so I can be on time. And time is of essence when it comes to learning lessons. That’s true, what else to do. Live it like you mean it, on your daily debut. Everyday. Everyday”.

I thought her delivery was on point and her words were powerful. But the fellas in the audience didn’t think so. Many of them started pulling out their phones to text, going to get something to drink or they would start talking to each other. “She could have pulled it off at a smaller event. But not with a hype crowd like this. She didn’t have a good introduction. There was no build up to her performance”, said Tristan Graham from Jamaica.

But was it all about the introduction? Does a good artist really need a big introduction? I would think it would be unnecessary. But perhaps Nebula lacked that sexy appeal a male fan would need, regardless of what your spittin’. She didn’t have that long hair to fling in her face, or that cute skirt to hyke up real quick. Maybe she was trying to be classy, or perhaps she was just straight up lazy. Is there a higher standard for female rappers than there is for male rappers? Can you be a sexy rapper who has the utmost respect from her fans, while still being fully clothed?

-Candice Celestin

For more information about the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, please visit: http://www.brooklynbodega.com/

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