Miss Chiff
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Miss Chiff

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Hip Hop Pop




"Chicago Rapper Miss Chiff drops new mixtape and video"

“When did following your dreams become when ya gonna stop?” It’s one of about a zillion thought-provoking lines on Chicago MC Miss Chiff‘s new mixtape Bloom Later: The Mischievous Memoirs (her third release in as many years), which deals almost exclusively with two major themes: living for perfection and the rubble of crumbling relationships, both of which feel at home for the artist (aka 26-year-old upstate New York native Marilyn Reles) and those of her age group. The two worlds intersect at times – both on record and in real life – but what’s clear is that in Miss Chiff’s world, she’s overcoming obstacles from her youth and within the city’s own male-dominated rap scene on her own terms.
Having lived in Memphis, Atlanta and Virginia previously, Reles moved to Chicago immediately after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a bachelors degree in acting, with the goal of auditioning for Broadway. After deciding to take a break from that aspect, Reles was “simultaneously being adopted into the underground music scene. I was introduced to the life of an independent musician through the friends that I made upon my initial move to Chicago. They were all writers and musicians, specifically hip-hop artists. I remember absolutely loving attending their shows. The scene was very welcoming and motivating. I have always actively written poetry and short stories. I remember being quite unnerved (still am to this day) about the lack of female presence at these hip hop shows. I thought it was strange how few women there were in rap, if any.”
Part of Reles’ determination stems form a gymnastics accident at age 14 that left her with a broken back and the possibility of being paralyzed. Covered in depth throughout pounding new track “10.0” – with mentions of Adderall addiction and eating disorders to boot – not only did this life event not stop Reles’ relentless resolve for personal fulfillment, but if anything, it increased it.
Which leads one to correlate a potential through line between Reles’ gymnastics past and her present and future in rap. “Rapping isn’t hard for me, but writing rap is,” she admits. “I don’t know if it’s the actress in me, but I never had a problem getting up on stage and spitting a rap to an audience. Writing rap, however, does not come easy to me at all. And that’s why I do it. I think that when I created Miss Chiff, I was feeling bored with acting and everything else that was going on in my life so I was like: ‘Hey, here’s something challenging and scary – I’m gonna try it.’ Rap is one of the only genres of music that has a very competitive underlying tone to it. Guys are always trying to ‘prove themselves’ or ‘be on top’ or prove that their story about how they went from rags to riches is the most authentic and legit, and everybody should give them mad respect.” Unsure where her career will take her, she states “All I know is, as weird as it may seem to the mainstream, and as progressive as my approach to self-expression may be, it has been nothing but a natural extension of myself and I can’t wait to continue down this path.”
“Toxic Relationships” covers the weighty topic of emotional and physical abuse in a down-to-earth manner, and sports a video filmed at Chicago landmarks such as Cloud Gate and Navy Pier’s Ferris Wheel and Stain Glass Museum. Reles her self-described “addiction” to creating videos (she has five under her belt currently) thusly: ” Ever since I was little I remember listening to music and imagining images in my head and ways in which the songs story could play out. I remember telling my mom that I want to be a VH1 music video director… But, making music videos is incredibly stressful. It’s also terrifying. I always always always get cold feet before I release a video. Even though I’ve performed in front of people my entire life, there’s just something so permanent about putting yourself out there on the internet. It’s a free forum, and once it’s up there, you can never take it back. People can do whatever they want with your video or say whatever they want about what they think of it. I’ve learned not to take YouTube comments seriously. I love putting out music videos because I always learn so much about myself and art in the process. I’ve never stepped away from a video thinking ‘That was 100% what I wanted.’ I usually walk away going ‘This is what I’m going to do differently next time.’ It’s kind of like a tattoo addiction: Tattoos hurt like hell, but not so much that people don’t go back for one or 30 more.”
Elsewhere on Bloom Later, “Earthquake” also finds Reles in an honest and open aura, getting over a shattered relationship by telling her antagonist that she’ll “put you in my wordplay” to avoid further pain. It’s a remarkable peak behind Miss Chiff’s creative curtain, as we assume that real-life instances make their way into an artist’s work, yet few will admit it so boldly. Though the majority of Bloom Later finds Miss Chiff working solo, guest rapper Wellium joins Reles on “Quarter Life” in her autobiographical coverage of her intro to the Chicago hip-hop community. Over a wonderfully manipulated version of Husky Rescue’s “My World” as the backbeat, Miss Chiff wonders allowed “Why do I see vividly as darkness approaches me?,” as if to say that no matter what the obstacles, Reles will only thrive, as she has throughout gymnastics, acting, rapping and life. - Radio One Chicago

"Radio De Paul"

"Whether on stage or on wax, Miss Chiff delivers her message with the authority and confidence of a seasoned veteran MC; expeditiously using humour, smooth, sultry vocals and rapid-fire staccato flows. She falls into the rhythm of the track with seamless
fluidity and grace. When performing, she immediately demands the attention of the crowd, often connecting with them informally and intimately. She is a rising star who's appeal transcends boundaries, and who's story should be used an a example of how you can make it with unfiltered zeal and passion. "
Segun Dent - Host of the Subconscious at Radio DePaul. - Segun Dent

"Female Rapper Defies Stereotypes"

The stage lay empty under the dim purple lights as it waited for its first performer. The show artists cluster around the bar, talking to friends and waiting anxiously for their turn to take the stage. Miss Chiff is one of these artists, eagerly anticipating her chance to unleash her arsenal of fast-moving rap lyrics.

The Women’s Cabaret at the Gasthaus is ready to unfold.

A diverse collection of performances ranged from jazz ensembles to expressive dance and everything in between. Women of all ages, character types, races and personalities were displayed on stage to show off their unique talents, experiences and thoughts. The concert aimed at exemplifying strength and culture among women in honor of the month.

Women’s History Month is a holiday dedicated to celebrating the contributions from women in history and contemporary society. Celebrators of women’s history want to acknowledge all the achievements that women have brought to the world, as well as how they have helped build culture and society. Supporters of the cause honor the women who have paved the way for the women of the future.

“Women’s History Month is about drawing attention to the diversity and richness of women’s lives that sometimes aren’t as visible or acknowledged in certain ways,” said Cathy Seasholes, a UWM Women’s Resource Center administrator and director of the event. “The various arts that were exhibited tonight are often arenas where women are still coming from a professional perspective, but we also want to create opportunities to ensure that we’re hearing their voices.”

Some performances featured women playing more traditional roles like opera singing and a one-girl-one-piano recital, while others performed more contemporary and progressive roles. Miss Chiff, a hip hop artist, played an especially dynamic role.

“I think the fact that I’m doing rap to begin with is a big step for women,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of women in rap, and I want to let women know that it’s cool to do this.”

Miss Chiff is a UWM graduate with a degree in acting. It wasn’t until after graduating that she realized her true passion was music.

“I have always felt like I have a lot to say, and very few outlets to express that. Even theater always left me feeling a little empty. Once I began writing my own script with hip hop, I ran with the idea and eventually Miss Chiff developed.”

Miss Chiff prides herself on her self-discipline. Her experience in gymnastics for 11 years in her youth taught her to become goal-oriented and competitive. She noted that it is these experiences that have

“I don’t find conventional song writing to be a challenge. Rap, however, is hard for me, and I don’t see the point in living without challenging myself. Where’s the fun in that?”

The aspiring artist likes to focus on her style of female-empowering rap as a way to stand out and make her mark on hip hop music. She said she would like to see more females in popular hip hop.

Of course, building social progress is no easy task. Women who have fought the status quo in the past have been strongly censored, or worse. Miss Chiff recognized that breaking new ground for women is a risky venture.

“It can be scary, but it’s fun. I believe that women should be able to choose what they want to do with their lives, because we only live once,” the rapper said.

Songs and poems of women’s empowerment belted throughout the concert hall struck emotion in spectators’ hearts.

“I was in awe of the girl who got up and read her poetry,” audience member Melissa VanderHeyden said. “Her words were so strong but still beautifully hypnotic.”

Seasholes says the Women’s Resource Center is committed to empowering women through knowledge, information and resources. Seasholes and the staff in the organization believe that empowerment comes through having access to options and choices. She argues that having options leads to empowerment by letting a person chose their own destiny, and women have not always had such freedom like this.

“Social progress is sometimes incremental and sometimes in big leaps and bounds. Gender equity really is about equal access for people of all identities to be able to be themselves and contribute to and benefit from society,” Seasholes said.

Miss Chiff said that she was excited to be able to share her work at such a venue and gave her encouragement in her musical endeavors.

“I think women can bring conscious rap back. I also think they can bring a fresh and intuitive perspective to the game because they take in life a little bit differently than men do. I think women can bring rap back to its purest form and I have full confidence in the fact that they have the ability to make people listen to what they have to say without having to objectify themselves.” - Media Milwaukee

"The Objectification of Women in Hip Hop"

Long time female artists Miss Chiff and Fury discuss their collaboration for single "In Control" and how they were inspired to spread the message of being in control of your self respect amongst the destruction of the woman's image in media. - Level Up! Magazine



Hooked - Jan. 2013
The Bright Side - March 2014
Bloom Later, The Mischievous Memoirs - March 2015

Latest Single: "Happy as you wanna be" released with Sir The Baptist and Chuchpeople:




Since the release of Miss Chiff's third album "Bloom Later, The Mischievous Memoirs" she has seen vast amounts of progress and public acclaim for her work. She has been voted by the people of Chicago as The Deli Magazine's Artist Of The Month, and has been the featured artist on Vocalo, Radio One Chicago's Cypher series, as well as WHPK's CTA Radio. This year she has returned from two National tours with Chicago producer: Axons and Hip Hop artists: The Microphone Misfitz, E-LegaL and Fury. Most recently, PBS's television show:"Roadtrip Nation" chose Miss Chiff's single: "Quarter Life" to be featured in their full-length documentary "Ready to Rise". Her recent collaboration with Atlantic Record's newly signed artist: Sir The Baptist has brought her to a new level of acclaim in Chicago, as Sir The Baptist will be performing at this year's Lollapalooza event. Miss Chiff pushes boundaries and makes solid waves in both the Hip Hop and Pop scenes.

Band Members