Resurrecting Queenz
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Resurrecting Queenz

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Hip Hop R&B




"24 Women Rappers Use A Hip-Hop Classic To Tackle Violence And Sexism"

In 1989, an esteemed group of East Coast rappers united behind the mic to record a funky PSA: “Self Destruction,” a plea for peace in black communities. The posse cut became known as hip-hop’s “equivalent of ‘We Are the World,'” as writer Al Shipley put it, launching inspirational remakes from other parts of the country, including Southern California, Jersey City and recently, Baltimore.

Nearly 30 years later after the classic song dropped, D.C. now has its own take on “Self Destruction” — and it comes with a dose of feminism.

A group called Resurrecting Queenz released a new version of “Self Destruction” last month. The song concludes a bloody year in the nation’s capital, with homicides up 54 percent in 2015. But it also takes a stand against another pernicious force: sexism, particularly the kind that pits women artists against each other.

D.C. hip-hop artist Katrina Blunt, aka Kenilworth Katrina, began pondering an all-female “Self Destruction” last fall. After watching a number of music documentary shows — Unsung, Behind the Music — she realized that women were saying the same thing about the hip-hop industry.

“The biggest thing I’ve seen is women, particularly in rap, talk about that it wasn’t a lot of female unity,” says Blunt, 37.

Contemporary artists say the same thing about today’s culture. “Girl rappers are afraid to work together because we get fixed in these imaginary competitions,” British MC Lady Leshurr told the Guardian in 2013. “The industry just doesn’t know what to do with women.”

Blunt thought that an all-women version of “Self Destruction” could help blow that up while addressing violence at the same time. She began recruiting rappers on social media. Over several weeks, with help from fellow artists, she wound up with 18 women spitters from the D.C. region, later bringing in six more. She corralled everyone into a recording studio in Suitland, Maryland, and the chemistry just happened, she says.

“It was no egos. It was no miscommunication, no arguing,” Blunt says.

Later, the group shot a music video at various locations in D.C., including the Watha T. Daniel library in Shaw and Blunt’s stomping grounds in Kenilworth. In the finished product, MCs from Mana to Roe.B deliver their verses while the names of black Americans killed during police encounters, followed by 2015 homicide statistics, scroll by.

The project has gotten supportive feedback since it came out in December, Blunt says. But five years ago, she wouldn’t have pursued a project like “Self Destruction.” She felt unsure about her creative direction.

“I didn’t know my audience, I didn’t know my lane. I was just all over the place with my music,” she says. Then a higher power intervened, she says, and she found her purpose. “My music now has a message, and the message is to never give up.”

Meanwhile, “Self Destruction” has sparked new friendships among the 24 “queenz,” many of whom had never met before last fall. Now, “some of them go out to brunch together,” Blunt says.

That’s one way to work toward unity among female artists.

“There are people — women — who do want to collaborate and don’t mind working with each other,” Blunt says. “This is proof.” - Ally Schweitzer of Bandwidth

"The Year in Hip-Hop"

Resurrecting Queenz
Kenilworth Katrina hand-picked 20 of the top female rappers from the D.C. area and formed an elite collective called Resurrecting Queenz. The collective’s first release was a remake of the classic hip-hop anti-violence track “Self Destruction.” The Queenz performed as a group at The Howard Theatre and many other local venues throughout the year. They also collaborated with DJ EZ Street (WKYS) on several projects. - Sidney Thomas of Washington City Paper

"DC's Resurrecting Queenz Remix Self Destruction, and Make a Standout Statement"

If you believe what you hear from Nicki Minaj’s mouth and see from Amber Rose’s fingers, women in rap slaying is a *thing* these days. Furthermore, if you read Marcus Moore’s story in the Washington Post about our good friend Yudu Gray and Hyattsville’s House Studio, you’d know that rising female emcee Rapsody recorded her verses for Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly single “Complexion” just over the NE DC line at Gray’s thriving establishment. Thus, the idea that the DC-based and 24-woman Resurrecting Queenz emcee collective re-recording the 1989 “Stop The Violence Movement” anti-violence hit “Self Destruction” and releasing a video for the track should be a far bigger story.

The revised take on the rap classic targets both violence and sexism. Sexism is an issue in everything from our current American presidential election cycle to the Billboard pop charts these days, and homicides are slowly becoming problematic again in the Nation’s Capital. As well, in noting that DC’s rap scene is truly ascendant, the idea that a blogger, label A & R, corporate patron-in-waiting or millions of internet users wanting to create a viral star has literally the creme-de-la-creme of DC’s female emcees and hip-hop personalities of 2016 to choose from in one spot is significant. Given that they all excel while rapping on one of rap’s most well-respected anthems is a positive, too. - One Love Massive

"Watch The Resurrecting Queenz Discuss Race, Gender & Violence in “Self Destruction”"

When women come together for a cause, beautiful things can happen.

A group of up-and-coming female rappers from the DMV have proven this yet again. Collaborating on a remake of Self Destruction, originally by The Stop The Violence Movement, the Resurrecting Queenz throw down on inter/innerracial and gender violence. In just over 6 minutes, domestic abuse, Black Lives Matter and other forms of violence are discussed from self-identifying women of different races and backgrounds. Each with a distinct story, and each given a platform to express it. Self Destruction is a true example of intersectionality.

The crew of 24 women are using their version of the jam to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the movement, with new lyrics that are very relevant to the issues of aggression and inequalities we see today.

This group of women hail from the Greater DC area, but aren’t just talking local. As you listen, pay attention to the names and numbers scrolling across the bottom of the screen. The group has taken time to commemorate victims to the senseless violence across the US. - Sarah Foot of Fembot Magazine

"Resurrecting Queenz remake Self Destruction"

Resurrecting Queenz, an all-star collective of
female rappers from the DMV, have collaborated
on a remake of the classic hip-hop track “Self
Destruction." The artists featured on the song
and video are: MC Fran, DJ Mim, Mana, Dutchess
of Rap, Mychelle Lee, Lil Sleepy202, Ms. Gray,
Kenilworth Katrina, Vivid, Slim Jenkins, Judatrufe,
Royal Cash, Uptown Shane, Keylow Black, Sonic
Boom, Styles Montana, Betti Bi-Polar, Solo,
IamGrynd, The Mafia Twinz, Kristie Yamagucci,
Choppa Locka, and Roe B.

The concept behind “Self Destruction” is to
address and raise awareness about the rising
local homicide rates. In 2015, Washington D.C.
experienced a 54 percent increase in killings
from the previous year. Suburban counties Prince
George’s and Montgomery also saw their
homicide rates soar in 2015. Montgomery had
one of its deadliest years in two decades. And
nearby Baltimore, which of course spent much of homicide rate skyrocket more than 60 percent.
The Charm City tallied 350 murders – one of the
deadliest years in its history.

The Resurrecting Queenz were brought together
by fellow rapper Kenilworth Katrina. She handpicked
each MC for their lyrical skills and then
set up the recording sessions at Traknomics
Studio (Suitland, MD). The video was produced
by Abstrak Media and executive produced by JaMel
aka Mr. City. Katrina also reached out to
media sources like MC Fran and DJ Mim and
brought them on board. Another one of the
Queenz, Keylow Black, handled much of the promo work for the project. This was truly a collaborative effort – every artist wrote their own verses and made a significant contribution to the
final product.

The original “Self Destruction” was part of the
Stop The Violence Movement created by New
York City rap legend KRS-One (Boogie Down
Productions) in 1989. KRS was moved to act after
his close friend and DJ, Scott La Rock, was killed
in a senseless shooting. “Self Destruction” was a
response to violence in hip-hop and in many
inner-city African-American and Hispanic
neighborhoods. It was produced by KRS and DNice,
and featured some of the best MCs in the
game: Public Enemy, Doug E. Fresh, Heavy D
and MC Lyte. Stop The Violence was primarily a
New York thing, so a year after “Self Destruction”
was released, a group of Los Angeles and Bay
Area rappers, the West Coast All Stars, were
inspired to record their own anti-violence and
anti-gang track “We’re All In The Same Gang.”

The Resurrecting Queenz are currently doing a
press tour to promote “Self-Destruction." Last
week, they were interviewed by DJ EZ Street at
WKYS, and each member spoke eloquently and
passionately about the importance of female self empowerment.

The group will perform on
January 22nd at the historic Howard Theatre.
Tickets for this event are available for purchase
at: - Sidney Thomas of Examiner DC


Still working on that hot first release.




All strong women from diverse urban backgrounds and a common life experience of resurrecting from lifes challenges, the Washington, DC hip hop collective came together to unite women of all races, beliefs, and backgrounds, through art and music.

Resurrecting Queenz came into local and international recognition with the release of their take on the 1989 KRS-One hip hop classic "Self Destruction" as a response to the violence in the District of Columbia. Founder and recording artist Katrina Blunt (aka Kenilworth Katrina), began pondering an all female group of recording artists to combat the notion that women in hip hop are destined to compete, instead of unite.

Having performed for the mayor, and at legendary venues The Howard Theatre and The Fillmore Silver Spring, Resurrecting Queenz have taken their message and music to new heights by joining forces with the restorative justice movement, (juvenile justice), under the premise that justice should be healing.

The Queenz are currently working on new music for 2017, and have recently been awarded Best Video of the Year and Best Female Group, at the TItan Arts Awards in Washington, DC.

Band Members