Rita J.
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Rita J.

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Soul

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
30
Rita J. @ Lincoln Hall

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Nov
13
Rita J. @ Lawrence University

Appleton, Wisconsin, USA

Appleton, Wisconsin, USA

Oct
07
Rita J. @ A3C Hip-Hop Festival @ Masquerade Park

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Music

Press


If one mentions the word "female MC" nowadays, the conversation would likely be past tense, or with regards to the lack thereof-unless one were mentioning Rita J. - URB DIGITAL MAGAZINE





Holdin’ it down for Chicago, Rita Jackson exhibits a hip-hop charisma that makes you want to listen. Rita speaks with integrity and exhales hip-hop with every breath. Her graceful deliveries of uplifting raps have been a huge part of her success.

Rita J. is a fresh young talent from Chicago, IL. Her intelligent, positive raps have been a huge part of her success. Her sense of style is natural, funky, and raw, in her petite frame Rita J. over exceeds people’s general expectations.

Upon her return from college Rita was introduced to the independent label All Natural Inc. of which she’s been a member since early 2002. She has been featured on numerous compilations and label mate projects over the years.
- Skullcandy


It’s hard to argue against the fact that hip hop always has been a man’s world. Despite the fact that pioneering artists such as MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shante, and Monie Love set a bold precedent, many female emcees found themselves faced with two rather limiting options: either to match the bravado of their male peers with over-the-top aggressiveness, or complement it with a hyper-sexual image. Within that polarization, unique voices have often gone unheard.
Trailblazers of the 1990s like Ladybug Mecca, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu, and contemporaries including Jean Grae, Psalm One, and Georgia Anne Muldrow, have shown a more realistic perspective that highlights the artist’s individuality. This progression has provided fertile ground for a new crop of lyricists, and one of the most exciting talents to emerge from that scene is Atlanta emcee Rita Jackson, a.k.a. Rita J.
“I think there has been a lack of female emcees because the men in power would rather see eye candy and not hear what a woman has to say, so they don’t give females an opportunity to expose their music,” Jackson says. - ALARM MAGAZINE


"Rita's voice has a tight stickability which leaves her melodies adrift in your subconscious."

"Rita J has provided us with a blinding glimpse into her expression . . . "

" . . . Ms. Jackson could soon be household name caliber, I am for real."


- Eawon O'Neal (okayplayer.com) - Okayplayer.com


"A new school fly girl bridges the gap between image and intelligence."

" . . . a forward-looking lyricist . . . "

"A genuine free spirit . . . "

- Max Herman (XLR8R Magazine) - XLR8R Magazine


Discography

2002 - "Queens Get The Money" Remix 12"- All Natural

2003 - "Tree House Rock"- Family Tree Compilation- All Natural Inc.
"Blow The Spot", "Simple Words", "Virgo", "Rocks for You"

2003 - "Virgo" 12"- ft. Mr. Greenweedz (Remix by DJ Spinna) All Natural Inc.

2003 - "Love It" 12"- Daily Plannet (Remix by X-ecutioners) All Natural Inc.

2003 - Daily Plannet- "Team Daily" All Natural Inc.
"Love It", "Real Quick"

2003 - Grandmaster Roc Raida- "Champion Sounds" Remix Compilation-DMC
"Love It" Remix

2005 - Mr. Greenweedz & G-Riot- "G Strings" All Natural Inc.
"If You Want to Sing"

2006 - "Anthology Vol. 1"- All Natural Inc.
"Warm-Up", "Dreams & Aspirations"

2007 - "Ms. Jackson" Mixtape- All Natural Inc.

2007 - "Artist Workshop" Solo LP (Japanese Release) All Natural Inc.

2008 - "Fire"- All Natural
"Good Life"

2008 - "Sound Reasoning Vol. 1"-Village Media Worx
"Dreamin" ft. Ka-Di

2008 - Chicago Underworld Vol.3 Compilation-Gravel Records
"No Regrets" ft. Adad

2008 - Rashid Hadee- Mixtape "A Change Gon Come"
"Surrender Remix"

2008 -"Listen" ft. Black Spade (Vick Lavender Remix) I-Tunes- All Natural Inc.

2009 - DJ Soulution- "Shine Through" LP
"Open Your Window" ft. Stacy Epps

2009 - FTP Movement- "Food Clothes & Shelter" Compilation
"Inspiration" ft. Black Spade

2009 - "Artist Workshop" Solo LP -All Natural Inc. (USA Release)

DVD - 2009 - "What Ever Happened to Hip-Hop?" Independent Documentary Film Directed by Sonali Aggarwal

2010 - "16 Bars of Gold" Vol. 2 - DJ Dainja (Beat Studies)

2010 - "White Lotus Leaf" - Kemetic Aha Mixtape - Methuzulah

2010 - "Show Your Lighters" - Clan Destined Mixtape "A Story Never Told"

2010 - "Enemies Frienemies" - Black Spade - "Build & Destroy" Mixtape

2010 - "Body Rock" Remix ft. JC Brooks

2010 - "Hey Now" - For What You've Lost - Raashan Ahmad LP

Photos

Bio

Walking a tightrope can be risky business, especially if you happen to be sporting high heels and a pencil skirt in the process. Since its inception hip-hop has largely been considered a man’s world. Few women have attempted to claim the “emcee” moniker and even fewer have done so with a feminine touch. Armed with a writer’s wit, and a short list of hip hop foremothers, Rita J has critically wounded the notion that an intelligent woman can’t be heard over an 808.

Raised in the talent rich pockets of Chicago’s South Side, Rita J-- Rita Jackson when not on stage—was born to entertain. A trained dancer, Rita J has spent much of her life on stage often showcasing her artistic prowess in competition. Her experiences as a dancer taught her at an early age the value of hard work and passion—characteristics beneficial to any artist, and essential to an emcee.

While her own musical talents lay dormant for much of her childhood, the seeds were planted early on. The offspring of avid music listeners, Rita was raised on a sonic diet of 70's funk, soul, and R&B. Pilfering through her father's record collection for fun, Rita found herself captivated by the soulful croons of Bobby Womack, the rhythmic musings of groups like Slave, Shalamar, and the Bar-Kays, and the vocal and artistic depth of artists like Stevie Wonder, Patrice Rushen, Prince, and Phylis Hyman. Already a seasoned entertainer, her rich musical indoctrination further fueled her desire to seek out new forms of artistic expression. It would only be a matter of time before Rita herself would carry the mic on her own personal foray into the music industry.

Though influenced by the music of her parent's generation, Rita eventually found solace in the music of her own. Like all other music, Rita was first introduced to Hip-Hop through her father. But as a child coming of age in what is widely considered to be the genre's "Golden Era," Rita turned to a faculty of emerging hip-hop greats to further advance her hip hop education. Influenced by the style, wordplay, and story-telling abilities of Nas, the cadence and vocabulary of Black Thought, the melodic delivery of Buckshot, and the hard, edgy, female perspectives of MC Lyte--Rita developed a deeper appreciation for the genre.

Realizing the opportunities afforded a dancer are often limited, Rita turned her attention elsewhere. Always a writer of sorts, she began attending poetry slams while in college. Recognizing the wealth of opportunities afforded a verbal performer, Rita expanded her artistic repertoire, performing in stage plays and even landing roles in independent films. Still music was never far away.
While working on a final project for a music engineering course, Rita found herself behind the boards, mixing an album for a local hip hop group. In a less than epiphanic moment, at the urging of her collaborators, Rita opened herself up to the idea of rhyming—and she hasn’t looked back.

Since she first grabbed the mic, some 10 years back, Rita J has shared the stage with several industry notables including Digable Planets, Jungle Brothers, J-Live, and Stacy Epps. Channeling the finest attributes of her idols, and combining them with her own genius, Rita J can best be described as perfect storm of hip hop pedigree. Her grounded, earthy aesthetic appears to contradict the "take no shorts" onstage persona with impeccable tone. But where many female emcees stumble Rita remains balanced. Demonstrating both strength and sensitivity, Rita is proof positive that a woman can display both beauty and skill, without being overtly sexual or sacrificing their integrity in the process.

On Artist’s Workshop, Rita’s debut album released in 2009 on All Natural, Inc., Rita stiff-arms the rugged and risqué, instead offering an introspective look into the life of everyday people. Filled with an eclectic mix of food (Listen), fun (Body Rock) and inspiration (Dreams & Aspirations), Artist’s Workshop has proven to be one of the most accessible hip hop releases in years, earning Rita a spot in URB Magazine’s 25 Now (alongside labelmate AdAd, Indie Punk newcomers Sleigh Bells, and Neptune’s collaborators Christian Rich), along the way. “I wrote the album in my bedroom and I was surrounded by art and music…it felt like it was my workshop. I took in everything around me and put it into the album, hence the title.”
Never passing on an opportunity to affect change, Rita J lives life with a purpose. An activist both on the mic and off, Rita dedicates herself to showing hip hop in a positive light, and as her music career continues to flourish, Rita J the artist is only beginning to evolve. Her underground yet commercial appeal has landed her everything from modeling gigs, to a sponsorship deal with Skullcandy, the famed headphone manufacturer. And it’s not just the music industry that’s taking notice. Rita is catching the eye of tastemakers in the film world as well. She appears in the