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Band Hip Hop Spoken Word


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"Sirah : Stop With The Advice"

Sirah :: Stop With The Advice
Reviewed by James Shahan

Talent says a lot on its own, but when it's coupled with necessity, it is an unstoppable force. While Sirah definitely has a way with words, her need to use this skill is the true source of her ability to captivate audiences. Born and raised in New York, the hardships she experienced would later serve as fuel for her hip-hop fire. Having rocked stages with such greats as KRS-ONE and Dilated Peoples, she is sure to achieve the same title one day. And yes, this is indeed her picture. She is as melanin-challenged and ridiculously cute as you see before you. But don't be fooled; her voice and her story are as fierce, loud and boisterous as anybody could ask for. So the next time you see a female of Sirah's description emerge on stage, know that it may not be the rapper's girlfriend or just some singer. It just might be your new favorite emcee. - URB Magazine

"Five Stars"

Somewhere between an EP and an LP, the 8 song proper debut from this NY raised/LA transplanted MC is lean on filler and stacked with lyrics that don't waste a word. With a B-Girl from the Bronx swagger that can't help but add additional punch to her already aggressive delivery, Sirah flushes out the tracks, compacting syllables and squeezing thoughts on top of each other, all while constantly maintaining focus on the concept and the flow. The tracks are dense, laced with urgent, true-school grooves that complement her style perfectly. The lyrics here are honest, told from a fairly unique perspective, and filled with a strength that is often fueled by contempt. On "MC," she laments the thinly veiled sexism in hip hop from an artist's perspective, and then takes it a step further on "Stop With The Advice." "I'm not doing you, I'm doing me," she rails in response to nonchalant criticisms of her look and style. In a rap landscape filled with cookie-cutter MC's, it's always great to hear an artist whose main focus is to remain true to herself. - Brad at

""Clean Windows..." Review"

November 6, 2007

Sirah “Clean Windows Dirty Floors” Album Review

I say this all the time, but nobody ever listens: “The underground needs to support more dope female emcees!” After all, most mainstream crews either had or have a “first lady.” Death Row had Rage. Roc-A-Fella had Foxy. Bad Boy had Kim. No Limit had Mia X. Ruff Riders have Eve. So So Def has Da Brat. Flipmode has Rah Digga. Those Dirty South cats have Trina. The list goes on and on. However, you don’t see the same with underground labels. Blacksmith has Jean Grae and the Rhymesayers have Psalm One – and that’s about it.
Unfortunately, cats always say the same thing when I talk about the importance of women in the underground: “I agree, dogg, but there ain’t no tight female emcees in the underground.” Well, I just found one! She goes by the name Sirah, and her debut album “Clean Windows Dirty Floors” is among the best independent hip-hop releases of 2007. This young lady has some lyrical skill yo – period. Some underground label needs to pick Sirah up and sign her – before somebody else does.
So why should we support more female emcees? Because it could be disastrous for the future of women in hip-hop if we don’t. Without support from the underground, female emcees have no choice but to go after the mainstream deals – an act that often forces them to portray the oversexed gangster bitch image instead of just being themselves. Sirah shares a related experience in Stop With the Advice, in which she drops the following verse imitating a record company public relations adviser:
Sirah I think you’re great I really do
Amazing with everything but what we need to work on is you
Lose a few pounds and put on these heals
Tell the kids and folks that you’ll kill them with your steel
Don’t worry we’ll get you a chain saying that you stole it
Seal the deal and sleep with a CEO – that’s the main component
Luckily, Sirah chose not to give in to these demands, and that decision has made “Clean Windows Dirty Floors” a very real album. Tracks like Buttons and MC allow Sirah to show off her battle rapping abilities while demonstrating her intention to rebel against repetitive, cliché-ish, wack, and sexist emcees. Tracks like City, Addict, and Clean Windows Dirty Floors show Sirah’s ability to poetically examine herself and the world that surrounds her.
My favorite track on the album is Class 103, a storytelling song about a relationship that turned sour by drug use and it’s affects on a pregnancy. The following verse gives an exceptional view into these events:
High and sickly carrying our seed
What had happened to love in Class 103?
Sworn it was love that had carried us through
But those were different people than me and you
What to do? – Question that plagued me
Doctor said we’d have to murder our baby
Behavior it would be insanely crazy
So I slaughtered it in the office that day
Never looked at either one of us the same
Sirah is undoubtedly one of the more memorable emcees I’ve come across this year. Her style is fresh and unique, her lyrics conscious and intelligent, and the beats provided by DJ Hoppa seem to provide the perfect backdrop for her flow from track to track. We all need to start supporting more women in the underground, and Sirah’s “Clean Windows Dirty Floors” could be the perfect place to start. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this album. Peace.
Album Track Listing:
1. City
2. Buttons
3. Class 103
4. MC
5. Addict
6. Nicotine
7. Stop With The Advice
8. Clean Windows Dirty Floors


"Interview with Adam Bernard"

Most assume that the life of a rock star’s child is a blessed one. Constantly traveling with the band and living the celebrity life from day one. Sirah’s father traveled with a number of bands, but the rock star lifestyle wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. He fell down a path of drug addiction that eventually took his life and his daughter would soon find herself traveling down that same path. For Sirah, however, there was a savior and that savior was, and still is, Hip-Hop. On November 6th Sirah will be releasing her debut EP, a collaboration with DJ Hoppa of Broken Complex, titled Clean Windows Dirty Floors. In the past year Sirah’s also worked with Aceyalone on a project titled The Sistem and opened for the likes of KRS-ONE and Dilated Peoples. When it comes to the music she’s creating the 20 year old MC is currently working on bridging the genre gap, collaborating with artists from other scenes. Not bad for a woman who says when she started she was “never actually considering it a profession because I was awful.” This week I sat down with Sirah to discuss her turbulent childhood, what inspired her cross country move from New York to California, and how Hip-Hop saved her life.

Adam Bernard:
You have a fascinating past that includes a father who toured with rock bands and then later passed away from a heroin overdose. How did you go about handling such highs and lows as a child and how much of your father’s personality do you see in yourself?

The part of my childhood that people know about is a very small part of a rather large dysfunctional picture which I'm sure as I release more tracks people will come to see. My father was in numerous bands, touring with the Doobie Brothers amongst others. He was my life. I grew up taking care of him. Thankfully it was a really music oriented household regardless of the chaos. My father passed away on November 6th of 1999 which is why I'm releasing my EP on that date. I dealt with life through reading books, drugs in my earlier years, and writing words. I see my father's personality through everything I do, especially my sarcasm. I just had a show and I told everyone the reason I have that accent is because I'm from Canada. (laughs) Sometimes people don't get me, but I think it's hilarious.

Adam Bernard:
Being in a musical household you grew up on a mix of genres. When and how did Hip-Hop get into that mix?

I grew up on folk music. My father hated rap music and couldn’t grasp Hip-Hop. Once I was out of my father's grips, however, I happened upon Big Pun, Big L, Fat Joe and Lauryn Hill. I was forever belting ”I don't wanna be a playaaaa no moreeee." I had no idea about Hip-Hop as a movement until a few years later. I discovered Hip-Hop in pieces like tiny secrets that had been stashed away for me.

Adam Bernard:
After growing up in New York, the birthplace of Hip-Hop, why did you decide to leave and move all the way across the country to LA? Was there something in LA that was especially appealing, or something in New York that was especially unappealing?

Oh man. I wish I could say I moved to LA to pursue some sort of blossoming career but at the time, as I had mentioned previously, I was a drug addict over in New York. Quite a mess as you can imagine. I got arrested literally two times a week for a few months. My family kept getting me out, but it got to the point where I had to either move away or go to foster care. My mother was moving to Los Angeles temporarily and I was forced to come with her. It seems I haven't left.

Adam Bernard:
Well, it’s clearly made you creative as you now have an EP to show for your stay there. What’s the meaning behind the title of Clean Windows Dirty Floors and what can listeners expect from the album?

I would hate to box it up. I don't think people know what to expect and I want to keep everyone forever on their toes. This EP covers my current condition spanning from earlier this year. The reason I named it Clean Windows Dirty Floors is because I have a lot of perspectives but my life is a mess. I've been touring Europe and America, sleeping on couches and floors, eating bananas and drinking coffee with showers in-between. I know what I want and where I'm going but it's just the in-between I'm not too sure about.

Adam Bernard:
The majority of female MCs that gain fame seem to have a predilection for rhyming about their crotch and their skills in the sack. Why didn’t you go the “oversexed” route?

(laughs) As much as I'd like to rhyme about my crotch or how many men I've slept I don’t have the heart for it. I'm also not sure I could keep a straight face. I'm not here to gain fame, I'm here because I was on the brink and Hip-Hop saved my life. I'd rather be considered an artist than a sex symbol, plus I like to eat a lot and I get caught slippin in sweat pants. If I were that girl I would ruin my image.

Adam Bernard:
How do you feel Hip-Hop saved your life?

I don't try to drive into the divider on the freeway. I get to travel the world with my friends. I have a working knowledge of why an AeroBed is a staple in people’s lives, and I inspire people to be who they truly are. It's a good look.


""Clean Windows..." Review"

One of the toughest and most skilled female mcs I've heard in a while...Sirah has been steadily rising with the help of label Broken Complex and for this 8-track EP she teams up with DJ Hoppa who in my opinion has delivered some of his darkest most heartfelt production to date if only to keep up with Sirah's equally depressing (yet inspiring) lyrics. A fierce spoken word talent and a witty lyricist who isn't afraid to spill her guts with personal stories and experiences ranging anywhere from the passing of her Father (see Addict) to her fondness for a cigarette after a night of pleasure on Nicotine for one of the dreamier tracks on Clean Windows Dirty Floors. Its obvious that these two work very well together and worked closely on this release, so give this short but sweet affair a shot and it just might make a fan out of you as it has of me.


"Sirah's on the Amoeba websit"

Clean Windows Dirty Floors
Handpicked by Kate Shantar

The first release from New York native Sirah (pronounced SIGH-rah) is fierce without being gimmicky, straight-forward without being dull, great without adding "for a female MC" after it. This chick straight kills the mic, rapping about real personal stuff, real street stuff, real stuff that does what music does when it’s great - shares her unique experience in this world we all share. Doesn’t hurt either that she’s simply a great rapper, too. Hear for yourself - listen to it in our listening stations in L.A. or check out one of her live shows as she’s now runnin’ ’round the streets of L.A... - Amoeba via Kate Shantar


"Clean Windows, Dirty Floors," 2007- Indie
Album Track Listing:
Class 103
Stop With The Advice
Clean Windows Dirty Floors

Stop with the Advice has had streaming and airplay on National Public Radio.



Influences: Joni Mitchell.
Madonna's dance moves.
Sam Cooke.
The Beach Boy's.

What set's me apart from other band's: I'm a 5'0 petite pale rapper with little shoes and a big voice.

My Story: I've singlehandedly booked tours and show's with KRS1, Wu tang, Living Legends, and a ton of other very talented people. I toured through the east coast, the west coast, Germany, Canada and Romania. I've worked with LMNO(visionaries), Fefe Dobson, Jarvis Church(1/2 of track and field), Marty James, Dean Dichoso, Dave Lichen's, Sonny Moore (formerly of From First to Last), Emily Armstrong(Dead Sarah) and a bunch of other talented artists. I went on Warped tour the summer of 08'. Lastly, I have more heart than I weigh in pounds.