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Ty James- Continuing the Legacy

By Mark Williams-Washington

She's the daughter of the legendary singer Rick James and she's following in his footsteps. Shine Magazine recently chopped it up with Ty James about her dad, and her music. It's Ty James b*tch…

Shine: So, what's good?

Ty James: Everything's good! I'm just grinding real hard right now trying to complete my project.

Shine: So you're continuing the legacy that your dad started.

Ty James: Yes. I feel that's important. Not only am I handling all of his business affairs but I am working on my own. My dad was a legend, so his name will always be known. Hopefully, soon you will be able to see the documentary that I am co-executive producing on his career, a theatrical about his life and an album from yours truly.

Shine: Were you born in Buffalo, N.Y. like your dad?

Ty James: No. I was not born in Buffalo. I was born in Los Angeles, but I spent a lot of time in Buffalo during my early years.

Shine: Where did you grow up?

Ty James: I grew up in L.A. All over L.A.! Everywhere from Adams & LeBrea to 102nd & Yukon St. in Inglewood. It wasn't easy. I have seen both sides of the fence.

Shine: How close were you and your dad?

Ty James: My dad and I were extremely close. Even though he wasn't around during my early years because he was pursuing his career…we understood. Around the age of 12 when his career was more established, he came to get me and my brother and we were together until his passing. I lived with him, I was on the road with him, I attended award shows with him, we did everything together. His spirit is still with me. I miss him very much. He was not just the Rick James that you know….he was my dad. I guess you can say I was a daddy's girl.

Shine: Have you done any songs with your dad?

Ty James: Yes. I was in a lot of his recording sessions, and right before he passed I did one of his songs, "Bustin Out," which he loved. We also did a hip-hop version of Mary Jane called "So High," where my dad is trippin just being "him" on the hook.

Hopefully sometime soon everyone will be able to hear my dad's last album that he recorded before he passed. It's unbelievable! I have one song on that album also.

Shine: What was it like recording with him?

Ty James: I learned a lot from my dad in the studio…but it was Eazy E who first taught me about recording. I was a member of a group that Eazy E produced. Things are different today. My dad was old school. They recorded real music, with real instruments! Nothing like the music today. He made hits that will last forever! He was a one of a kind. I know everyone that's ever been in the studio with him has a story to tell.

Shine: Where were you at the time of your dad's death, and what was the last thing you said to your dad?

Ty James: I was at home and I got a call to come to the house because something was wrong with my dad. I knew something bad had happened so I was just driving around lost for a while before I went over there. When I arrived he had already passed. His body was still there. That was a very hard day for me. We spoke everyday and I always told him I loved him, so that's probably the last thing I said to him. We had just attended his last concert with Teena, the ASCAP Awards and BET Awards together. We had a great time as always. He turned the party out!

Shine: Do you have sisters or brothers who record as well?

Ty James: There are three of us. My brother Ricky is also a hip-hop recording artist. He is in the studio recording now. We can't help it. It's in our bloodline. My younger brother Tazman is only 14 years old.

Shine: Who are you recording with right now?

Ty James: I have been working with many producers. Sick Notes, Heatmakerz, Scott Storch, Spliff (from Flipmode), Damon Elliott and Ralph Hawkins just to name a few. I just finished a song featuring Val Young (one of my Dad's artists). Oh, and Lil' Filp is going to produce something for me.

Shine: What albums are you listening to right now?

Ty James: I love music from all over. Jamie Foxx, Busta Rhymes, I always mess with the Diplomats, Lil Flip, Jeezy, Snoop, Lil Wayne, Mike Jones, Akon, Kanye….everybody! I listen to everything so I can stay grounded.

Shine: What artists would you like to work with?

Ty James: Well, I have been approached by everyone from A to Z. I will be doing a song with Cam'ron soon, Lil Flip - in the works, Snoop (he's down) and Bump J (he owes me one), Lil John- possibility. I don't know just yet, but I definitely have some great choices.

Shine: What do you want to be known for at the end of the day?

Ty James: I don't want to just be known as Rick James' daughter. Although my father has influenced my life in a great way, I am a sexy b*tch with some class. One of the hottest chicks in L.A. I have my own talent. I'm just enjoying life and trying to keep my family name alive. I have a story to tell! Of course…..I'm Ty James b*tch!

Shine: Any last words or shout outs?

Ty James: Shout out to God first and foremost. He is what wakes me up everyday! Shout out to my manager Nena Jackson (Cream Music Group). She has been with me throughout everything! We are grinding this thing out together. Also, much love goes to my girl Leah, Bernie, Raphael, Dexter, Nmyrod, Bam, Tricky, EB, Riv, Pam, Val Young, Ralphie, Reggie, Golden Child, PeeGee, J Rock, Phat Effx, April S. and everyone else who has worked on my project. Also a special shout out goes to KJ and my peeps in Ohio.

For more Ty James check out: www.myspace.com/mstyjames or www.creammusicgroup.com



Very Nice
Main Review:
Production-Above Average
Lyrics-Above Average

In depth review:
I love the beat in this song. It's upbeat and fun and that style seems to match the performers of this song quite nicely. Nothing's too loud or powerful and it's mixed together very nicely. The lyrics are pretty damn good for what's being talked about. The female MC on this track pretty much killed this track. One of the hottest female MC's i've heard, actually. I can't really say much about them because they're really good. You get an excellent on the content because, although there's been numerous songs made on this subject, the lyrics and vocals make me forget about that and makes me just want to dance. Haha. So good job being catchy on a cliche subject matter. The flow is immaculate and that's what was scored highest. Everything is on point and not one flaw is found in the flow itself. I like the male vocals. I didn't really like them at first when they were somewhat acapella at the beginning, but when the rest kicked in, they grew on me. You don't sound like anyone that I can think of. But that's good, right? Thanks for sharing and good luck. Later.


Track of the Day Oct 14, 2005
Best Female Vocals in Hip Hop
Best Female Vocals week of Oct 3
Best Female Vocals week of Oct 10
Best Melody week of Oct 3 - www.garageband.com/artist/tyjames


Look for articles on Ty in:

XXL Magazine, May 2005 issue
King Magazine, August 2005 issue
Xpose Magazine
YRB Magazine - Various

"Allhiphop.com Interview"

y James: Born Supremacy
By Clover Hope

For Ty James, soul just runs in the blood. Like many other children who’ve lost their fathers, Ty has certainly grieved. But unlike many others, the aspiring rapper mourned with the world when her father Rick James passed away in August 2004. Though being the daughter of a legendary funk rocker comes with all the packaging of comfort and fame, it also has its prices—unwanted attention, blind expectations. Even more intriguing is the fact that Ty never met her father until the age of 13. But the father and daughter grew progressively closer, and his legacy may very well live through his namesake.

Since the early 90’s, Ty has been immersed in the music and Rap industry in the strangest of ways. Perhaps in 2005, her most vivid dreams will finally come true. Ty took time out while cruising the streets of L.A. to speak with AllHipHop.com about her aspirations, her tentatively titled album Addicted to the Game, and her unforgettable father.

AllHipHop.com: I think people will find it interesting that you used to hear your father’s songs on the radio before you ever met him, right?

Ty James: Absolutely. Well, as you can imagine, it wasn’t the easiest thing to deal with. It wasn’t the best feeling in the world, you know what I mean. Basically, my mom raised us pretty much all over L.A. and [made] us aware who our dad was. But he didn’t really have the time and energy to dedicate to a family because he was chasing a career, so that’s something that I’ve always understood. I don’t know how, but it’s a hard situation. It really is.

AllHipHop.com: You’ve lived all over Los Angeles as a child. Why were you guys moving around so much, because of financial problems?

Ty James: Yeah, pretty much financial problems, and [my mom] was chasing a dream as well. Both of my parents are artists, so as far as being grounded and stable, it wasn’t really happening like that.

AllHipHop.com: So did you think that your father had abandoned you guys, were you resentful toward him?

Ty James: No, it wasn’t at all abandonment. It was more so him wanting to do one thing, which was music. And my mom is very religious, so around the same time he was chasing his dream, she had became saved and involved in the church heavily. So that’s kind of how it ended up. And then with him being on the road all the time, it was—I don’t think it had anything to do with him not loving his children because obviously I found that out later on in life, but I’m just really supportive of anybody who’s chasing a dream. God is to judge them, and not us.

AllHipHop.com: So when you finally reunited with Rick, what feelings arose?

Ty James: [My brother and I] were excited. The lawyer and private investigator knocked on the door in South Central and our lives pretty much just changed instantly. A week or so [later], we were on the flight on the plane to go meet our dad. He was around me a lot in my younger ages, like one to five, six [years old], something like that. But, of course, I don’t remember it, so it’s two sides to both stories. My mom takes a lot of the blame and then he takes some of the blame. Back to what I was saying, it was exciting, of course. It was a lot of mixed emotions; it was curiosity. Never can I say that there was a moment of, like, stardom. I was curious to know who my father was, not who Rick James was.

AllHipHop.com: When you heard of his death, where were you at the time?

Ty James: I was leaving home on the freeway, actually. I was about three exits from his place, strangely, but I wasn’t going to his house. My cousin called me from New York, and he says—he gets on the phone, like, “Ty, what is this I hear. Uncle Rick is in the hospital and he didn’t make it.” And I was like, “That’s bulls**t. I just talked to him, that’s a rumor, that’s bulls**t.” He was like, “Nah, I’m serious, you need to see what’s going on. Just call, just do me a favor and call.” And I was like, “Okay, I’ll call but I already know.”

And as soon as I went to click over, my phone just started ringing crazy, off the hook. So meanwhile now, I’m pretty much close to his exit because I told you, it was like three or four exits away. By the time I got there, it was probably two hours later because I just kept driving on the freeway, like I just passed it up and kept driving. I can’t even explain it, it was really weird. And I snapped back into myself ‘cause I was like, “Oh my God, I gotta get over there.” But I just wanted to drive until I couldn’t drive anymore. So once I got there, my dad was still there, and I went in the room and sat with him for awhile, laid on the bed and everything hit. I surprised myself because I’ve always been real freaked out with stuff like that. But when it’s a part of you, it’s totally different.

AllHipHop.com: So did you actually speak to him at that time, before he died?

Ty James: No, he had passed already. And I was just there.

AllHipHop.com: But you actually got a chance to record with him before he passed, right?

Ty James: Well, we have some things in the studio, but it’s not a complete song, I’ll be able to use it. I’m really happy, though, because he was supportive. And, you know, it makes you feel better, like you almost got the okay. And it really didn’t happen where I know he embraced everything that I was doing until a few months before he passed, so that’s a very good feeling.

AllHipHop.com: And what was the experience like recording with him and finally getting a chance to work with him creatively?

Ty James: Well, of course I was pretty much at all the sessions that took place recently, like when we went in with Kanye [West] and his artist on J [Records], that was fun. We got to all do some stuff creatively on that. That was the most recent thing, actually, before he passed. But, he’s just a role model. Like, everybody in the studio is quiet and just paying attention to him because they know that he has something that they can learn from.

AllHipHop.com: You mentioned in an interview that you used to try to get away from the fact that he was your father. Is that because you didn’t want people to prejudge you or put any expectations on you?

Ty James: Exactly, exactly. And then a lot of it, as I got older, it was just the lifestyle overall. Like, you really have to be mature to handle this industry because it’s dirty. It really is, and that’s why I think that I hadn’t got involved from a musical standpoint [for] a long time. I was around in the era with Eazy E. And I was actually a part of one of his groups [Hoes Wit Attitude or H.W.A.] and that was pretty devastating as well. [It was like], my god, it’s nothing good, it’s nothing positive happening, yet it’s fame and it’s fortune and you achieve a dream, but at the same time, is it worth it? So, then by me having my girls [daughters], they’re my priority. It makes it rough. You have to really be well-grounded. I know I have a lot to do.

AllHipHop.com: So why even try this Rap thing at this point in your life? You don’t need money, so what’s driving you?

Ty James: Honestly, I ask myself that a lot of times. But something just keeps drawing and drawing and drawing me there. I love being on the mic. I love performing. So it has it’s ups and downs, and I’m not saying that I’m gonna do or die with this music because at this point in my life, business is more important, being a great mom, those things are more important.

AllHipHop.com: You mentioned this Eazy E group H.W.A that you were in. Can you talk about that and how you got into it?

Ty James: My cousin, her name is Kim. She was actually the leader of the group, if that’s what you wanna say. I can’t remember the other girl’s name, but I was the third member, not an original member. One of the girls, I guess she had got pregnant and moved out of the country, and they asked me to replace her. And that’s pretty much when I discovered that I had a love for the mic.

AllHipHop.com: Can you talk about the status of the album, like what label it’s coming out on?

Ty James: Actually, while we’re finishing up, we’re still shopping [for a label]. We haven’t really shopped that much because I wanted to be closer to being done, so we’re shopping as it stands. I’m not sure if we’re gonna go major [or] independent. That decision is really not gonna be made by me. Really, the best deal that comes across, I’m ready to work it. I’ll work it independent. I’m just ready to work. [Laughs]
- allhiphop.com





Following in the footsteps of a music icon isn’t always easy, especially if it’s the shoes of your famous father…..Rick James aka “The King of Funk".

Ty James is gathering the pieces of her father’s legacy, collecting the shoe strings, lacing them up, and stepping out to the rhythm of her own funk. The petite beauty has been exposed to the world of Rock & Roll through the watchful eye of her legendary father. It wasn’t until she turned 12 that her father emerged as a familiar figure in her life. Up to that point, her strong spiritual mother was raising Ty and her brother Rick James Jr. as a single parent. The early days were tough, involving a lot of shifting around between Adams & LeBrea Ave and 102nd & Yukon Street (Inglewood, CA).

Ty reflects, “I think many people expect me to be bitter about my dads absence during my formative years, but I don’t have any malice in my heart, somehow I always knew he was going to appear at our door.” After he walked in and saw his kids, Rick began making arrangements for Ty and Rick Jr. to relocate to New York so he could bond, and try to make up for lost time.

By the time Ty graduated from Orchard Park High School (Buffalo, N.Y.), her father was sitting on top of the music charts with a string of mega-hits, winning music awards, and running out of wall space to hang his platinum and gold albums. Ty was blossoming into a fashion maven and music insiders started noticing her acute sense of style and exotic beauty.

Music Producer/Rap Artist Easy E approached her to join a new female rap group HWA (Hoes With Attitude). The group made headlines and the stint with the female group sealed her interest in music.

With her father’s insistence, she went in the studio to begin working on a solo debut CD entitled “Addicted To The Game”. Rick James didn’t live to hear the finished product, but he did have an opportunity to hear her remake of “Bustin Out” and was able to record a track with his daughter shortly before his untimely death. The album is dedicated to the King of Funk. Ty explains, “I am an extension of my father so I have a few surprises on my CD but ultimately, I’m giving you Ty, it’s all about developing a solid music style that’s explosive and alluring enough so fans will keep coming back for more.”

Ty is born under the zodiac sign of Cancer and is working on a book, reviewing movie scripts, modeling, conducting interviews, and passionately protecting her family legacy as she claims her own spot in history.