Where do you think New York ranks amongst the best cities in rap right now? Where does it stack up next to a city like Atlanta?
I feel like New York is starting to get the sound back. I feel as though like, I hear a lot of people say New York had this type of flow, that type of flow. But I say, “Man, y’all just ain’t tapping into the artist that’s grinding underground.” There are multiple artists out here that’s really got that sound that y’all just aren’t tapping into. They be saying, “No, New York sounds like this, like that.” Y’all just got to do the groundwork and shit. At the end of the day, we just got to work hard. At the end of the day, us New York rappers, we just got to work hard so that these people can know who we are.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about you? What do people get wrong?
They probably just think I’m just a mean person. They think I’m just some aggressive woman. I am aggressive, but I still have a heart. I still want to be loved and hugged and nurtured by a strong little man. I’m just an aggressive woman because all my life I’ve had to survive and fight, so I come off like that because niggas ain’t going to play with me. But at the end of the day, I’m a nice person. So probably that.
I know there’s an unfortunate story behind your stage name. How did you reclaim such a negative experience and turn it into something empowering for you as an artist?
So growing up as a little Black girl, especially in the system, having this scar on my lip, people used to tease me, make fun of me, bully me. Say, “Ew, what’s that on her lip? Does she have herpes?” They would say I’m infected. And growing up it made me feel very insecure about myself looking in the mirror. I was just angry. I was like, “Yo, I’m ugly.” I thought I was ugly because everybody told me and because of how my lip was. And I’m just like, as I grow older and grow older, it’s either you’re going to become your trauma or you’re going to heal and you’re going to just own it.
So I was like, “I’m going to own this. I’m going to turn my pain into my power.” And I said like, my name’s Scar Lip. So if I call myself Scar Lip, anything somebody says about me can’t affect me and they can’t say anything about me because this is who I am. And now it’s my scar. My scar is my brand. I just turned my pain into my glory.
I think what makes you unique is the emotion in all of your verses. Does rap feel like therapy to you?
Yeah, my poetry especially, I use my poetry. When I’m sad I make music, when I’m happy, when I’m upset. But that angry shit, that’s “This is New York.” I was angry. So every time I’m mad, I go to music. I even listen to other people sometimes. Like Billie Eilish, she helped me in my depression stages.
Where does that strength to persevere come from?
I think faith, hope, and God, because what else could it be, you know what I mean? I just have faith in myself. I got hope. And when you come from the foster care system, when you come from being one of those kids that were counted out and you get a shot, that’s all you really need is that shot. You’re just going to keep going, grinding, because that’s all you got. Music is all I got for real.