Hailing from two meccas of culture, EMMA LEE is embracing every aspect of entertainment and has been successfully making a name for herself. Born in Uganda and moving to Harlem, NY at the age of two, EMMA LEE and her kaleidoscope of musical taste showcase the connection that music, especially hip-hop gives. "My parents each played a variety of music in each of their households including instrumental & African music. Harlem is hip hop, jazz, gospel, soul, R&B, house & dancehall played right in the streets, seeping through hallways, bouncing through parks and off buildings. It's also part of the cultural salad of NYC so I know about bachata, salsa, reggae, soca, afrobeat. There's no way I could be a one-style pony."
EMMA LEE decided for her GLAZED GIRL alias to be "The Forgotten Truth," because of she along with the women who have come before are finally getting their shine. The women on the site, newbies or veterans, all have something to contribute to the culture and have experiences that the masses need to hear and learn from. One aspect to learn from; Jane of all trades, EMMA LEE has her feet and hands in different doors too. Currently the Co-owner & Media Manager of Sublime
Crown Productions, a Brooklyn based audio, film & art house where she's been for the last two years. She went from diving into the filming, editing & music engineering to producing their television show BOOM BAP TV and handling a lot of back end business for its growth. Living in New York, calls for multiple sources of income. As he side hustle, EMMA LEE works multiple part-time jobs to keep her entreprenueur heart going.
On top of working at Sublime, and plethra of part-time gigs, EMMA LEE is also a performer. She describes being a performer and working on business aspects is like a tap dance! "Cons include seeing the politics, unprofessionalism and sugar-coated programming that goes on behind the scenes (though that can be a pro!), as well as being demanded of and expected of while also being overlooked and underestimated. Pros include interacting with different levels of the industry, being in rooms where things happen, seeing up-close how true/successful professionals work and behave and constant opportunity to sharpen your toolbox as a creator." She is truly the personification of balance and time management!
EMMA LEE's resume also speak volumes about how your original career may not be where you're supposed to be. Learning from each place of employment even when freelancing has taught LEE so much. She has been a web writer & content creator for DJ Funkmaster Flex's website 'In Flex We Trust,' videographer, photographer and film editor for 'Rap Is Outta Control' on SiriusXM/Shade 45, an engineering intern and studio assistant at TME Pro Studios with DJ Fred Ones in the South Bronx, a production coordinator and company captain of Oscar & Grammy-nominated youth arts & leadership organization, Impact Repertory Theatre, based in Harlem. She got to co-host the Art Dinatoire: New York event of Paris-based French-Congolese illustrator Nicholle Kobi and lead a “Healing Through the Arts" workshop at NYU. (AND THAT'S JUST ON THE PROFESSIONAL SIDE!)
As a performer, EMMA LEE most proud of performing & speaking at maximum-security prison Green Haven Correctional Facility in upstate New York as well as being part of the Impact crew that performed at the Oscar's/80th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles. As a behind the scenes person with no disrespect to her accomplishments in Hip Hop, she completed a full one-hour documentary called “A Revolutionary Molecule" on the unsung story of prolific and elder black-female-therapist-writer-activist, Patricia Murphy Robinson, that she was scouted to create. She is most proud in this documentary because she was involved in many aspects, created something original and it tells part of her epic story/keeps her name and spirit alive.
We asked EMMA LEE, how she got to into her career and if there was anyone that helped her get to where she is now. "As an artist I started rapping in the 5th grade, I jumped into the ciphers my male friends were having and surprisingly moving the crowd through rhyme and voice came very natural. I had been dancing, writing poetry and stories up until then, but didn't take it as seriously until 12 years old when I joined touring performance group Impact Repertory Theatre and my mentor HaZ who came to do Hip Hop workshops asked us to rhyme for stage and work on the craft. I took highkey advantage of every art form & instruction we were exposed to which many don't believe was almost EVERYTHING. Singing, dancing, global awareness, activism, media, spoken word...we briefly studied everything.
Then went out & did at least 50 shows a year! Editing, producing & filmmaking I had started exploring on my own after that but had been exposed to the founders of Impact; namely, Voza Rivers who is a Harlem legend/cultural architect and Jamal Joseph Sr. who taught film and screenwriting at Columbia University and also directed the feature “Chapter & Verse.” Engineering and running studios I got into because I was broke and couldn't afford studio time! I asked studio owner Fred Ones if I could work in exchange for time and he said due to my energy and attitude not only could I do that but he'd show me engineering too. Operating a camera/learning green screen and creating media start to finish was with the help of Malcolm Young aka Emzkey One of the Brooklyn studio, who heard of my work in the Bronx and asked me to build out across boroughs, as well threw me into several projects and trusted my learning ability. TBH I've also gone by myself or with other creatives to a lot of workshops, free classes, events, took notes from people I've met, kept good relationships and slid into professional situations as a result of being underprivileged and unknown but always buzzing for knowledge, access, and creative inspiration. They say you gotta make that door if it’s not there for you! Being in NYC def helped."
EMMA LEE is a perfect example of how women excel in everything that they put their minds into. A woman like LEE inspires the next generation that might be forced to pick a lane. You can have a hand in each pot, a foot in two different doors and still be great at each opportunity!
WE ASKED EMMA LEE SOME FUN QUESTIONS!
What is your most accomplished moment thus far?
My most significant accomplishment thus far other than the performances I spoke on earlier and being a youth mentor/big sis is being alive and learning what self-care really is. I had a hard childhood, I've battled depression and anxiety all my life, attempted suicide when I was younger, was hospitalized and have pushed through several traumas. To like myself, love myself, learn, re-learn and maintain my body, grow my spiritual mind, heal my emotional self, understand my psychology, invest in myself and champion my own visions while being positive to other people's lives is my biggest accomplishment in this life which could’ve been over many times.
If You had to create a concert of only women in rap who would be your two opening acts and your headliner?
Hard question there's so much talent & richness in the game right now, quiet as kept! It would have to be a 2-3 day festival! Off rip the sisters I've already shared a stage with: Merc the Big Body Benz, A.B.Y.S.S. Tha Business, M!NX and poet J-Rose. As well some of the young people I mentored in Impact and a bunch of emcees from Uganda/African continent. I have a lot of respect and creative admiration for Che Noir, Fever Moore Fire, Nefertiti, Rapsody, Princess Nokia, Tierra Whack, Doja Cat, Azealia Banks, and JUNGLEPUSSY as well. If Missy Elliott, Bahamadia, Jean Grae, Eve, Remy Ma plus golden era legends could be there I'd be all the way good!
What are some fun facts?
I Played tackle football ages 13-15 for the Harlem Giants as the only girl in an all-boys league. I went on to coach ages 7-15 for the Bronx Buccaneers. I also once had 2 rabbits that became 12 rabbits. I’m a big wrestling fan (there are so many more dope women now too) and should the opportunity arise I will definitely jump in that world!