Sunday, June 24, 2007

The First Cut is the Deepest

L Leshaun cut an imposing figure in 1993, a tall and muscular woman in dark glasses and door knockers, standing in a b-boy stance. She entered our television studio arguing with her road manager and she remained combative for the entirety of her brief visit with us. As I prepped the television studio, I was relieved that Dre had volunteered for this one.

As I was cuing up her video, her mood shifted and things got worse. Apparently, her record label had ordered an edit of her "Ready or Not" clip, one that she wasn't aware of until that moment. She went off on her road manager again, but that wasn't enough. She called her label from the studio, and gave them some too.

Dre tried to get her to talk about a recent THE SOURCE article about female rappers, but she cut him off and vented about her label and the male-dominated rap industry. Some of her points still ring true today, as female rappers are more scarce than ever and are finding success hard to earn.

Tommy Boy and her road manger weren't the last people to learn that Leshaun didn't take disrespect lying down. Years later, when LL Cool J redid her hit, "Wild Thang," (redubbed "Doin' It") he used her voice, but left her out of the video. She wasn't cool with that and let it be known. Eventually, they recorded another song together. Somewhere along the way, I guess Leshaun learned the art of negotiation.

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