Nenobia, an established New York character, dubs herself as the Queen of Brooklyn, and stands as a renowned artist uprooting and standing as a reflection of black forerunners in the industry. The queen has gone from being a viral sensation from a street interview in 2015, to amassing hundreds of viewers on her livestreams, and being seen on the streets of New York singing at the top of her lungs, presuming and soaking in the life around her. Nenobia’s love for her city runs deep in her passion for New York rap. At the age of 14, she found herself centered in the musical world, working for Def Jam, and foreshadowing a foreseeable future career in the hip hop industry. Years later, Nenobia has continued to study the Hip- Hop greats, write her own material, and make music. Artists like Lil Kim and Biggie overshadow her artistry and stand present in her lyrical word play. As a collective on social media, we share a similar image on who the Queen of Brooklyn is. But really, our preconceived notions and perceptions barely amount to the standards that she has set for herself. There’s levels to the Queen. Interviewer: Being a present member of your livestreams, and an active participant on your Instagram, it’s become extremely noticeable at how much you love music. Who put you onto that? Queen of Brooklyn: I would say my uncle. It’s in my blood, my family loves music. My uncle is really great friends with the legendary Russel Simmons. I used to work at Def Jam at 14, so I always had that talent for music. At one point, I wanted to be an A&R for Def Jam, but that wasn’t the path that God wanted me to go down. I see that God gave me a voice for this music thing. I love music [and] now my son loves music. I just love our culture. [But] when you have so many deaths that’s happening, it’s scary to be a rapper. Why are we not trying to get to the root of what’s doing this? We’re going to keep burying our young black men. We’re going to keep burying our young black women. This is deeper than anything that anyone has going on. This has to stop...This has to stop. Interviewer: So as an artist, who are you surrounding yourself with to prevent things like that? Queen of Brooklyn: When you start to get a high status, that’s when the roaches come in. My message is to try to keep young women from what I went through. I had situations where my back was against the wall. I’m the baby of my generation- New York has made me the savage that I am. We all got the same 24 hours. Interviewer: What was life like as a teenager, pre-gentrified Bronx? Did you ever think you would be known all across the world? Queen of Brooklyn: Yes. My name has been known before social media. I didn’t realize the gift that I have. God gave me these gifts that I have. It’s just me and my personality. If I could change one little girl’s life by not going through the things I went through, I feel like I did my job. I want my young black ladies to know that you can be the best you can be. But don’t use and abuse your body like I did because that’s supposed to be sacred. But I had no choice because my back was against the wall. Interviewer: What was that time like for you? Queen of Brooklyn: It was rough. I never got a chance to be a kid. I had to be an adult very fast. All I could do was play the cards that were dealt to me. Once you lose your kids to the streets there’s no going back. Interviewer: That’s the beautiful thing about community because y’all can pull from y’alls own experiences-from the things that y’all have gone through and pass it onto the next. Queen of Brooklyn: People don’t cherish people any more. They cherish money. Interviewer: In this time, when you were a teenager, were you still in your rapping bag? Queen of Brooklyn: I went to high school with Remy Ma, we were really good friends. And I would sit there and watch her. I went to dance school. I love hip hop. I got my ass whooped for buying Lil Kim’s CD at 12. “I knew a dude named Jimmy-”, My mom said, “ you knew a dude named who? That did what?” That’s her favorite story to tell. I was 12 when Hardcore came out. Interviewer: What was your relationship with Remy Ma? Queen of Brooklyn: We were best friends. Did everything together. Point blank period. Interviewer: How do you think the dynamic of hip hop has changed, post Hardcore? Queen of Brooklyn: There's no more pureness in it. The fake rappers outshine the pure rappers. The fake is gonna outshine the real. For me, I like women that wear different hats. A lot of the goofiness with these new rappers, is that these old rappers rep them and allow the goofiness. Instead of talking about it, you got to be about it. Love is not about what you say, it’s about what you show. Interviewer: How are you keeping your music authentic and personable? Queen of Brooklyn: Being me. It’s called self love. When you love yourself, it’s called self love. I love me and I love music. There’s no one on this Earth that loves music the way I love music. There’s no one. Show me one. There’s no one. I know people’s songs from back in the day- they don’t even know that song because I know it better than them. Interviewer: How do you navigate self-love? Queen of Brooklyn: You can’t navigate it. It’s natural. If you don’t have any self love, you’re gonna destroy yourself. I’m not going anywhere. In my casket, imma jump up like “Bitch, I’m still here.” Interviewer: What inspired the Bhad Bhabie diss track? Queen of Brooklyn: Lemme take it back to high school. [I] don’t like bullies- any shape, form, or fashion. That little girl is the biggest bully in the black community. I was tired. All the little things she was getting at- the woahvickey’s, wasn’t a problem for me. But Skai Jackson? I have a problem with that. Go at Miley Cyrus. Go at bitches from your culture. Stop jacking our culture. She took it too far. Her and Skai Jackson aren’t even in the same lane… I fucks with bullies. I will beat a bully all the way down to the ground- have my Jordans print on their forehead. Interviewer: The Jordans print though? Queen of Brooklyn: Yeah, with the Jumpman. Interviewer: Were you so defensive of Skai Jackson because she reminds you of all the other black girls being negated by America? Queen of Brooklyn: I was very defensive of her because I’m just trying to save my young black sisters. She’s a young black sister that’s making the black community look great. When they see someone that can make our black community great, they send little wack ass bitches, like that Bhad Bharbie bitch, to try to destroy us. We are not doing this shit in 2020. Get the fuck outta here!
The Queen of Brooklyn: Still Here
Updated: Apr 25