Navigating hip hop and relationships in a culture of misogyny
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“Nowhere near famous but still infamous,” Psalm One is a legend to rap nerds, scholars, and “heads,” and has gone on to work with the brightest names in rap and have her work celebrated and taught around the globe. In Her Word Is Bond, Psalm One tells her own story, from growing up in Englewood, Chicago through her life as a chemist, teacher, and legendary rapper. Intrinsically feminist, this story is a celebration of the life and career of one artist who blazed the trail for women in hip hop.
“If there’s one voice missing from the ongoing conversation about representation, equity, and the intersection between queerness, the femme experience, and Black lives in the hip hop scene—it’s Psalm One’s. A prolific lyricist, poet, philosopher, and emcee, Psalm One is the visionary chemist of our alt hip hop dreams; an artist whose buck is def as good as their knuck, both on and off the page. And we know that Cristalle Bowen has always championed for the rights and protections of those most neglected and harmed by the music industry—Black womxn—but in Her Word is Bond, readers receive an in-depth look at the complex and vibrant brilliance that is the renegade known as Psalm One. Epic from beginning to end—this is a book every warrior for equity and representation in the music industry needs to have on their shelf.”
—Faylita Hicks, Author, Poet, 2021 Shearing Fellow and Recording Academy Member
Cristalle Bowen, also known as Psalm One, has been consistently named one of the nation's Best Artists by the Chicago Tribune, and in 2011 made her television debut on MTV's Emmy-winning series, MADE. She is an international touring and recording artist; featured in publications such as Vice, Forbes, and The FADER. An artist cut from Chicago's vast and unique HipHop talent, Psalm has commanded stages of festivals from Paid Due$ to Riot Fest; among artists such as Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Jean Grae, Odd Future, Wu - Tang and so many more. Not just an MC, Psalm has also been road DJ for rap legends. More than an entertainer, Cristalle is also an activist, scholar and teaching artist. Cristalle released her debut album, Bio:Chemistry, while studying chemistry at the University of Illinois in 2002; was discovered by Casual of Hieroglyphics fame and brought to Rhymesayers Entertainment by Eyedea (RIP). In 2006 Psalm One became the only woman signed to the independent label after leaving her job as a chemist and releasing her commercial debut, The Death of Frequent Flyer. In 2013, she began releasing music under the pseudonym Hologram Kizzie, while co-founding the crew Rapperchicks. In 2015, she challenged Rhymesayers' practices toward women, herself then being the only woman signed to the imprint in its 20+ year history.
Martina Lynch is a Baltimore-based MC and poet. Learn more at https://www.instagram.com/iammartinalynch/?hl=en
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