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Festering in the belly of hip-hop is a humble yet hungry voice screaming to emerge. With a lyrical vigor and reality-based drive that fuels her metaphorical intensity, Bates has begun separating herself from others by setting booths and stages ablaze.
After high school, Bates linked with a few notable spitters known for their lyricism and raw, cutting-edge content to form the hardcore rap group Xplicit. It wasn’t long before Bates began to stick out like a sore thumb as her listeners became hypnotized by her rough, raspy tone and energetic delivery. As an unrepentant bar queen rising in the age of eroticism in female hip-hop, Bates’ edgy demeanor and nonconformist attitude gave her the extra edge needed to gain respect in a male-dominated music industry.
In 2006, Bates release her last project, Lethal Legends with Xplicit and began branding herself as a solo artist with The Normaggedon Mixtape (2007). Released before the rise of social media, the project allowed the young star to fine-tune her style as a solo artist and master tactics necessary to survive the upcoming metamorphosis hip-hop would undergo during the next decade.
Collaborative projects like Lethal Legends and City Art (2009) allowed Bates to broaden her audience by tapping into the rap-rock fusion sound, while still pleasing the streets. Her next solo project, Future projects like The Wonderful Mixtape (2011) allowed her to be embraced for her creative, honest candor across a diverse group of listeners.
The pivot in Bates’ career occurred when she met soul singer, Notes, who introduced her to T.R.U.E., an indie producer also striving to challenge the status quo and establish his own record label. Soon after, Bates joined the super-charged, St. Louis rap cadre H.A.R.D Asylum.
The group released Tha Front (2012) then followed up with Tha Committed (2014). a double-disc of bold and beautiful bars packed with aggression and cockiness displaying the beauty of the struggle.
The group became popular almost as fast as it lost wind. Life matters sent members in different directions, leaving Bates rebranding herself again. The end of one era led to the beginning of another. Music lovers didn’t ignore the imprint Bates made on their hearts as both a group member and a solo artist.
At the start of 2015, Bates was awarded ‘Best Female Hip-Hop Artist’ during the St. Louis Underground Music Her next move The Great DeBates (2015), addressed everything from the commercialization of mainstream radio stations to the shooting death of Mike Brown at the hands of Ferguson which police sparked global outrage.
That fall, Bates released the official video for her record Tell Jesus- a visual masterpiece filled featuring six vocalists and TRUE On Tha TRAC on the beat. The video went on to win the Slumfest Award for ‘Best Video’ (2016) to add to her wins in 'Best Female Hip-Hop Artist’ and ‘Artist of the Year’ categories. In the summer of 2016, Bates’ album For Colored Folk took the city by storm winning 2017 SlumFest Awards Album of the Year. Currently promoting her Strange Woman project Bates had been hitting the road touching fans state to state.