Dalilla Hermans: “lyrics are more important to me than flow or beat”
Dalilla Hermans is a woman of many trades. She’s an author, a journalist and an activist, mostly known in Flanders as an advocate of equal rights. At Chase, we know her as a long time hip-hop enthusiast. She's even married a hip-hop artist. The music genre has always been something to hold onto and fall back on throughout her lofe. Dalilla made us a selection of 5 hip-hop and r&b artists who've left their mark.
Photo: Tim De Backer
"When I was about 12 years old, I got to know Bahamadia through a friend. I was completely blown away. She was female rapper who was lyrically as strong as all male artists I listened to and also looked incredibly tough. Bahamadia stood in stark contrast to the looks of other female hip-hop artists Foxy Brown and Lil' Kim. It spoke to me way more. Somewhat later Missy Elliott came swooping into my bedroom through MTV and I'd found the two role models I had been looking for. But Bahamadia was first (laughs)."
"It's probably not 'cool' anymore since Jay and Bey became the king and queen of the world, but I've been listening to HOV since...since as long as I can remember, actually. And I still think he's amazing. I can't pick a favorite album, but his performance with The Roots on MTV Unplugged in 2001 is something I could watch every day."
"I was friends with Nag before I became a fan. I have a lot of friends in the Flemish hip-hop scene. That doesn't mean I always like everything they produce. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. But I honestly feel Nag is a really good beatmaker ànd rapper. You can sense it all comes very natural to him. He doesn't need poses nor gimmicks. I'm a big fan of his latest project with Lefto. I think there's a lot of talented rappers and beatmakers walking around here in Flanders. But I've kept a special place in my heart for Nag's music. I'm proud to have such a talented buddy."
"I really love language, that's why I became a writer. I almost always think lyrics are more important than flow or beat or whatever, when I listen to hip-hop. And I really think Oddissee is a lyrical genius. So many layers! The way he plays with language and still gets a clear message across. That's something else. If it were up to me, he would win a Pulitzer prize too, like Kendrick did."
"I'm married to a rapper and beatmaker so let's say this one left the biggest mark of all on my life (laughs). He used to rap with No Exp in the Bruges collective Nuff Said. It was one of the better hip-hop acts we used to have in Belgium. You know, we had a child together before I even listened to their albums or had seen him rapping. I was afraid I wouldn't like it! But then they did a reunion gig in Bruges and it was really magical. Since that moment, I have been a fan. He produces beats at home almost every day, so I mostly know him as a beatmaker. But he’s a pretty dope rapper as well, don’t get it twisted (laughs). He made a song about me for my birthday this year so that's my absolute favorite track of all time."