Lady of Rage

Real Name: Robin Evette Allen
D.O.B.: (Unknown by author)

The Lady of Rage is a west coast rapper best known for her contribution to Death Row Records. Signed as the first female MC, she has been noted on several collaborations with fellow Inmates including Snoop Dogg on his début, Doggystyle blockbuster album. Dr. Dre discovered her in Farmville, Virginia, and she soon appeared on "They Come in All Colors" (The L.A. Posse, 1991) and then had a hit single with "Afro Puffs". Her debut solo album, Necessary Roughness, was released in June of 1997. Incidentally she has also been a hairdresser to members of Tha Dogg Pound before video shoots and live performances.

Young Robin was raised by her grandmother, Clara in Farmville, Virginia under strict conditions. Come nightfall she was to be inside the house, was not allowed to wear make-up or see boys socially. Perfect settings for a breakout personality we would witness in her future. For now life was quite estranged and repressed for Robin. By the age of six it became apparent she was carrying strong traits of mental instability. A bizarre example came one summer afternoon in the basement of her grandmother’s home. Robin prepared soft drinks for her gathered friends, asking if they would like candy in their drinks. A resounding yes had her pouring rat poison in each drink, with the most in hers. One friend screeched and spilled out the drink exclaiming it was not candy, but rather rat poison. Robin’s friends fled the basement screaming. When parents came to confront her about her actions, Robin was already admitted into hospital for stomach pumping. Doctors were shocked at this behaviour… One year later she was filling in spare time writing poetry. Other instances came watching Shazam/Secrets of Isis and believing she was flying with her feet reaching five to six feet off the floor, soon after she moved to Houston, Texas to live under her mother’s supervision.

At the age of twelve she tried to commit suicide with Tylenol and a second time with more pills much to her mother’s disbelief. A third attempt came back in Virginia with Ortho weed killer until a friend slapped her out of it. Later in her teenage years her grandfather instilled the discipline back into her much like Clara’s. By 1985 she entered the Job Corps in San Marcus and got a job in butchery where she stayed for two years. Soon after this she fell into a crowd of misguided aspiring musicians where upon she entered a regional talent show. She jumped onstage and proceeded to perform her very first impromptu rap. She saw a light into her future and continued this interest further befriending another female rapper. Soon after her return to her grandfather’s residence she decided the pair should move out to New York City to pursue a recording contract. Rage remarked they could hitchhike their way to New York considering the danger she decided she would sit in the backseat with a pistol for safety. Her friend declined this plan leaving Rage in Houston. Her mission to New York was undeterred as she took a job in Arkansas at McDonalds saving up money for her trip, this time solo.

Rage’s first day in the Big Apple she came across Beverly Goodman, mother of Chic performer Nile Rodgers. Beverly heard her rap and offered her a spot on a public service announcement promoting AIDS awareness. By 1991 she appeared before the west coast production outfit, LA Posse rhyming out two tracks for the group on their album, They Come in All Colors. Unfortunately things took a dive for Rage when performances came to a stagnant pause and finances soon followed. She was homeless, living for nine months in the Chung King recording studios in downtown Manhattan, home to the early Def Jam production of Run DMC and LL Cool J’s work. Rage would bathe herself using boiled water from a coffeepot in the bathroom. She resorted to begging, borrowing, sleeping through meals and tried earnestly to keep her clothes neat and clean. This made her question her dreams of becoming a high-paid rapper. One day Big Daddy Kane entered the studio and asked for her address, she replied, “That couch you’re sitting in.”

Lady of Rage finally had her second break when she met Select records rapper, Chubb Rock who seemed impressed with her talent had promised to produce her album right after he completed his project with label mate Roxanne and finished her tour. However he let Rage live in his apartment while he was away. Upon his return she was straight back to Chung King’s couch. Here Rage received the true blessing in a phone call from a young, brash record executive from the west coast, Suge Knight who had been in company of the LA Posse. They had just played Dr. Dre her contribution on two tracks who also asked for a contact number for her. They gave over the Chung King studio phone number, knowing she would be there to receive the call. Dre phoned and invited her out to California to appear on his début solo album. Suspicious of the person on the other end of the call, Dre sent over an air ticket with her name on it. Before Rage left the east coast, she told Dre she had to repay a phone bill to her grandmother, Suge promptly sent out a cheque to cover it.

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