Lady of Rage
She kept in contact with Chubb Rock who advised her to be careful as he was sceptical of her putting her career on the back of Dre’s supposed planned solo success. Rage remained weary for her own professional well-being whilst in the company of Death Row Records. Landing in Cali’ Rage was confronted with swarming people, strange faces, but no-one there to welcome her or lead her to the Death Row studios. She had made friends with a small-time rap click on the flight over, Leader of the New School who offered for her to stay with them in their hotel. After a day or so in their suite, Rage contacted Suge Knight who came by and picked her up outside the hotel and took her to see Dre. Her first impression of the hulking man whose reputation often preceded him was of an imperious but cool boss. She met Dre in the studio and the pair had always got on well with each other even through tense moments of distrust. Rage would blow up at Dre when he asked to contact other rap groups to sign even though it was apparent to her he had no time to offer for her album project. Suge intervened and told her she is part of the family and together they would all wait, and together they would get paid. Rage’s relationship with Dre was of a brother-sister love. Initially she was told she would be the label’s first solo undertaking, before the introduction of the ultra-cool megastar Snoop Dogg and his Dogg Pound and R&B Jewell who all stepped over Rage to the front of the label’s attention. Her persistence was wearing thin but she breathed on pure optimism for her own payday. Chubb was in Los Angeles four months after her signing and asked if she had started her album yet. After hearing no he urged to follow him back to New York to join his label and get the album she had been salivating for. She refused clinging onto her benefactors’ word.
By 1992 Dr. Dre had unleashed his first solo record which became Death Row’s opening act for the stars under the label, including Rage who appeared on five of the last six tracks of Dre’s multi-platinum hotcake ‘The Chronic’. This was soon followed up two years after Rage’s first contact with Death Row with Snoop Dogg’s debut which allowed Rage to perform on two cuts. The album was a major commercial success surpassing Dre’s debut record. The Death Row family was eating well off these first two solo ventures, yet the Lady of Rage was still trodden further down the list of priority for album productions. Her optimism persisted. One year later for the soundtrack to Tupac’s movie ‘Above the Rim’ she released her first single ‘Afro Puffs’ referring to her hairstyle in which she had bunched her afro into two distinct mickey-mouse hat-like puffs atop her head. A look she became synonymous with within the Death Row family. The single was co-written by Dogg Pound’s Daz, produced by Dre himself and released September 6th, 1994 and within a year she performed this at the 1995 Source Awards alongside her family members who each entered the stage from behind single prison cells to perform their hits. This still remained her only flowering within the label, with no album prospect in sight.
Finally in 1997, a year that saw Death Row at its lowest point with every major star having left the Row due to a growing hostile environment within the so-called family. The 13-track‘Necessary Roughness’ was co-produced by Rage, Kurupt and Kenny Parker and released June 24th, 1997 on Death Row Records. On July 12th, 1997 it peaked at #32 on the Billboard 200. However the album sold only 300,000 copies.
By 1998 Rage had left Death Row Records due to the almost-closing of the label with everybody jumping ship and CEO Suge Knight being incarcerated for parole breach. She had turned her career onto acting, starring in films, ‘Ride’ alongside Snoop Dogg and other rappers, and Ice Cube’s ‘Next Friday’ as Baby D. She also appeared in an episode of 'The Kenan & Kel Show'. She engrossed her acting career on ‘The Steve Harvey Show’ as Coretta Cox as the high school bully at Booker T. High from 1996 to 2002. By 2000 she had re-established her recording career joining Snoop’s own Doggystyle Records and appeared on Snoop’s ‘Set it Off’ track on his ‘Tha Last Meal’ album. She outdid both Snoop and former NWA member MC Ren on the track with her raging lyrical thunder. She all but disappeared appearing on tracks with Snoop Dogg for his future albums partaking in the Dogg Pound renaissance again working in a Snoop album alongside Tha DPG Clicc. In 2002 she appeared on Snoop’s label collabo Presents…Doggy Style All Stars Volume 1 with her own solo track, ‘Unfucwitable’. Rage re-entered the game in 2005 when she started her own record label called Boss Lady Entertainment and dropping a mix tape ‘VA to LA’.
The Lady of Rage is regarded as being much more talented and lyrically-assaulting than any other female rapper. Rage also chooses not to adopt a sexually-oriented persona of a female, with the necessary roughness to stand against any male MC in the game earning her much respect by her peers. Still standing as Death Row’s only female rapper, her toughness comes by way of growing up with the bigger brothers of Death Row and honing her rep with theirs.
- 1997 Neccessary Roughness
- 2005 From VA to LA (mixtape)
- 2007 Verbal Abuse (unreleased)
- 1997 The Steve Harvey Show (TV) (from 1997 - 2000) (as Coretta Cox)
- 1998 Ride (as Peaches)
- 2000 Next Friday (as Baby D)
- 2001 Thug Life (as herself)
- 2005 Confessions of a Thug) (as herself)
- 2007 Can't Stop, Won't Stop (as Birdie Scott)
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