5Q’S WITH…RENAISSANCE WOMAN & EMCEE PATTYDUKES
Job title: Emcee, Activist, Actress, Writer, TV Host, and Filmmaker
In the field(s) of: Edu-tainment
Originally from: The Boogie Down Bronx, parents from the Dominican Republic.
Motto to live by or 1 childhood lesson that stuck with you thru today: Don’t get bitter, get better! Failure is not falling down, it’s staying down!
THE 5 Q’S:
Talk a little about what you do and how you got into all these different careers? I’m a hip-hop head, so everything I do is connected to hip-hop in some way. I’m like the female version of Bobbito, I’m a hustler. I stay on the grind. My passion is writing and telling stories, and I found different mediums to be able to express the stories that I want to tell. Mainstream media has put women in hip-hop in a very small box. My job is to smash it. Whether it’s writing for a sneaker magazine (Kicksclusive), or being on the production side of a music video set, when mostly women on set are the "video girls". We can be beautiful, but we can also be smart, strong and bold. Also, I was just getting upset & frustrated at being a dark skinned Latina and the only roles I could audition for was to be the crack head, or the gang leader. Instead of complaining, I took it into my own hands. I began writing plays, then short films. Music however, has been able to free my spirit in a way that no other artistic medium has. There is no script, there is no one on the page – but me, what I bring to the table…what I want to say to the world. It’s more of a risk for me, and that’s what I’m about taking risk. So my focus right now is on my music. I’m working on my album. It’s about time a female emcee stepped up and put the industry in a choke hold. I’m a role model to the young people I work with, so if I talk about it, I gotta be about it.
What differentiates Patty from the rest of the pack? My passion, my hard work and ethics. I love working with the youth. I’m a people person. I’m political & I’m smart. I’m Dominican, I’m an emcee – when was the last time you saw a Latina just spittin’ fire instead of shakin’ her booty? and of course…my name, PattyDukes… it was given to me – it’s not a gimmick. It’s who I am, I put my dukes up – I’m ready to fight. I’m a Bronx chic feel me? I’ve had to fight for mines, every step of the way.
What advice would you give so someone trying to break into the field of entertainment? Be your own boss. Let them come to you, instead of you begging anybody for anything. Too many people want to get "put on" or "blow up”, you don’t need Hollywood to be an actor, write a script and shoot it yourself. If you want to write a novel, do it and print it yourself. If no one wants to print it – then build the print press like Antonia Pantoja once said (founder of Aspira). The world will notice, plus you’ll be in a position to negotiate, instead of signing the first deal that comes to the table. Don’t be afraid of hard work and doing things for free, I was an intern for so long, people saw the hustle and respected it. Don’t act like you’re too good to get your hands dirty. Get in there! Don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t do something. Prove them wrong.
Things that influence and motivate me? Hip-Hop culture & all the elements – graffiti, bboys/bgirls, dj’s, emcees, sneakers, traveling, the Bronx, New York City, the projects, young people, young people in prison, poor people, fear, hatred & ignorance – all influence me to do what I do. What motivates me? My people. The Rhyme Factory. My best friend Lemon. A two-time felon with a Tony award for Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. Everyday he makes me feel like it’s all possible and the world is ours. It’s important to have people in your life that believe in you but also can call you on your shit. Now that’s love.
Mac or PC and why?
Mac, are you kidding me? What are PC’s used for anyway?