“Shea Shea” Bennet, another industry trailblazer, kick-started her music career in the 90’s when she and real-life sister, “Nee Nee,” formed rap group, Dis n Dat. It was inevitable that the pair would make it into the entertainment arena. They were already popular backup dancers for rapper, MC Rod.
Shea caught the contagious rapping bug when she rejigged a song by 95 South called “Woot There It Is.” She and her sister joked around and came up with a similar limerick, “Woot Here It Is.”
Low and behold, while opening for singers, H-Town, the Fayetteville (NC) natives stole the attention of Quad City DJ’s. Because of that slick remix, Shea and her sister were flown to Miami so they could record the single. Instead of the girls being one-hit-wonders, other plans were put into motion.
Shea and Nee Nee were signed to Epic Records in conjunction with Quad City DJ’s. Within a weeks’ time, they were touring state-to-state and making appearances from NC to MTV. They made more immutable hits like Freak Me Baby, Bumpin, and Party.
No doubt, Party was a banger, allowing the girls to step up their game as MC’s, while repping NC state with a Miami vibration.
“We were coming from Fayetteville, NC, traveling to New York, and got a record deal. We were on the road and on tour, getting a good amount of advance money. We were so shocked because that’s how fast it went. Me and my sister, 95 South, 69 Boyz and Quad City DJ’s, all of us stayed in one house in Orlando (Florida), and recorded all our albums.”
Shea said that it was a cultural shock making music alongside the male artist who were popular at the time.
"When we hooked up with the guys, I might’ve been 21 or 22. It was so exciting, moving from a country town in Fayetteville, NC. The next thing I know, we were on the road and doing tours. It was an exciting feeling, and it was different. But the best feeling in the world, was hearing our song on the radio for the first time.”
The girls knew that the song would be a hit. They had a phenomenal production team with a proven success rate, and with all talents working in accord, they were ready to do numbers.
The musical protegee said that although attainment went quickly, they still had to work twice as hard so they could be taken seriously.
“When you do bass music, people automatically think that you can’t rap. It’s not that you can’t rap, bass is another form of music. Bass music is more about fun and partying. We aren’t talking about fighting or shooting anyone. We want to party and have a good time. That’s what it’s about. People called bass music rudimentary, but bass music is either on a fast track or a mid-tempo 808. You must rap a certain type of way. You’re not going to rap hardcore over those tracks. Now, for Drop, people are like, ‘Are you going to be like Cardi B or Trina?’ I love Cardi B, but I’m different than them. I’m more of a party girl, and when I rap, it’s going to be different. It’s more on the level of partying.”
Shea ventured independently as an artist. Music was life-- She litteraly fell in love with hip hop; so she signed under Uncle Luke for a little while before moving to Atlanta, Georgia where she commenced Pretty Girlz Entertainment, an all-female promotional and marketing parlor.
Pretty Girlz Entertainemnt: First of all, the company has run solid for well over a decade. It’s a team of sprightly young women who function as promotional models, marketing, in addition to fillers for VIP events. When we say fillers, we mean just that—Women that pack out an establishment to make an event look maximum and erupting with guest.
“It’s all about a different taste for entertainment, the promotional side, street team, as well as the eye-candy side.”
Recently, the eternal beauty signed with Born Rich Agency/ AF Music Group, and released newest single, Drop (Featuring Lonny Cash and Amazin Taste),” produced by Kenny Money and Samein Johnson.
“The difference with Drop is that it’s a party song. It’s more pertaining to exotic dancers in a an evocative atmosphere. At the same time, it could be at a regular night club. I wanted to do a song for the summer that makes the girls dance. We’re going to party and we’re going dance. We aren’t thinking about fighting anyone or shooting, we’re just thinking about partying, and that’s why I did the song, Drop.
Shea said the song has a two-fold meaning where it’s not just about raving it up, but it’s a storyline about lovers sharing that intimate groove. According to the rapper, women should know how to please their man by dancing for him seductively.
Alright, Gyyrl. No arguments there.
The mother of two is overflowing with an enormous amount of gratitude. She oozes positivity and appreciation for not only her impact in the music industry, but the opportunity to keep that lyrical momentum going.
“It’s been so long from the ‘Dis n Dat’ days, to going solo. It will probably be different, but it’s going to be fun,” she added.
The sassy rhymester is working on another single with the 69 Boyz called, “Day Party.” She’s also touring with them.
“We’ve been doing shows for years, and the reason we stay relevant, it’s because our music is classic. We can do 80’s and 90’s parties, birthday’s and concerts. It’s because our music is high-energy, party music.”
The composer said that she has a fitness regimen, to keep her features immortal and vibrancy propelled.
“When you stay in the entertainment world, you want to stay in shape. You need to work out at least 3 days a week, by going to the gym. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of ‘Mr. 2 Weeks Out,’ Jason Lobdell, he does the IR28 plan with Joseline Hernandez from Love & Hip Hop. I work with him sometimes. You must stay consistent in what you’re doing. These days, if you want to stay in this music industry, you got to stay consistent, and you must stay in shape. You must keep yourself up. If one little thing looks off, this world will tear you apart, especially on social media.”
Currently, there’s a rap war going on between female emcees. The ladies aren’t extending their illustrious crowns to other go-getters in the business. It’s more beef than a much needed colabo, expressing unity and sisterhood between the hip hop divas. Remy Ma saw the vision and linked up with Cardi B, Young Ma, as well as Lil Kim. But if we are going to be honest, even that lineup brought a side of beef to the table during their lyrical sessions.
“I don’t know what it is compared to back in the day. I think females are in too much competition with each other, instead of working together as a team,” exclaimed Shea. “It’s more hating and comparisons. For example, Nikki Minaj, Cardi B and Trina, if they all stick together and do a song, the world will put them in competition against each other instead of teaming them up to do an all-female record like “Ladies Night.”
Back then, they weren’t hating against each other, because they got together as a team. They can’t do that these days. I think social media encourages the females to be more against each other instead of together, and that’s how I feel.
Every female artist that we [Dis n Dat] have met from Salt n Peppa, Missy Elliot, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, when we all cross paths, or met each other in the same room, everything was cool. Now, today, it’s totally different. If I cross paths with any of these artist, I don’t have beef. Either you like me or you don’t. I like all female rappers.”
She said that she is influenced by the fierceness and humility of Beyoncé
“I respect how she stayed in the game, and how, still, today, she still looks good (married with babies). She works out and her shows are excellent.”
Just to shake things up a bit, we asked Shea who’s the best between TLC or Destiny’s Child. Shea said, Destiny’s Child, but our readers can’t be surprised with that answer.
When it came to the topic of younger artist, Shea cautioned those that are trying to get into the industry.
“Make sure you have a strong mind and a strong team because the men in this entertainment world will dog you out and they will try to use you, to exploit you for sexual favors, and trick you into thinking it’s the only way that you’ll get a record deal.
If you are a female and you don’t have a strong head, but you’re out here, talking to these producers, and label execs, they are going to try you. You must respect yourself and have a strong mind. You need to say, “If you believe in me as an artist, then you’re going to sign me whether I become intimate with you or not.
Guys and girls, when you’re going to these labels, record pools and performances, make sure that your music is clear. Make sure that your music sounds good, and make sure that you put on a great performance. If your music is okay, and you put on a good show, you will still make it.”
Shea articulated that her mother taught her lessons for life, and she applied those things to her career.
It’s tough stabalizing a music career, raising kids, all the while running a whole other business; however, she guerilla markets and promotes throughout the day.
“I’m probably still single because it’s difficult to balance my time. If I were in a relationship, I would have to be in relationship with someone that understands that life is demanding because I’m hardworking.”
The momtrepreneur is adamant about keeping her métier on the up-and-up with minimum, outside, distractions. By keeping things autonomous, she's able to run the rap-race for another 5 years or more.
Shea is definitely one of our favorites: #Bosbabes who runs it.
And on that last elaboration, we’re closing out our session with dope vibes and new music.
Click here and listen to Drop.
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