Amil Says She’ll Never “Lose Love For Jay Z” & Discusses Roc-A-Fella Success
Amil: “Jay [Z] gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, and what I did with it was my own decision. That was my brother.”
When Amil recorded her verse for Jay Z’s “Can I Get A…,” she did not know it would become a hit that would also jumpstart her career.
“It [all] took off from there,” Amil says in an interview with Billboard. “He was looking for a female to say the verse and that’s where I came in at. Jay had already wrote ‘Can I Get A…’ before I got it. I wrote my rhymes around it…Whenever me and Jay recorded it was a natural thing. It was always smooth. The way we sounded together, it was a good chemistry…Jay had respect for my talent – writing and my voice – nothing more. Jay gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, and what I did with it was my own decision. That was my brother. There was never a relationship between me and Jay or anyone over there. He was like a brother. He was very protective over [me]. I’m never going to lose any love for Jay.”
Despite some success with Jay Z and Roc-A-Fella, Amil says she wasn’t fully invested in her Rap career.
“I wasn’t there mentally,” Amil says. “I was in my own world. Was I prepared? No. Did I realize what was happening right before my eyes? No…I started to rebel. I rebelled against the industry because it’s not what I wanted. I hated traveling. I wasn’t at afterparties or the club. Also, at the time my son’s asthma, [who was] 5 [or] 6-years-old at the time, was getting worse and no one was there for him. I had to be there for him.”
Her son was important to her and she says her career took a backseat, as evidenced by some of her choices.
“I didn’t think about the legalities of a lot of things,” she says. “I never cared about the contracts. I could have been signing my life away… I was not a businesswoman at that time. I didn’t have a manager or the things that most artists have. I didn’t put my all into it. I didn’t give 100 percent of myself. I felt like it just wasn’t for me. That’s when I started rebelling. I started rebelling because I wanted out. It was easier for me to slip away. I faded myself. No one faded me. And, that’s when everything seemed to go left. I think they [Roc-A-Fella] knew through my actions that I wasn’t in it. I wasn’t the artist that was doing everything be No. 1. I wasn’t doing anything to make myself bigger than what I was. I wasn’t putting any effort in promotion. I wasn’t looking at it as a career. It’s not that I wasn’t doing it because I was stupid. It was because I didn’t want to be there anymore….There was never a conversation. He [Jay Z] knew that that’s not where I wanted to be. I told him that I couldn’t do it for another year. I think he understood, overall. He thought that as time went on I’d be ready, but later realized I wasn’t. I know he knew, ‘She don’t give a fuck about this shit.’ I was fine being an around-the-way rapper. If I could go back in time and do it all over again, I wouldn’t have allowed myself to jump in the game. If I would have did it again, I would have left it alone. I wasn’t cut out for it. I probably would have stepped in as a writer.”
Nevertheless, Amil is preparing the release of her upcoming mixtape, A Moment In Life, set to be released late spring or early summer. Amil says the tape is “a lot of R&B” and that she feels it’s reminiscent to music from the 1990s.
“I’m doing a lot of songs off ’90s beats and collaborating with 90s artists (Havoc, JT Money, Killah Priest). You’ll hear a much mature Amil.”
Amil was interviewed by Billboard as part of the publication’s Ladies First: 31 Female Rappers Who Changed Hip-Hop article. Yo Yo, MC Lyte, Rah Digga, Gangsta Boo, Lil Mama, Ms. Jade, Angel Haze and Charli Baltimore have also been included in the series.
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