Rocky Rivera, Journalism Grad, on Rapping Her Way into Pinay Warriorhood

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Photo of Rocky Rivera standing near water and container ship

EAST BAY EXPRESS -- Growing up during a time where female MCs like Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, and Yo-Yo were using their music as a platform to empower young women, Rivera recognized rap as the best language for her message. Politicizing her music was a natural choice that came, in part, from her ethnic studies coursework at San Francisco State University.

At State, Rivera majored in Journalism. Prior to pursuing music, she was an accomplished writer whose interviews with the likes of Wu Tang Clan, DMX, and Gnarls Barkley appeared in Rolling Stone, The Source and XXL.

"As one of the first Pinay MCs, I didn't want to be a caricature," she said. "I really had to give something that Filipinos could be proud of. I didn't want to represent a message that I didn't feel like could further the progress of our people."

Photo by Vivian Chen