Patriot speaks exclusively to Lil Ziee’ Da Puddycat, one of the upcoming female rappers in India, as she talks about her songs and the rap scene for women in the country
Born and raised in Malaysia, Nickitha Hepzieeba, who prefers to be called by her stage name Lil Ziee ’Da Puddycat is a female rapper based out of Bangalore. Her songs on YouTube have more than 3,000 views, and she is perhaps the only rapper in India who is openly homosexual. One of her songs Dream Chasing was produced under the Zee Music label. Nickitha talks to Patriot about her songs, the rap scene in India for women and her thoughts on Gully Boy.
When did you start rapping and how?
I started rapping when I was 12 or 13 years old. I always had a penchant for writing poetry, and I first realised that this can be made into music when I first saw the artist Eazy E. He was practically the godfather/founder of rap music…and I was mesmerised by what he had to say and what he could do on a beat. He was practically just talking on the beat and that got me all excited.
Who are your other inspirations for rap?
A lot of artists have inspired me. I have taken inspiration from artists like Eazy E, Biggie, Tupac, Nas, Lauren Hill, Missy Elliot, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. I personally idolise this bunch of rappers as they have some sort of originality and swag in how they write poems and put them into rhythm. It’s strong, unique and hits you hard.
What subjects do you mostly write on?
I mostly write on the experiences that have shaped my life. So my songs are mostly about sexuality, self-obsession, the role of money in our lives. Basically, I believe I lead a life that is not so conventional, and everyone has a choice in the way they want to lead their lives. It is this choice to choose your own life that is the recurring theme in most of my songs.
Sexuality is one of the most prevalent themes in your songs. Does the writing come from your own personality?
Well, sexuality is something beautiful ..and I have embraced the fact that I am gay.
Talking about my sexuality is a right of mine and no one can snatch it from me. I’m proud and I’ve found a way I can express it in other ways than just sex. So here I am writing about how strong my sexuality is and how I can flip the same sex gender into glancing at me even for a second just so they (the whole society) know we ain’t just doing this ‘cause we’re bored. Sexuality is something that comes from within…and no one has the right to have a say in it..
If I’m gay I’m gay! There isn’t gonna be a cure nor can someone change who I am or who I prefer sleeping with ..
What is the reason behind choosing your stage name Puddycat?
Actually when I first started rapping, I was known as Nickie Zee, and most people who came across me often asked me whether I was trying to emulate Nicki Minaj. So, I thought I should create my own identity and come up with a unique name. My mother calls me Puddycat at home, and I thought it would be a good stage name. And ‘cat’ is used as an adjective for women with spunk, so I thought it goes on well with my personality.
Have you seen Gully Boy? How did you like it and is it helping in bringing rappers to the mainstream?
According to me, Gully Boy is nothing but a story created to make money and it didn’t help anyone in any way. I mean, look at the Gully boy launch show on YouTube. Ranveer literally made a fool out of all the rappers there…he was just mocking the rappers with his body language, his way of talking. Whoever said rappers from India talk in such a manner? How many rappers has he even met? I think to the film-makers, the Indian rap scene is nothing but a joke.
What do you think is the rap scene for women in India?
Deepa Unnikrishnan is taking a chance and so is RajA Kumari. They all have the proper influential crowd pushing them up but other than that ? I don’t see much of an intense content.
Does rap have enough representation? I don’t think so…I think we can do better. Though there are so many shows by rappers in India now, none of them have been headlined by a woman. Women are always filler performances in musical nights highlighted by a male performer! So until one of us makes it mainstream for who we actually are, it will never matter .
What are your upcoming projects?
I have a lot of projects coming up. In fact, there are eight more videos that I’ll be dropping soon on my YouTube Channel. Two of the songs that I am most looking forward to are “Infamous Instrumental Mixtape” and “Indian English.”
Any message for aspiring rappers?
Learning how to rap isn’t difficult. But feeling it and writing your own content is a different level of expressing yourself . Hip hop is a way of life. No one can teach or coach anyone towards that! It comes from within!