Change is an inevitable and integral part of life. It affects all aspects of being; from the physical makeup of a person to the mental cognition of response. With change does come choice as the habits and decisions made implicitly determines the matter of fate, inviting in new forms of stimuli to direct one to each twist and turn that defines their personal journey. For some, it is an evolution that sheds the recognized flaws in hopes of developing unknown strengths and traits to better suit one’s ever changing needs. Yet, this sort of transformation does come with a cost as highlighted within Minneapolis’ MC The Lioness‘ new album, Growing Pains.
Acting as the long awaited follow up to her popular mixtape, Queen, from 2013, she made many take notice of her tenacious talents, even leading to Slug of Atmosphere rocking one of her t-shirts during the always popular performance at Soundset. In the midst of the hype and attaining new heights, The Lioness will admit that the growth became a pain when the pressure was on to venture out and create a proper album.
“It was a lot, it took a lot out of me actually,” said The Lioness. “I expressed it a lot on the album with breaking some old habits, a lot unhealthy, toxic relationships to make room for more healthy, positive ones. There was a lot of different people that I allowed to hold me back by just staying in there instead of getting out.”
By reassessing the influence of her inner circle, The Lioness began a two year journey to self discovery in creating Growing Pains. As heard in the song “Night Life,” she had to confront the issue of excessive partying, in turn reevaluating the role of a dear friend. As rotten as the feeling ran, this opened the door to a new world of creativity and awareness that gave the album a grand perspective. With concepts reaffirming this awakening in songs like “Beauty,” “God’s Face” and “Black Crown,” The Lioness utilizes her fierce flow and densely poetic bars to ushers in a new degree of self love to her enlightened catalog. Along with the production help from Mic Titan, Myke Shevy, Emazin, Christian Lou, Young Federal, G Mo and longtime collaborator, Nicademus, The Lioness allowed herself to embolden the energy of her namesake by pouncing on the bounce to help nurture young minds with her revered revelations.
“I believe that we are gods. I believe that we don’t know our worth, how valuable we are. Even myself, looking in the mirror now and seeing the confidence of knowing who I am instead of trying to compare myself to other people. Just realizing who I am and being OK with that. I’ve learned a lot over the past few years and I knew that I couldn’t put out anything for the wrong reasons. I wanted to put a project out really bad, but it just wasn’t there yet. And I still hear things that I want to change, but the response I’ve been hearing, about how it touched people, it just outweighs everything.”
In realizing her own self worth, The Lioness has expressed a lot of excitement in the state of the Twin Cities Hip Hop community in the level of support while the spotlight has been cast on the new generation of artists like Allan Kingdom and Bobby Raps.
“I think it’s really popping. Before we were overlooked, but now we’re starting to show unity. If you look at social media, everyone is sharing each other’s songs and being super supportive and this is all new to me because before, it was dog eat dog, no one would show love to each other but now we are getting over that. We realized that no one can make it without each other. I believe that the artists that are being discovered are sticking to their crew and putting everybody on and I admire that, I think it’s awesome.”
In hopes of aiding in these discoveries, The Lioness has assembled an impressive list of up incoming local artists for her album release show happening on Thursday, June 30th at First Avenue’s 7th St Entry. With help from DJ Advance, the St. Paul heavy hitters: Taylor J, Why Khaliq and Tek as well as the rising voice of 3ME’s Destiny Roberts; the show is meant to help celebrate not only Growing Pains, but the growth of the Twin Cities.
“I just think that there’s greatness in them and a lot of potential in them. I was talking with George Goodell and we were going back in forth cause I wanted to have Meta, Greg Grease, Myke Shevy, Lady Midnight, Proper-T and it seemed like it was a lot of headliners. Even on this bill, there are a lot of headliners, but I just wanted to work with a lot of these up incomers, especially Destiny Roberts and give her a new platform cause I think she’s really dope. I’ve gone to their shows and I’ve admired each of their work so having them on the bill is dope.”
Growing Pains is available right now online at Soundcloud, iTunes, and Apple Music as well as physically at both Electric Fetus and Fifth Element. You can find the latest from The Lioness on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud pages. Be sure to stop out to the Growing Pains Release Show tonight at the 7th St Entry at 8pm.
Cover photo by 13TwentyThree Photography.