Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rapper Bates Proves She Won't Be Kept in a Box on New Album 'Strange Woman'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rapper Bates Proves She Won't Be Kept in a Box on New Album 'Strange Woman'

Article excerpt

St. Louis rapper Bates is often lumped in the "socially conscious" category of hip-hop, but she wants everyone to know there's more to her.

Her new album, "Strange Woman" (out Aug. 25) was a freeing experience for her. She's already wondering what direction she could go next.

Bates (aka Tamara Dodd) says the album represents "not being placed in a box not being restricted. People have been placing me in that 'conscious' box, and rappers get stuck there. You gotta run from that. 'For Colored Folk' (2016) was more socially based. People forget where I came from, a whole other background."

"Strange Woman," she says, is more fun. "It's the singles people thought I couldn't make, the album people thought I couldn't make. People are going to say it's different for me."

Some of the direction she took came from her listening to some of her older material, as well as following up on some of the guest features she has been doing on other projects. Bates also says she's still saying some of the deep things fans expect of her.

The title track and opening song "Strange Woman" (featuring a video Bates directed) features Bates with five other female rappers Cedes, Mz. Tigga, Phenom Ionos, Chill and G.A. Barz. She didn't tell the others about one another, letting it be a surprise. The track includes a sample from an earlier song, "Tell Jesus."

"A lot of people (say) girls can't rap, that we can't have context, can't have content," says Bates, determined to prove otherwise on the song. "I wanted to show how many different strange women you have to deal with."

Producers on the album include TRUE on Da TRAC, MuzicBoy Beats, Groundbreaking Beatz, Monkh, E Haynes, DJ Whonitis and Kay GW. Guest artists are T-Dubb-O, Kenny Knox, Kourtney Nicole, Mz. Tigga, Repp and Geo Davis.

Earlier in August, Bates held a listening session during which she unveiled the music for the first time. …

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