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Jean Grae

Poised To Become Future Rap Star

In 2003 Grae's career arced upwards. She did a successful tour with hip-hop heavyweights, The Roots. "It was incredible to get on the road and just be out there with so many talented people," Grae told Prefix Magazine. "[Having] a live band and hearing your music replayed. It just gives it a totally different feel, a totally different emotion." The following year Grae appeared on The Roots's hit album The Tipping Point.

Grae released This Week in 2004. A musical crawl through a week in Grae's life, it gained immediate praise in the urban culture press. In contrast to the hard-hitting venom of Bootleg, This Week featured danceable raps such as "Going Crazy" and tender tracks like "Supa Luv." However, her characteristic fury was still present in songs like "Whatever." Grae also used the album to apologize for the anger she had spat out for so long. Of the song "P.S." she told Prefix Magazine, "[It's about] the difference from the first two albums, which would be sort of holding a grudge and having more of a negative outlook on things and realizing that when you get older it doesn't pay to keep those feelings."

By 2005 Grae was busy touring, both as a headliner and with other artists. The venues were still small, the record sales still limp, and the struggle for recognition still uphill. Yet, there was hope. Her fourth album Jeanius received heavy pre-release buzz and Grae was voted Plug Independent Music Award's female artist of the year. After a decade of performing, Grae was still the next-big-thing, waiting to explode into mainstream, MTV consciousness. She was okay with that. "I've come to terms with the fact that no matter how many times I proclaim quitting, get frustrated with measly financial compensation for my work, or just plain hate what I do some days, this is what I was put here to do," she wrote on her Web site. "Music. It's the only thing that can bring the most beautiful or horribly ugly emotions out of me. Anything that can do that has got to be worth loving, worth fighting for and worth living passionately about."

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) BiographyJean Grae Biography - Raised From Musical Roots, Forged Career Of Cameos, Found Limited Recognition, Maximum Frustration, Poised To Become Future Rap Star - Selected discography