A few years ago when I heard about Eternia’s tour of high schools as part of a Plan Canada charity initiative, I felt compelled to write her to just say: ‘Keep on doing what you’re doing – you’re changing lives’. The tour addressed women’s and girls rights. As a parent of a young girl I’d be dead excited to have a female rapper who’s not afraid to be perceived as a role-model come to speak and rap at my kid’s school about identity, self-esteem and girls rights.
Eternia, originally from Ottawa, now based in NYC, exudes generosity. She’s not content with making records. She whole-heartedly champions various causes and artists. With trademark gusto she hosts this recent free-to-download ‘World Hip Hop Women’ mixtape.
She writes heart-on-sleeve raps. In this interview with Canadian Journal This Magazine she explains: “one of the running critiques of It’s Called Life [her debut full-length release] was, “Great album, great album, too personal.” People don’t want you to go that deep, almost like it made them uncomfortable. But I can say for the most part people really relate and appreciate having someone else speak their story.”
I’m partial to this Beach Boys sampling scorcher of a track ‘Evidence’ from that early album.
In 2010 Eternia and collaborator hip-hop producer MoSS released the heavy-hitting album ‘At Last’. Album opener ‘Any Man’ certainly pulls no punches.
But my goodness, it’s this song ‘To the Future’ which just melts your heart and shows Eternia at her most personal and profound.
Last week Eternia answered a few questions I put to her:
70elevators: Which of your positive attributes is most evident in your music?
E: Probably my faith. I like to think my music has a ‘victorious’, ‘overcome all odds’ feel to it, for the most part. And that is an accurate reflection of my personality and approach to life. The glass is half full no matter what the circumstance. I do my best to appreciate the journey, even in the lowest of moments.
70elevators: If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
E: People living compartmentalized lives and viewing the world in compartments.
Stereotyping, judging, making assumptions: this type of thinking and approach to life drives me crazy. I prefer a more holistic view and approach to all things and all people.
70elevators: If you were introducing someone to hip-hop music which album would you have them listen to?
E: That’s hard. Off the top I would probably say Nas’ ‘Illmatic’.
Down-to-earth, undaunted, positive & profound, Eternia’s a one-woman destroyer of stereotypes and the brilliant thing about a vanquished stereotype is that when it’s gone it’s usually gone for good.