In her own words, a "rap
purist, walking hip-hop thesaurus
." Born Rashia Fisher in 1972, Rah Digga is set to become the most prominent female
rapper today. Her style differs from contemporaries Lil Kim
, and Foxy Brown
in that she does not focus on sex, although she looks like a supermodel and sometimes wears chain-mail halters. She raps in a deep, guttural voice, and is known for dazzling wordplay
She grew up in the Vailsburg section of Newark, New Jersey, where she still lives in an apartment with her mother, Brenda, a NJ Transit worker, and father Al, a retired biomedical engineer. She often raps about "the Bricks," a nickname for Newark. Digga admits to being "spoiled" as a child. Her childhood nickname was "Shi Shi," according to her mother, who calls her a "kind of shy" child. She attended a boarding school in North Carolina, earning good grades, returning to Newark her senior year and graduating from West Side High School.
After graduation she worked various jobs, including Red Lobster. She briefly attended the New Jersey Insititute of Technology (NJIT) in hopes of becoming an electrical engineer, but dropped out to pursue her rap career.
She got her first break in 1995, when she made a cameo on a track from "The Score" by Essex County neighbors The Fugees. She had been rapping with the group the Outsidaz, which includes rapper Eminem. She is engaged and has a daughter, Sativa, with fellow group member Young Zee (real name Dwayne Battle). The group opened concerts for rappers Method Man and Redman (also from Newark) in the 1990's. Zee later introduced Digga to rapper Q-Tip, formerly of A Tribe Called Quest (and from Englewood, NJ). Q-Tip caught her performance on MTV's "Lyricist Lounge," where she performed 8 months pregnant, and pointed her out to Busta Rhymes, who thought the Flipmode Squad could use a female member.
The first time Busta Rhymes called her, she hung up on him. She explains, "I was sleeping and you don't mess with a pregnant woman sleeping. I didn't believe it was him. I'd never heard Busta Rhymes' speaking voice before."
She subsequently rapped on his album, "Disaster Strikes," and followed up on the Flipmode Squad's 1998 album "Imperial." In 1999, a single, "Tight" was released which prompted buzz of a solo career. She released her first album "Dirty Harriet," on April 4, 2000, and at this time it is #34 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. On that same day, she received the Key to the City of Newark.
2000 Dirty Harriet