by JR Valrey, The Minister of Information and Editor in Chief of the San Francisco Bay View
The Bay Area has a long history of women in Hip Hop including Kimmie Fresh, the Conscious Daughters, Nic Nac, Pam the Funkstress, Mystic, Suga T, and the list goes on. With the exception of Mystic, the Bay Area has not had many widely recognized conscious feminine voices, until now, as Daylite is stepping on the local scene.
As Hip Hop heads celebrate the 50 years of organized Hip Hop, which is undoubtedly older than that, the San Francisco Bay View is going to dedicate more space and time to exploring a culture that was once the unfiltered voice of the ghetto youth.
It has now blossomed into an international multi-billion dollar industry that is now largely corporate controlled. Capitalist stockholders and their managerial minions care nothing about the psychological poison that is being pushed under the guise of Hip Hop. So we are doing our part to expose the community to more positive and conscious Hip Hop that is coming from the Bay. Let me present Daylite to those who know, and introduce her to those that don’t. She is a breath of fresh air, if you appreciate Black women spittin lyrics, over rap sex kittens purring and acting sassy. Stay tuned.
JR Valrey: When did you know that you wanted to be a rapper?
Daylite: I started writing songs and poetry as soon as I was able to write. I started off writing songs on construction paper with crayons, and I immediately knew I wanted to make music. I started writing raps when I was in 8th grade, and I recorded my first mixtape and started performing my raps at 18.
JR Valrey: When did you start taking it seriously?
Daylite: Although I dreamed of being a rapper at 18, I didn’t start putting everything on the line, all in, until 2018 when I decided to drop my first album, independently. For me that was the beginning of my professional career.
JR Valrey: Who or what inspired you to put consciousness in your rhymes?
Daylite: The musical inspiration comes from Lauryn Hill, especially her second album “Unplugged,” I was so inspired by it, that I wanted to do the same for others that she did for me.
The mental inspiration comes from the hundreds of Black history books my mom made me read growing up, and the spiritual books she had me study. My songs are written from real life experiences, through the lenses of the information that molded me.
JR Valrey: Who are three women emcees that you grew up on and looked up to? Why?
Daylite: Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot and Trina. Lauryn Hill inspired my mind like many others. Missy Elliot taught me how to be an emcee and diversity in song writing. Trina for the attitude, slappers, dance songs and motivation.
JR Valrey: What kind of consciousness do you promote? Whose teachings do you study?
Daylite: I believe everyone is on their own journey. As long as we’re spreading love and not hate, you’re alright with me. There are times where I rap about my different emotions and feelings. No one is always happy. Sometimes I’m angry. Sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes I talk my shit. Sometimes I twerk. But mostly I promote love and self growth.
JR Valrey: In today’s Hip Hop climate, why is it important to promote conscious female emcees especially?
Daylite: I don’t think it’s as important to promote conscious female emcees but rather important to have an equal opportunity to all different types of music. The industry leans into stereotypes of our people only showing one spectrum.
Sometimes I go hiking and write, but oftentimes I am immediately inspired by a situation that transpired.
For men they hyper focus on gang music. For the women they hyper focus on sexuality. It’s not to say we don’t deal with violence in our community or that women have to suppress their sexuality, but to ignore every other emotion and state of mind, and to only promote one version of our music is a disservice to our community. And it gives a false perspective to outsiders who use our music as a window to our culture.
JR Valrey: What is your creative process like? Do you have a special time when you write?
Daylite: I write based on experiences and emotions. Sometimes I go hiking and write, but oftentimes I am immediately inspired by a situation that transpired. I can write on the spot but I have pages and pages of half written raps and poems that I often rework into new songs.
JR Valrey: What kind of production do you like?
Daylite: My style is hyphy conscious so I’m always looking for a slapper. I like something with a Bay Area slap, a little funk, sometimes a good soul sample but they all need a little slap on it. I want danceable music with spiritual lyrics.
JR Valrey: How do you want people to feel after hearing your music?
Daylite: Uplifted, high vibrational, inspired.
JR Valrey: What do you have that you recently dropped?
Daylite: In November I dropped the song and video “Drunken Master.” In January, I dropped the song and music video, “Cheat Code.”
I’m shooting a new music video and dropping a new song every other month or more. Look out for my next song “Slick,” inspired by Slick Rick the Ruler.
JR Valrey: Where can people hear your music and get more info on your performances?
Daylite: The best way to stay tapped in on my performances is to to tune into my Instagram @daylite__ & Facebook DayLite Da Rapper
For music check out any music platforms. Search Daylite and look for my first album “The Mass Education of DayLite” or my second album “Omni.”
JR Valrey, The People’s Minister of Information, is the Editor in Chief of the SF Bay View. He is also the instructor for The Community Journalism Program.