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Representing Attitude in Hiphop:
Anattitude Magazine & Here ’s a Little Story

An interview with

Jeannette Petri, aka Jee-Nice
from: Brussels/ Paris/ Frankfurt

by Elke Zobl and Haydeé Jiménez

April 2007




"Yo, hiphop is what you came to represent, whether you are black, white, tall, small, male, female, queer, heterosexual, you have to have an attitude!"
-Jeannette Petri, aka Jee-Nice


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Jeannette Petri, aka Jee-Nice


Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now
?

Hello, my name is Jeannette Petri, I’m 32 years old, and I’m originally from Frankfurt in Germany. In the meantime I’m living in Brussels and Paris. I’m an artist, I studied art at an art school in Germany, and I’m working as an artist with photography and video. In the last 5 years my focus on female hiphop got bigger and bigger, and also my interest for making magazines.




Can you tell our readers about Anattitude Magazine & Here ’s a Little Story?

“Here’s a little story that must be told” is a reader which presents the history of us-female MCs and DJs from back in the days (1076) to 1990. Anattitude Magazine presents contemporary female hiphop culture in all elements: deejaying, mcing, breakdance, graffiti, but also fashion, film and photography. Anattitude Magazine is an international magazine; it presents unique women from around the hiphop world in detailed interviews and has special interests on design, photography and gender. Next issue presents the parisian female hiphop scene.

What inspired you to create this zine and web space?

The one sided, boring and non-existing representation of women in hiphop inspired me to do this antidote. That applies [not only] to Anattitude Magazine concerning contemporary female hiphop culture but also for female hiphop history (the reader), which unfortunately doesn’t exist in the well-known hiphop classics. I’m also working on a Ladies-love-hiphop-timeline (to find in different books, but also on anattitude.net, but currently only in german) and a detailed discography. And I like the magazine making, to combine a dope content with photographs and a minimal but classic print design.

But Anattitude is more than just mags, its all together: from female hiphop history to organizing hiphop parties... it’s a platform, a network for contemporary female hiphop movement.

How long have Anattitude Magazine & Here ’s a Little Story been running? Is there a team involved in the production?

“Here’s a little story..” is from 2004, Anattitude Issue One is from 2005; the second issue comes this summer (2007). The team is very small; its me and some artists, writers and friends who contribute. But we are still looking for contributors, so don’t hesitate to join us.

Do you also make hip-hop music of your own?

I’m also deejaying a.k.a. Jee-Nice with a special focus on women spittaz. My videos and photography are also influenced by a female hiphop culture. I did, for example, a short experimental b-girl dance-video.

What does the female hip-hop scene look like in your area?

Well it depends; it could be definitely bigger and deffer. The hiphop scene in Brussels is very agreeable; it seems to be open for very different kinds of people. In Frankfurt, it’s more the opposite; it’s very close to different scenes, but there doesn't exist a good mixture of people. But I think we have changed that the last years by doing a lot of hiphop parties and opened it a little bit to different scenes, like the art scene and the polysex scene.

Do you feel part of a (female or general) hip-hop community? What does this mean to you?

For me, everybody who is active in a hiphop culture is part of a hiphop scene. But certainly there are different scenes; however, in general, the hiphop world is a small world. Certainly I’m part of a conscious hiphop scene.



Anattitude Magazine


How did you become introduced to hip-hop?

I got interested in hiphop as a teenager, listening to LLCoolJ and Public Enemy. In 2000, I fell in love with female hiphop, after hearing a radio feature about Roxanne Shanté. From that moment on, I was addicted and I started to collect every female hiphop wax I could find around the world and started to be a deejay with this special focus on female hiphop spitters. I’m really addicted to oldschool spitters like Sparky Dee and Antoinette.

Do you think that the zine making sub-culture could one day be in closer ties with hip-hop culture?

I think it’s already like that. There are so many zines in the hiphop world, not only the big ones. For example, there are two other female hiphop mags, which are very dope. One is Wahmagazine from the UK, the other is the graffiti magazine Catfight, based in the Netherlands.

Where/how is your zine distributed? Who are your readers? What kind of responses do you get from your zine’s audience?

The mag is distributed in selected (art)bookshops and recordshops in Germany, Switzerland, and will be distributed in France, Belgium, Netherlands, UK and New York. Readers are all who are interested in a vivid hiphop culture, but also those who want to be inspired by new points of view... all kinds of creative people. The responses are all very nice and this inspires me to go further.


What do you hope to accomplish by making and distributing Anattitude Magazine?

Anattitude Magazine opens the hiphop world for a variety of hiphop styles and it also stands for a variety in genderstyles. Hiphop is a very energetic way to express creativity- from raps, deejaying, turntableism, graffiti, breakdancing, to fashion and politics. Hiphop is a way to express yourself in a very direct way where you don’t need much. I like the political meaning of what hiphop also can be and its expressive power. That’s the reason why I came from punk to hiphop at that time. Yo, hiphop is what you came to represent, whether you are black, white, tall, small, male, female, queer, heterosexual, you have to have an attitude!

Which role does Internet play for you?

I couldn’t imagine to check all my contacts without it! And Anattitude Magazine has also an online special, where you find interviews, which aren’t in the print version.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a zine?

Just do it! To do a zine or a mag is a very nice possibility to communicate, to do your own media, to bring people together, to make them important, to build up a network, and in a creative way, to combine a lot of things. It’s very nice work, but its also hard work, particularly if you start by doing all on your own.

Do you feel part of a (grrrl or general) zine community or network and what does it mean to you?

At the moment I just started to get in contact with other ladies-zine & mag producers; yes, we are in a nice exchanges. And yeah, certainly it means a great network.


 



Do you consider yourself as feminist?

Its not that much en vogue to say “yes” these days, especially in europe’s hiphop world, but yes sure! Doing work which presents a female hiphop culture is certainly influenced by any idea of feminism. But there are other important aspects, like the gender theme, like female masculinity in daily life and hiphop and also queer hiphop.

What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as a woman/feminist/…)?

From my personal point of view: the annoying classification in women or men; that bores me to death.

What do you think about feminism today? How would you explain what feminism is to someone who has no idea what it is?

Its still important, so ladies keep on doing your things.

What would a “grrrl”-friendly society look like in your view? How do you think society might be re-thought and transformed to come closer to an “ideal” world for women, grrrls and queer folks?

To respect all kinds of human beings, regardless of their sexual preferences and preferences in gender.

Do you have any suggestions for the development of women/grrrl/queer-friendly policies?

I think building of a great network is the most important thing.

What are some of your personal wishes/visions/ideas/plans for the future, if you like to share them?

To bring the real hiphop to the people, not to classify it anymore into queer, female or male, just to look if it has an attitude or not. In the meantime more cashflow, more appreciation and more serious contracts for all these dope female artists out there! And more possibilities in representing yourself in a hiphop market.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for doing this interview and keep on doing the good work!

Thanks again for taking your time for the interview!


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info:

http://www.anattitude.net
Anattitude Magazine

contact [AT] anattitude.net

Mail

http://www.anattitude.blogspot.com
Blog

http://www.myspace.com/anattitudemagazine
Myspace

jeannettepetri
Skype

 


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