Hip-Hop fans and critics can be a tad lazy. As the culture (and art form spawned from it) approaches its fourth decade of influence we’re bound to seen resurgences of early styles and voices. So it’s very easy to burden a new artist with “the next so-and-so” label, warranted or not.
However, one listen to the smokey vocals of Bronx born rapper and singer Tish Hyman and it’s hard not to get that feeling a certain New Jersey born hip-hop icon brought to the game the mid-90s.
“Everybody compares me to Lauryn Hill and it’s all good. She’s f*ckin incredible,” Tish says through a smile. She’s getting ready to perform for an intimate crowd in NY’s lower east side and is waiting for some brown liquor to help massage her vocal chords a bit. The 32-year-old is flanked by a small phalanx of supporters and handlers tending to her every need, but all she wants right now is that glass of whiskey before she hits the stage. The Lauryn question has been coming since she first unveiled her music for an audience of journalists at Quad Studios this past winter under the enigmatic hashtag #WhoisTish. So she’s had time to let it sink in and her response is measured but sincere.
“As people we’re two different types of women. I’m more of a street chick and she was a little bit more different from that. But I love Lauryn, it’s a great comparison and very flattering and I hope I can live up to those comparisons and be as great as she is. Because I’m definitely inspired by her, Biggie and Jay Z.”
However, taking Tish on her own terms is easy. The heart wrenching “Subway Art” is as endearing a love letter to her native Big Apple as you’re going to get and makes her upcoming debut Dedicated To one of the most anticipated of 2015.
Watch our interview with Tish above.