Artist spotlight: God-Des & She

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By Ellen Angelico

If you’re looking for a run-of-the-mill, average hip-hop group that conforms to popular stereotypes, you should definitely not see God-Des & She at the Nashville Pride Festival.

For starters, they’re not from a part of the country known for its hip-hop output: they both hail from the Midwest.

"There have not been a ton of really famous rappers coming out of the Mid-west, not because they are not there, but because they move to the bigger cities and coasts," says God-Des. "But the Midwest has been a mecca for great music. Both my parents use to work at Motown in Detroit and played in the orchestra pit with many greats like The Jackson 5 and Carole King."

Being from the Midwest, however, doesn’t make God-Des & She any less hip-hop.

"Hip-hop spoke to me at a very young age," God-Des says. "I could appreciate honesty and struggle. I have always been discriminated against and although I could not relate to living in Compton or Flatbush, I really related to the pain, ostracization, and feeling of being invisible."

With their high-energy show, a Number One single on MTV Logo, and a new music video called "Love Machine" (Check it out at www.god-desandshe.com.), God-Des & She prove they are just as much hip-hop as anyone else, and audiences agree.   

God-Des & She have played to packed houses everywhere from Wisconsin to Sweden. Since appearing on Showtime’s The L Word three years ago with their single, "Lick It," they have toured relentlessly and sold over 30,000 albums.

"We had already started to get well known in the underground scene from MTV Logo and touring a lot, but the moment that episode aired our lives changed forever. Ever since our appearance on The L Word we have been able to be full time touring musicians," says God-Des.

Pretty remarkable, especially given they are a queer-identified, female hip-hop duo from the Midwest.

"As gay folks, we are made to feel shame, insecure, and doubt who we are as people. It takes a lot of strength to have Pride and feel proud of who you are. Gay Pride is a great way for the community to get together for a day and not have to fear anything. Unless we are in our houses, the world judges us. So having Pride gives us a day where we have a bunch of other gays that we can feel comfortable around and have an un-said understanding. Gay Prides rule!"

All signs point to God-Des & She continuing on their quick rise to the top. They just finished working on an album with Brian Hardgroove, a hip-hop heavyweight known for his work with Public Enemy, Wu-Tang, Burning Spear and Aerosmith.

"Working with Brian was incredible," says God-Des. "To have another ear that is so well-versed that truly understood our sound and vision was awesome. And we got to mix our record at Chuck D’s house. Meeting Chuck and DMC was like a dream come true." 

What’s next for God-Des & She? "Winning a Grammy!!!!" exclaims God-Des.