Amid the scores of albums by hip-hop starlets, TVT Records’ Jacki-O is a bonafide standout, an emerging star who disarms her fans with lyrical dexterity, girl-power anthems and unapologetic sexuality.
The twenty-something rapper and songwriter is a triple threat offering real and raw lyrics, a nimble delivery and a face and style that seduces. She has an inner might and charming personality that keeps her above the urban stereotypes. That powerful combination positions this temptress to challenge the female heavyweights in the industry.
Jacki-O, (real name: Angela Kohn) first made a splash on the charts with a single, “Nookie”, a contagious hit that unabashedly explores the power of sexuality.
“The song is about empowerment, it’s about taking control of yourself,” says Jacki-O. ”It’s about knowing yourself, loving yourself and taking ownership of yourself.”
The Miami native followed up with another single, the Timbaland-produced, “Slow Down”. Her album, Poe Little Rich Girl, is set to make a Fall debut on TVT Records. The impressive debut features an all-star cast of producers – a rare feat for new talent. Poe Little Rich Girl also features collaborations with the Ying Yang Twins and Trick Daddy.
Jacki-O is at the forefront of a new power generation of female rap artists who are pushing the limits of hip-hop’s sexual identity while at the same time responding to the poverty and violence of the ghetto.
Jacki-O’s incredible story begins on the streets of Liberty City, a tough ‘hood that has delivered some of the Dirty South’s rawest artists.
“First and foremost, my influence is growing up in the streets of Miami,” she says. ”I knew I had to find a way out of the life I was living, and I knew music would take me there.”
Almost from the beginning, Jacki-O dreamed of something bigger than Liberty City, bigger than Miami. Her first memory of performing was in elementary school, where she glowed in the bright lights. It felt like home.
“I have always loved music since I first performed in school plays. In junior high school, I started writing poetry, then I started adding beats,” says Jacki-O. “By high school, I was skipping classes and freestyling in the hallways.”
But stardom still eluded her, and Jacki-O put her musical dreams on the back burner. In a remarkable show of courage and tenacity, Jacki-O went back and earned her a G.E.D. She tried going to college. She hustled to make ends meet. It paid the bills but didn’t fulfill her.
“I still kept writing. I was writing down my experiences and the stuff I saw going on in life. I was doing other things, but I never stopped writing,” she says. “I knew I wanted to make this happen, I just had to make the sacrifices and stay focused.”
Even without a deal, the streets knew Jacki-O was laying it down. She recorded a track for Trick Daddy’s I’m A Thug album, but it got cut.
In 2000, Jacki-O yielded to her aspirations, promising to give music one more shot. She hooked up with Poe Boy Entertainment, a Miami independent label. Around the same time, she began crafting her image, borrowing from the sophistication and glamour exuded by former first lady Jacqueline Onassis.
“Jacqueline Onassis was married to the president but she was holding it down herself, doing her own thing,” she says. “She was this beautiful and strong and classy and her style was incomparable. I felt a connection to her.”
The X-rated “Nookie” (the raw version is called “Pussy”), one of the first singles she wrote, blazed through Miami’s underground scene before blowing up nationally.
It represents just one chapter in Poe Little Rich Girl, an album that explores the sum of life experiences. This is an album that is driven by the tales of good and bad times, drawing listeners in with universal truths whether its the irresistible, Beat-In-Azz-produced “Fine”, the new single that finds Jacki-O teamed up with the Ying Yang Twins. Or Jazze Pha-produced
in “Break You Off”, Jacki-O is poses the question of when she can give her new love a little lovin.’
Jacki-O — her music, her sound, her style is a hybrid. While she sensualizes her persona, Jacki-O offers up enough diversity to defy all the labels.
“I can’t be categorized. I don’t want to be categorized,” she says confidently. “I make great music. Period.”