The NYDailyNews writes:
She walks through Baisley Pond Park with a certain swagger, her six-inch stiletto heels maneuvering the mid-winter mud.
It’s the stride of someone who knows what it’s like to lose their footing, but regain their step.
“I’ve got a lot of memories in this park,” she says. The earliest are serene strolls with her grandfather, watching the boats in the water. Her teenage memories elicit mischievous chuckles.
Emerging Queens rapper Precious Paris — yes, that’s her real name — didn’t always get to see the world through Christian Dior sunglasses. Her brown eyes have shed their share of tears growing up in this rough-and-tumble stretch of Queens.
Her older sister was shot dead. An older brother fell victim to the pull of drug addiction. Her mother, who Paris says “did the best she could,” was an alcoholic and the two were evicted from her house when she 15.
“I had my back against the wall,” she recalled. “I got my first apartment at 16 and I’ve been on my own ever since.”
One of the lone sources of stability in her fractured family was her grandfather, a tough ex-cop.
“He had so much patience. He saw the potential in me and he didn’t want me to slip like everyone else did,” said Paris, who played coy about how old she is.
Lyrics were the elixir when it felt like the walls were closing in. When she couldn’t bring herself to utter how deeply the circumstances were cutting into her, she scribbled verses onto paper.
“It was either be the best that I can be or go down like everyone else,” she said.
She began ghost writing for other artists, penning choruses and hooks for other emcees. Her name never appeared in any CD booklets, but she said she knew it’d “come back around.”
After forging a professional relationship with fellow Jamaica native Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, her big break finally came.
Paris was signed to his record label and her first mixtape will be released on Feb. 29. Her first video with 50 Cent got over 2 million views on YouTube.
“I have a long way to go,” she admitted. “I want to be everywhere.”
“I still want to be me — but I want to have a hard time being me,” she joked.
Her mentor 50 Cent heaped praise on his newest protege.
“Paris is amazing! She reflects how a strong passion for art can surpass adversity,” he said.
Her songs run the gamut of the genre. She pens explicit club anthems along with gritty, emotional tunes.
“This is my lifestyle. I wear many hats,” she said.
She said whenever she listens to the track “No More,” which chronicles her painful childhood, she is overcome with emotions.
“I’m a hardcore rapper — but I cry. I shed tears. A lot,” she said.
Aside from being added to the list of legendary Queens rappers, Paris said her “ultimate goal” is to become an advocate for wayward youths, much like she used to be.
“I want to be an activist, preferably for people less fortunate with no guidance,” she said. “I’m here living my life to hopefully help other people and inspire other people.”
While fame may eventually whisk her away from the familiar confines of Baisley Pond Park, she said she wants to stay embedded in South Jamaica as long as she can.
“I don’t want to be removed from this situation that I talk about the most,” she said. “It keeps me grounded.”