Michie Mee poses in this undated handout photo. Michie Mee is set to release a memoir about her rise as the “godmother of Canadian rap.” Random House Canada has secured the rights to the artist’s story of breaking through in a male-dominated genre to bring global attention to Canada’s hip-hop scene. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Steve Carty

Michie Mee poses in this undated handout photo. Michie Mee is set to release a memoir about her rise as the “godmother of Canadian rap.” Random House Canada has secured the rights to the artist’s story of breaking through in a male-dominated genre to bring global attention to Canada’s hip-hop scene. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Steve Carty

Michie Mee, ‘godmother of Canadian rap,’ to release memoir in 2023

Will trace McCullock’s life and lyrics over her four-decade career

TORONTO — Michie Mee is set to release a memoir about her rise as the “godmother of Canadian rap.”

Random House Canada has secured the rights to the artist’s story of breaking through in a male-dominated genre to bring global attention to Canada’s hip-hop scene.

The rapper, whose real name is Michelle McCullock, paved the way for future hitmakers as the first Canadian hip-hop star to be signed to a U.S. label.

The publisher says the untitled memoir, which is expected to hit shelves in fall of 2023, will trace McCullock’s life and lyrics over her four-decade career.

Born in Jamaica, McCullock grew up in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood, and showed an early command of rhyme when she started competing in rap battles at age 14.

McCullock says she fought to overcome the racism and sexism that pervaded the music industry in the late 1980s and 1990s.

“No one wants to hear what a rapper girl has to say,” McCullock said in a statement Thursday. “They want to know ‘OK, who is the Black guy in charge of her and who is the white guy in charge of him?”

Now considered a mentor to a new generation of Black Canadian artists, McCullock said she’s ready to revisit the songs that cemented her status in Canada’s musical cannon.

“I wanted to live more musically through the eyes of an artist, before having to relive and write about my journey without the music,” she said. “Now I have to memorize the music and remember why I wrote the lyrics, so here we go again.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2021.

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