Quake, Rattle and Roll

Chewin' the fat with the Overweight Pooch, Phoenix's righteously rotund rapperENIX'S RIGHTEOUSLY ROTUND RAPPER

Davis delivers her rhymes in the hard-core style of women rappers like MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, and she's looking at branching out into KRS-One-style Jamaican toasting and house music. But she knows that rap-label A&R reps aren't exactly scouring P.A. (as the locals call Phoenix, Arizona) for the next creative force. After all, the only visible hip-hop culture in Phoenix seems to be the "YO" signs on the backs of Toyota trucks and the occasional shows at the Celebrity Theatre. Black radio is limited to four hours a week on Spanish station KVVA-FM.

"It's not the hip-hop capital, it's not the hip-hop town, it's not the hip-hop city limits," Davis says. "It's like there's nothing in Phoenix. There's a lot of people who have talent, but you don't have enough people out here to help you. There's not enough people to give you a push. There's no kind of real studios or record labels that have good distribution."

Still, she says, she wants to stay here. "I'm gonna try. At least I could be the first or second [rapper] to break out of Phoenix."

Davis is trying to juggle her aspirations with her responsibilities. Those include taking care of Nathan, enrolling in computerized accounting classes ("I have to learn how to keep up with my money in case I do get out of Phoenix"), and continuing to forge ahead as the Overweight Pooch. "Of course, it's gonna be hard," Davis says. "But I'm not gonna let it get me down, 'cause I know what I have to do. I want to go to school, and I want to rap."

Next month, Davis expects to finally go into the studio, and she's giving herself one more year--or she moves back to New York. "I've been doing this for two years," she says. "I said I would stick with it for three, and if nothing happens, I'm going back."

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