Every since I was a child I have been attracted to the darkness. I don't know if it was something I was born with or something that was nurtured in me, but for as long as I can remember I was always drawn to it. It is what brought me into horror movies, heavy metal, thrash metal, black metal, and in a weird way hip hop. Sure the music was party music but in my suburban enclave in upstate New York the work of Biz Markie seemed just as subversive as the most satanic of metal I could find.
As I grew older I let myself free of my dark fascinations, my actions were no longer ruled by them and my personality actually grew to become a personality and not just an extension of whatever music I was listening too. However, I am still weirdly obsessed with people that are. It is one of the reasons I love black metal even though I rarely listen to it. It is probably what drew me into Odd Future and it is definitely what caught my eye about Tennessee's own Dark Sister.
Dark Sister is a hip hop group hailing out of Tennessee that is dedicated to the darker side of life, hints of witchcraft and Satanism are dripped throughout their songs which are more Lil B in form than Tha Gravediggaz, and this is probably for the best. I recently sat down with Tiffany and Jessi to find out what made them tick and if they would oversee my Wiccan Super Bowl Party.
SYFFAL: As a proud evangelical Christian I have taken a vow of illiteracy, and thus I refuse to do any research on you. So do all of us god fearing types a favor and tell us who you are, what you do in the group and your favorite flavor of sherbet.
Dark Sister: We are Dark Sister, Tiffany and Jessi. We both rap (duh) and write all of our verses and hooks, as well as lurk online, book ourselves, shamelessly self-promote, tweet, etc. Tiffany has done all of our artwork and flyers so far (Jessi is artistic too, she just has a job). We also have two main producers that we work with, Party Trash and Charles Darwin (not kidding... That's his legal name, given to him by his mama). Charles also DJs for us when we play live.
Tiffany: Pineapple? It's also really good to put lime sherbet in a bowl of sprite and pineapple juice. It gets all murky and foggy and looks like haunted swamp water.
Jessi: I would eat sherbet I guess. Once I had some that was lime, orange, and something pink. I would eat that. I would eat it off of Charles Darwin. That's my man.
SYFFAL: I have seen a few of your videos; they mostly appear to be you guys appearing out of the ether and rapping into the camera and then disappearing again. When you do finally make a full length video what song will it be for, what will the video be like and how much will you spend on effects, catering and costumes?
Jessi: We have a few concepts, but we don't want to tell you until you see it. We will spend 0$ on effects, costumes will be comprised of our own clothing, I will be doing the makeup because I am a makeup artist, the casts will consist of our beautiful friends. We like to keep it "in the family" if you will and we are 100% D.I.Y.A.W.Y.F. (do it yourself and with your friends).
Tiffany: Also, if we DID have any money to spend, it would all go to catering. Organic, fucking expensive, delicious catering. Vegan fare for Jessi, raw salmon for me. And I will ruin it and let you know that our first video will probably be for Red Velvet. Just let the possibilities stew in your imagination.
SYFFAL: How did you get started and how did you decide to marry the idea of witchcraft/dark arts into your raps? Are you gunning for a spot on the 13th annual gathering of the juggaloos?
Tiffany: Unfortunately, carnival foods don't agree with me... I used to make up rap songs and stuff when I was a kid, just goofing around. I got started rapping because I am still goofy and used to get drunk and make rap songs on holidays with my friends. I am from Memphis, so it is kind of embedded in my brain. I have been surrounded by rap forever. One night, Jessi and I went to the club in Nashville, started free styling at some silly hoes, and realized that we both had flow. Then it all just happened... It was so natural. As for the "dark shit" - I don't know. I love old creepy Memphis rap. I have also always been into the occult and things like that... That's just who I am, so it's natural that it would carry over into what I create.
Jessi: I watched the video for Miracles like a thousand times. Really inspiring shit. We would party with some juggalos. Both Tiffany and I were raised in the south and this also influences us. I've been surrounded by music my whole life and have always wanted to make it myself, and I'm stoked to be making rap. I've wanted to rap since like 6th grade, and now all the necessary conditions to make it happen are before me, and I'd be damned if I didn't take it my grasp and just Fuckin' make it happen. As far as the darkness, witchery, and tom foolery… I'm probably Harry Potter #1 fan (see you on pottermore) and I've been Goth since 1997 dog.
SYFFAL: I come from the world of rap. In fact I was a rapper before I got old and started this site. This being the case part of my old guy who raps union dues include saying things like "girls cant rap" what about your skills, songs and shows prove this antiquated idea wrong?
Tiffany: I think our shows are what really convince people. They come out not knowing what to expect... If it is a joke or if they should be scared. We go hard. We work really hard for every single show. We pour out our life essences, I lose my voice. We are all over the place and then we go eat Waffle House. Shows are probably my favorite thing... But really I think the biggest testament to you old men is that we are doing it in the first place. It's hard. It's hard to put yourself out there. It's hard to ignore haters. We have only just begun to release music and promote ourselves. We are at a vulnerable stage. The rap game is hard but it is changing, even though it seems many people are resistant to change. Rap is a medium, not a set of standards and rules. I think in the next few months, y'all are gonna see that we do have skill, we are serious. We have amazing producers and have collabed with some male rappers who are on their way up and they are nothing but supportive. To be on songs and mix-tapes with rappers you bump in your car... It's an amazing feeling. We just did a collaboration with Noah23 for his occult trill mix-tape. Noah has been in the game for a long time and it is crazy and awesome to be on a track with him! We have people coming to us asking to collaboration and people bringing beats to us. We don't buy our beats. Surely that means we are doing something interesting... If not "right."
Jessi: We are making music and having a fucking good time doing it. I'm not really interested in knowing whether people think I "can rap" or not. I am saying words that rhyme to a beat. You can call it something else if it suits you. We are putting ourselves in a vulnerable position by "displaying our art" if you will. Nay saying doesn't bother me too much. To me it's worth making music just to see my girls in the front at our shows screaming every word to our songs. It's worth it to see someone new just shaking their head because their mind is being blown. We are simply getting these songs out of us, and not keeping it to ourselves. We're rapping. And we're not the only girls doing it. Diamond and Princess of Crime Mob, Gangsta Boo, Dominique Young Unique, fucking MISSY ELLIOT, please.
SYFFAL: I was looking at your list of influences on your facebook page. Almost all of them make sense - PARTY TRASH, SORTHAHUMAN, TRiPLE SiX, CRiME MOB, BONE THUGS, WHiTE ZOMBiE, MARiLYN MANSON, WHiTE RiNG, SALEM, SMASHiNG PUMPKiNS, XASTHUR, and BURZUM and then out of nowhere you drop AALIYAH (R.I.P. BBYGRL). Seriously? How the Fuck does that fit into the mix?
Jessi: AALIYAH IS MY FAVORITE SINGER. HER SONGS ARE INSPIRING AND SHE IS A DARK PRINCESS. Have you seen Queen of the Damned? I am really into R&B and I just like to imagine the way pop and R&B music would be today if she were still with us. We sing in some of our more soulful songs and the greatest compliment we've gotten was at practice one day our friend Miss Dawns said "My babes are channeling Aaliyah right now, it's awesome!" I could have died. ;)
Tiffany: I see the how you might think that wouldn't belong... But honestly, that list is only that short because I got tired of typing. It really doesn't even scratch the surface. We both listen to everything. We are inspired and surrounded by all varieties of music. Lately, I have been listening to a 90s techno compilation called MINDBENDING CLIMAX - let me just throw that out there. I draw influence from everything I hear and read and see and experience. Also, R.I.P. shout out to my girl she was 1 in a million! I can't believe she has been gone 10 years.
SYFFAL: So Tennessee huh? Which is worse, telling people you are from Tennessee or actually being from Tennessee?
Jessi: We're just a couple of G.R.I.T.S., Southern by the Grace of God, Tennessee is beautiful and I love it there. Although it is located in the Bible belt it is home to some amazing people, and great things have come from our state. Nashville is Music City USA just to educate ya. Memphis is home of the blues and birthplace of rock and roll. Murfreesboro (where we live) is home to Trash Mountain and some of the most creative and supportive people in the world who love music and making it. Holla.
Tiffany: I love telling people I am from Tennessee and watching the looks on their faces. People have a weird idea of the south. Yes, we have bathrooms indoors! We have the internet... I am proud to rep the south. Southern hip-hop is the shit. Hands down. Also, Southern people are the prettiest ;) Living in the South, and Murfreesboro in particular, has really helped shape me. Murfreesboro is like this secret oasis of d.i.y. music. Everyone there is playing, there are always house shows - bands and artists support and hype one another. A lot of really amazing touring bands have come through Murfreesboro, too. It's awesome to have someone playing in your friend's living room and then see them on blogs or playing festivals with Bjork. It's crazy.
SYFFAL: There appears to be an influx of white girl rappers. As a former white guy rapper I hate questions about race, so instead I am going to ask you a completely not race related question. What the Fuck is up with all these lady rappers who are also white?
Jessi: Wait what? Is that happening?
Tiffany: I think they have always been around; it is just that nobody has noticed. People are starting to open their eyes and suddenly discovering what has been around them always. I don't think it's new or shocking at all.
SYFFAL: I have a friend named Joel. Joel is from Chicago and likes to say thinks like pop when he is talking about soda and hold his "A" sounds for a long time in a way that makes me uncomfortable. What do you guys do in the van when driving to shows to make each other uncomfortable? (I have cup of dirt in the office pool*)
*cup of dirt is when you catch a fart in your hand and throw it in the other persons face
Jessi: I think the only thing I do that makes Tiffany uncomfortable is talk about Harry Potter with a passion that is probably inappropriate. Other than that, we are kinda two peas in a pod, or 2 girls 1 cup, and I think that together we make other people uncomfortable rather than each other. That's due to the gleam in our eyes and the ferocity with which we speak. I fart a lot but not on purpose. It's not good to hold it in. And that cup of dirt prank is wrong.
Tiffany: Yeah, we are like a cat with two heads.
SYFFAL: A few years back I went to a Wiccan wedding. There really wasn't much different from a regular wedding with the exception of the rite of prima nocte being performed by the lord and his court. How are Wiccan ceremonies for the following different than the regular American versions?
Tiffany: Well we aren't Wiccans, but we will tell you how we celebrate.
Jessi: If you haven't noticed I'm not Wiccan. I think it's pretty obvious that I worship the one true savior Harry James Potter. jk?
SYFFAL: The Super bowl
Jessi: vegan "hot wings", guacamole, and not watching it
Tiffany: Shoplifting while everyone is at home watching it, going to Super Bowl parties and looking through people's medicine cabinets and eating all of the guacamole or puppy bowl... That shit is cute
SYFFAL: The finally of American Idol
Jessi: watching adventure time
Tiffany: I don't have a TV. This is one reason why.
SYFFAL: Labor Day BBQs
Jessi: complaining about no vegan options then eating potato salad anyways, pouting.
Tiffany: Not having a job and then showing up and eating all your food for free!
Jessi: OH WAIT DOG ACTUALLY LABOR DAY IS USUALLY RIGHT AROUND MY BIRTHDAY SO WHAT I'M REALLY DOIN IS GETTIN BUCK AND RECEIVING GIFTS! YAY! remember dat.
SYFFAL: The show The Big Bang Theory
Jessi: watching Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job season 2 on DVD
Tiffany: I don't even know what that is but it probably isn't as cool as it sounds.
SYFFAL: R. Kelly's trapped in the closet
Jessi: thanks for reminding me I need to buy the DVDs
Tiffany: Once I listened to the whole thing while on a road trip with my entire family, that's a true story.
SYFFAL: The finale of Lost
Jessi: watching every season of Arrested Development on DVD and wishing I was Jessica Walters
Tiffany: Back when I had roommates, they would always invite over a million people to watch that shit. I think on the finale night they made fajitas. I came home drunk and ate them. I celebrated inside because they were all sitting on the couch and I had sat there naked before. Good times.
Jessi: love it! giving and receiving gifts. getting cozy in my ugly new PJs. decorating the tree with my "blended family" complaining that I can't eat anything in the feast. I'm serious though I love Christmas.
Tiffany: You might catch me creepin' down a chimney.
SYFFAL: Is that code Tiffany? I find your sound to be kind of refreshing in the I need a shower after I listen to it sort of way. What are the best body washes and facial exfoliaters to use after listening to Dark Sister?
Tiffany: I prefer Alba botanicals pineapple enzyme scrub. Also, gravel and pavement really do a great job of buffing off dead skin cells. Anything organic and cruelty free :)
Jessi: I'm about that Saint Ives. You could probably use my mucus for body wash because I produce an extreme quantity of it.
SYFFAL: So I saw footage of one of your shows and you guys were all in those White Swan leotards that Natalie Portman wore in the movie Black Swan and rolling around on plastic covered in what I can only assume to be Corn Syrup. After recently playing a zombie in a friends show I was shocked to find out how sticky Corn Syrup is. What would you suggest as a viable non-sticky alternative for fake blood?
Tiffany: Real blood.
Jessi: Of Virgins.
SYFFAL: Follow up question, what is the stickiest you have ever been?
Tiffany: Probably that moment.
Jessi: Probably 10 minutes later when it congealed and we had to get in the secret shower at Trash Mountain. Our leotards were still hanging in there a month later...
Tiffany: Or when I used to eat honey sandwiches when I was a little kid.
SYFFAL: My friends and I started SYFFAL because were sharing music with each other and though of ourselves as the clever types. In this spirit tell us about three artists, other than yourself, that we should be checking for. Please be clever.
Jessi: Blastoids, Religious Girls, Hanzelle, Sortahuman, Party Trash, Police Academy 6, Meth Dad. That's all my homies!
Tiffany: What she said, and I have been listening to the new Raw Moans songs almost constantly. I saw Gatekeeper recently and the shit blew my mind. When it was over my friend looked at me and said "I think I just got abducted." Noah23's new mix-tape is great too. He is a great guy. Also watch out for Lost Planet!
Jessi: Also, have you heard of Kreayshawn????? ;;;)))
Tiffany: And the opera part in the Fifth Element. That shit is crazy amazing.
Dark Sister: Oh and the new Korn + Skrillex collaboration, no doubt.
SYFFAL: I interviewed DEVO a few months ago and they told me that they were once called The Thinking Man's Kiss. Using the "The ______ man's ______" please create a similar comparison for Dark Sister.
The Southern Man's Pride
The Dark Man's Coming
The Blue Man's Group
The Hungry Man's Fishing Lesson
The Sleepy Man's Awakening
The Prudent Man's Wisdom
The Magic Man's Potion
The Sensible Man's Shoes
The Homeless Man's Jar of what Looks Like Pickle Juice
The Nasty Man's Back Pimple that he Can't Reach
The Lonely Man's RealDoll™
The Sad Man's Tears
The Dead Man's Treasure
Tiffany: Actually, hold up. Why is it about the men? We are for the girls. W4W, but not like on Craigslist. The strange girl's anthem. The weird girl's spice girls minus three people with a dash of Salt & Pepa (you see what I did there)?
SYFFAL: Please promote anything you would like here
Jessi: Dental health. FLOSS, BRUSH, WASH
Tiffany: Lost Planet! That shit is dropping soon! We are both really really excited about it. Also, we have a mixtape and an EP we recorded forever ago called SWAG HAG that might just come out, too.
Dark Sister: Also, remember to spay and neuter your pets and eat your greens. Fuck high fructose corn syrup. For your health.