Watch: How Women Shaped Bay Area Hip-Hop With D-Ray, Dime and CMG

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D-Ray, you’ve been a bit more behind the scenes. In fact, you told me you don’t really do interviews, so it’s a rare treat to have you on this stage. You came up with Thizz Nation when the hyphy movement was taking off, and you were the woman in that boys’ club. What was that experience like?

D-Ray: Coming up with Thizz Nation was very challenging in the beginning. It was multiple personalities. But lucky them, I grew up with all boys, was able to take that and just be their sister, and so it was really a family. So the highlights, I mean, to be honest with you, is just being able to watch the boys grow, just seeing every state, every city just love them, like show them real energy of, “I love what you guys are doing. I love this movement.” You know, go to other states and they’re doing sideshows. It’s what, 24 years later and people are still excited to go do hyphy shit, you know what I mean? Hyphy was an energy, and the boys had it.

And when Dre had this dream to do that with the boys, and we followed through with the dream of Dre after he passed away, it was a beautiful thing because it was the whole Bay. It was everybody. I was the only female in the actual machine running it. So did I feel awkward? No. Nobody messed with me. My brothers never let nothing bad happen to me. I’ll say this, I won’t say who, but I’ve socked two dudes in the chest for being disrespectful.

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