Lynese “Babs” Wiley first caught your attention as a member of Da Band on MTV’s second iteration of Making the Band. It was 2002, Dylan was spitting hot fire, and Babs was just trying to get her hair done.
The Brooklyn rapper and her band mates went on to get a Bad Boy Record deal, though Da Band ultimately dissolved in 2004. Babs continued to pursue music and eventually combined her desire to showcase female artists with her love of hip-hop.
About five years ago, Babs started Queen of the Ring, both a movement and an entertainment company focusing on female artists that has become the largest female battle rap company — ever. A spinoff of King of the Ring, Queen of the Ring has a substantial following. Some of the videos on its YouTube page have amassed nearly a million views, and the company is so popular among its following, it charges up to $145 for tickets to its showcases.
Queen of the Ring is tapping into an area of music that’s often misunderstood. Female battle rap comes off as overly aggressive to many, and the masses would rather hear female rappers talk about their physical assets than discuss real issues. QOTR knows this, and aims to flip the conversation from women’s appearances to their talent. It’s making major waves in female battle rap.
Hear Babs speak on Queen of the Ring in the clip above. For more information on the company, visit its website here.