Females MCs are not supposed to be student council president.
They aren't supposed to have seven varsity letters in volleyball, softball, flag
football, and soccer. No rapper, male or female, is supposed to go to college to
get a degree in order to become a police officer. They aren't supposed to be
Born Meagan Belcher, the 25-year-old West Palm Beach rapper got the name Makiin during her senior year of high school from an ex-boyfriend.
Originally spelled with one i, Belcher says she added the extra i because
she did not want her ex to be affiliated with the name. And at the time, it was
nothing more than a nickname.
While living in Honduras working as a bartender at age 19, Belcher says her best clientele were the guys in local hip-hop/reggeaton group King Squad, who listened to Belcher sing as she closed the bar.
After continuous requests by group members, Belcher gave in and went to their studio believing she was not going to sing. But King Squad member, and eventual best friend, Krazzy had already prepared something for her.
"Of course when I got there, he was like, 'Get in the booth. I wrote something for you,'" said Belcher. "I cried the first time I did it, because I was so nervous. I couldn't get it right. I got frustrated with myself. After I did the third song and I performed a couple times with them, he was like, 'You're going to be a star.'"
As luck would have it, in January of last year, during a casting for Fuse TV's Hip-Hop Shop commercial, the director stumbled across Belcher's YouTube channel. Interested in her, the director asked Belcher to submit an audition video and replied back the next day letting her know she was selected.
After the commercial aired, friends across the nation called to share their excitement about watching her on TV. The exposure also made a new fan out of someone unexpected.
"I was actually in the club, I had a show, and Jojo Simmons, Rev. Run's son, came up to me and was like, 'Oh my God, are you the girl from the Fuse commercial?'" said Belcher. "And I was like, 'Oh my God. Are you Rev. Run's son?'"
Last year, Makiin was awarded Best New Hip-Hop Artist at the Palm Beach Hip-Hop Awards, a victory accompanied by some controversy.
"People who have been in the game for like five years thought they should be back on the polls even though they're not out doing as much work as the new people," said Belcher. "And if you're a new person, whether they didn't know of you or the hood didn't know of you, then you shouldn't be on the polls."
The win solidified her presence in the local hip-hop/rap scene after dropping her first mixtape, Makiin Mayhem. It also caught the attention of her fellow artists, including Jedstarz Productions and Muzik Jones Drew, well-known figures in the local music scene.
While putting together a cypher with West Palm Beach's up-and-coming talent, Jedstarz reached out to Belcher to ask if she would be interested in participating.
"They were like, 'Makiin, want to be the first girl of the cypher?' I was like, 'Hell yeah,'" says Belcher. "They sent me the beat, and I was like, 'OK, this isn't something I really would do,' but I was feeling the beat so much, I wrote it like a freestyle."
Belcher did not disappoint. Her fast-paced, consistent flow, complemented with her confident tone, let viewers know she was not playing around.
"I was being a little cocky in it, but I was showing this is who Makiin is," said Belcher. "Get with it. I'm not going anywhere. I wanted to be able to compete with the guys on the track."
It's no secret the allure of money, drugs, and having a Rolodex of women's numbers that could stand toe to toe with Hugh Hefner's is the image needed to portray dominance for men in the rap scene. For women, it's sell sex.
Though Belcher's singles, such as "I Do," are songs meant for a broad audience, there are others on her mixtapes that reveal her sex appeal.
"This is what it is, and I make sure my singles are censored because I want my family to promote it," said Belcher. "I want younger girls to be like, 'Oh my gosh, that new song that Makiin did?' and be proud of it and not have their parents say, 'No, you can't listen to it.'"
The same can be said about her everyday image and the way she carries herself while performing.
"I try to captivate people. Sex appeal, I think, is important for a woman," said Belcher. "But getting carried away, not being able to walk out of the house like a normal human being because people have only seen you in tiny little clothes and stuff like that, that's a little too much for me."
A strong believer of content and respect over how an artist's image is portrayed, Belcher prides herself on being able to receive recognition without having to do unnecessary favors another woman may feel the need to do to get ahead.
"If you got good music and you carry yourself with class and you're not screwing your way to the top, you're going to get respect regardless," said Belcher. "I will still post up some sexy pictures. I will still show guys like, 'Yeah, you know I still got it.' You're not going to get it, but it's there."
Last year, Belcher performed 20 shows, two of which were for "I Do It for the Love of Music" benefit concerts she put on in February and in August. The February show was to raise money for the I Care Foundation to go toward Poverty on Roatan, Honduras. The August show raised $1,000 for a boy with liver disease.
Belcher says she plans to double up on everything this year. She has already released her second mixtape, Makiin Noise, and plans to release another by the end of the year.
Her first single and video from Makiin Noise, titled "XOXO," shot by fellow West Palm Beach rapper Rook, has already earned more than 8,000 views.
Not bad for an up-and-coming female artist who doesn't need to reveal a lot of skin in the video or switch to one of her other 20 personalities.
Follow Lee Castro on Twitter at @LeeMCastro.
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