When I was six years old, I lived in the Boogie Down Bronx with my dad and my older sister. My mother was an addict and HIV positive, living on the streets of Brooklyn and hadn’t been in my life since I was three. My pops had to give up his career as a rapper to raise me and my sister- and it wasn’t easy. Ups and downs. Broke. I remember the first time I saw the movie Selena, I was living in a shelter, and was inspired by her story and most of all of Jennifer Lopez, a strong Latina who played her. It was then that I discovered that I wanted to inspire others by entertaining them.
From that day on, I knew what to do to get myself prepared to become a rapper. I wanted to be positive, rap about my inner thoughts, but still have an aggressive style. Practice was the key. I practice on my performance, my writing, and my skills. Just enough to prove to my dad that this is something I wanted to take seriously. When my dad finally realized that he daughter had some serious skills, he took things to a new level. I started rapping on the streets of Harlem and at open mic’s in nightclubs. I even battled a white boy on MTV Made to get a rep. I was 9 years old and people knew me as “P-Star.”
My dad taught his little girl about his Hip Hop. The beginning. In the 1970’s Hip Hop was born with yours truly, Kool Herc! This cultural movement incorporated four elements: DJing, MCing, Breaking, and Graffitti. Groups like: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and The Sugar Hill Gang. Pioneers like, Afrika Bambaata, Grand Wizard Theodore, and my personal favorite, The Funky Four plus One More! Most importantly, the mother of rap and the first lady to MC, Miss Sha-Roc!
Six years later, I am still rapping. I’ve been signed, traveled, recorded, lost a record deal, got a TV show, learned who to trust and who not to trust, and learned a lot about family. To me, it is more than a game. Hip Hop is all about expressing yourself through music, dance, your heart and soul… and fun- you can’t forget to have fun!
Priscilla “P-Star” Diaz
PS. Don’t forget to check out the documentary, P-Star Rising, about my life premiering on PBS Independent Lens this week!
The Documentary P-Star Rising will premiere on PBS Independent Lens this week! Check your local listings for the time and date the film plays in your city. Also, to order the DVD,visit www.pstarrising.com — or visit our facebook page and become a fan!
Los Angeles: Feb 6th, 10pm, KCET
New York: Feb 9th, 10pm, WNET
Chicago: Feb, 9th, 10pm, WTTW
Miami: Feb 9th, 11pm, WPBT
SF/Bay Area: Feb 11th, 10:30pm, KTEH