Boston’s Hottest Female Lyricist : Haitian-Dominican Dutch ReBelle
There is not one person in Boston, in tune with hip-hop, who doesn’t know the name Dutch ReBelle. With this high level of local notoriety, one does not have to question why the name, Dutch ReBelle, is now on the tips of tongues nationwide.
Haitian born, Vanda Bernadeau was raised in Boston, Massachusetts; moving around often, from Mattapan to Hyde Park to Randolph. She exudes an aura of strength and smarts, with a touch of class. Dutch ReBelle began, as many emcee’s do, writing poetry, before the age of 10. This innate talent was nothing special to ReBelle; it was who she was, and how she expressed herself. Her love of music is natural as well. ReBelle’s parents were music connoisseurs’. Each Friday, they would host a domino’s night; blaring music throughout the night, throughout the house, and into ReBelle’s young ears, for over 12 years. As hip-hop music from the south began to spread its infectious beats up North, ReBelle caught the beat and the bug; she began weaving her poetry into rhymes. At this point the Beauty morphed into the Beast. ReBelle participated in rap cyphers and rap battles throughout high school. Her 100% male competition was never an issue. She was always the victor; bypassing the battle, and keeping her eye on winning the war. Rebelle continued to master her craft through college; graduating from Penn State where she studied Communications, Journalism and Theater. With a plethora of skills under her belt, Dutch ReBelle became the master of the stage and spittn’ 16 bars. Her talent and perseverance quickly separated her from the rest.
As Dutch ReBelle hit the Boston hip hop scene she was quickly noticed by all. After an on air interview at Touch 106 ReBelle sparked the interest of The Famous Nobodies (FN), a collective organization in Boston, busy marketing their brand all over the entertainment industry. She came face to face with FN at a show in Revere, Ma; where they decided to get together to collaborate. After one studio session, ReBelle’s chemistry was undeniable. She was asked to be the sole female emcee of the FN’s rap group; joining C.Brook and DJ Real P. Dutch ReBelle is also one of the co-founders of the Black Roses, an organization of females in Boston creating their own unique brand. With her name and crew intact there was only one way to go, UP.
By 2010, ReBelle was opening shows for big name artists, such as, The Wu Tang Clan, Busta Rhymes, Melanie Fiona, and Cam’ron. In 2011, ReBelle released her debut mixtape, “Beauty vs. The Beast”. Within the same year, ReBelle was part of the Boston Phoenix’s “Freshmen Hip Hop Class”. She won at the New England Urban Music Awards in the category of Best Female Hip Hop; along with FN, winning for Best Group. She was invited to perform at nationwide concerts like, the 2nd Annual Female Hip Hop Honors in Los Angeles. In 2012, ReBelle released her debut EP “Married to the Music”. The EP was very well received. The Boston Globe called her “The ReBelle with A Cause” in an October edition of the highly respected newspaper. Nationwide performance requests began to flow in, such as the SWSX (South by Southwest) annual concert in Austin, Texas.
On the precipice of 2013, ReBelle has signed her first record deal with Amalgam Digital. She is the first female to sign with the label, and is in the process of completing her debut album, Vodou. Each year brings promise and new accomplishments for ReBelle; this is only the beginning for the focused emcee. She’s at work on her second full-length album, Vodou, due out in spring 2013, and just recently released the official video for her latest single, “Sunday Morning.” The release is getting strong reviews within Boston’s tight hip-hop community, building on the positive reception to her mix-tape and first album, “Married to the Music,” released last year. ReBelle is also getting attention and critical acclaim for her contributions to the Boston trio Famous Nobodies, whose latest video for the single “What You Want” was just released this week. – Her Website
You can read her most recent interview from this week here. Watch her most recent video below:
Short Personal Q&A With Dutch via TheFabEmpire:
BostonFab: So tell me a little bit about this Dutch vs. Vanda situation:
Dutch Rebelle: Well, I’m a Gemini so it’s the easy way to have a reference for you, but for real Vonda and Dutch [is] the same thing. I guess Dutch is a little more aggressive I guess, more musical, so I guess you have to be a little more business minded – like she’s a little bit more about details and trying to figure stuff out, but Vonda is a mix of all of that. Dutch came from me it’s my creative side, my passion side…what I’m trying to get people to understand – especially black girls, black roses – is that you can do whatever you want. You can be whatever you want…be whoever you want to be.
BF: But why Dutch? Why the name Dutch?
DR: Dutch comes from my government name Vanda Dutch…so people in high school used to call me Von Dutch like the lil’ hats. And then when I got to college it got [shortened] to Dutch. And Rebelle to me is more of the artistic side R-e-b-e-l-l-e is the French spelling, you know I’m Haitian and it’s reference to a Lauryn Hill song as well…”I find it hard to say” on the unplugged album.
BF: So your background is Haitian…were you born and raised in Boston or were you in Haiti at any point?
DR: I was born in Haiti moved from Haiti to Mattapan Square then to Milton…yeah I’m Haitian, there’s a Dominican side…my grandfather’s Dominican, but I was born in Haiti so my Haitian side is definitely a lot more obvious in my family…but it’s a different perspective, it’s dope especially if you know Mattapan, that’s heavy, heavy Haitian – it was cool like you have a cousin every 5 miles or something like that.
BF: As an artist coming out of Boston, Mattapan, you have a lot of grittiness for a “girl” where did that grittiness come from?
DR: Well…my mom, she’s like a little goonet in herself, so Haiti, Haitians, street, Mattapan, like any real street, I mean I grew up technically in a suburb, but I lived so close to Mattapan Square like literally a 2 minute walk…it’s like you get to see different perspectives. It’s not common and not acceptable, but I feel like there are a lot of girls out there like that and it’s because of what they’re used to. Like my uncle’s one of 7 or 8 boys my older brothers, they get into stuff…so just my logic and just the way I was raised flocks more to dudes so I just see things a little differently, I got to get the perspective of males through them dealing with females so it’s like the grittiness is just not hiding it. I think every girl can really get serious. Every girl has it in her, there’s no doubt about it. There’s a lot of sisters a lot of girlfriends – it’s a lot of, it’s a lot of baby mothers, it’s a lot of mother’s even, and we have a voice in the street life…everybody’s somebody’s shortie, everybody’s somebody’s lil’ sister…