Monday, January 26, 2009

Rap emcee Shayna will perform solo Tuesday


Music video


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Here's a true-life rap music story, about a young woman who went from swilling Miller High Life on the front porch to holding her own among Roanoke's best-known hip-hop crew.

Shanna Campbell, aka Shayna, aka Betty White, is the young woman in question. But in those front porch days in Southeast Roanoke, she wasn't alone. Back then, it was Campbell and three male friends, who collectively called themselves the M.O.E.T. Street Team.

In this case, M.O.E.T. is not champagne but an acronym with a lot of applications -- "money over every thing" and "music over every thing," among others. But one by one, Campbell's friends fell off the radar and into different kinds of trouble, she said.

Campbell had her share of trouble growing up, too, but had decided by 2006 that she was going to take her rapping skills off the porch and onto stages. She entered emcee battles and won one. Truenoke Music impresario Byron "Poe" Mack took notice, and made her part of his collective.

She's been in the Truenoke mix ever since, but on Tuesday at Jackson Park Branch Library in Southeast Roanoke, she performs her first show as a solo act. Dj DickiE will be on the turntables, and other guests include Mack.

Go to this story at roanoke.com/entertainment to hear a podcast with Campbell, who discusses growing up in Southeast Roanoke, the difficulties of being a woman in a male-dominated game and the heartbreak of seeing her M.O.E.T friends fall by the wayside. At our cut'n'scratch music blog (blogs.roanoke.com/cutnscratch), see a video of Shayna performing live with Poe Mack.

Who: Shayna, aka Betty White

What: Emerging Artists Series performance

Where: Jackson Park Branch Library, 1101 Morningside St. S.E., Roanoke

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

How much: Free

Web: myspace.com/roanokepubliclibrary