The Muslim Journal Newswire
NEW YORK, N.Y. – In 2013, Muslim Journal published an article titled “Who Is Miss Undastood.” With her new album release, here is a follow up to what she’s been doing.
Tavasha Shannon, aka Miss Undastood, has been quite active on the social media sites of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in 2020. She is currently featured as a Muslimah Hip Hop artist in the “Queen Of The Ring” segment, of the Netflix film “The 40 Year Old Version.”
Miss Undastood recently has been featured in the Arabia Edition of Vogue Magazine, titled “A New Generation of Female Muslim Emcees Are Navigating Their Identity Through Their Music.” The article also features four other Muslimah rap artists from California, New Jersey, and Detroit.
Miss Undastood has rebranded and new opportunities have gained her significant recognition. Here she shares some of her thoughts and efforts as an artistic Muslimah.
MJ: First can you explain to us what “Battle Rap” Culture is?
Miss Undastood: Battle rap is the art of competing with words. It is a battle because rappers are usually trying to prove, to the crowd, who is the better.
Two rappers stand in the middle of people who surround them. The winner is the one who is most convincing to the audience. Battle rap culture has battle rap videos, battle rap leagues, and battle rap events.
MJ: How did you come to get involved as an artist in the “Queen Of The Ring” segment of the Movie, “The 40 Year Old Version?”
Miss Undastood: I have a good relationship with one of the co-owners “Babs Bunny” of Queen of the Ring. She reached out to me and said there was an opportunity to be a part of a big film. She said the director Radha Blank wanted me.
I did not know how big of a deal it was, but I knew it was something serious when the paperwork was sent to me. It’s my first time being involved in a movie where I have a speaking role. I am grateful for this opportunity.
The film is currently on Netflix. It has 98% rotten tomatoes rating, and critics are ranting and raving about it.
MJ: You have appeared in community related discussions on the Muslim fundraising site, LaunchGood. How did you get involved in that?
Miss Undastood: One part of developing my brand is to be involved in public speaking, educating, and advocating for issues I believe in. One of my purposes is to inspire the people.
A representative of LaunchGood reached out to me in October and asked if I were interested in “live” discussions on domestic violence. As a survivor of domestic violence, this topic is close to my heart.
We’ve also discussed “Racism in Islam.” I also participated with an organization called the Groundswell Project, where we talked about events surrounding 9-11.
MJ: Tell us about the article in Vogue Arabia Magazine, that recognized you as a legendary Muslim Hip Hop Artist.
Miss Undastood: The writer, Aina J Khan, and I met in Manhattan and she interviewed me after an event. After about a year, she informed me and others that the article was coming out in Vogue Arabia. I have often felt discredited and overlooked, it was so great to see someone giving me the credit I worked so hard for and deserve. I believe you should give people their flowers while they can still smell them.
(The Vogue Arabia article can be found at: https://en.vogue.me/culture/black-female-muslim-emcees/)
MJ: What keeps you motivated, as a Hijabi wearing Muslimah in Hip Hop Culture?
Miss Undastood: My love for the art. My understanding that diversity matters, and representation matters. My daughter inspires me, because I know the youth still need alternatives.
MJ: What is next for Miss Undastood?
Miss Undastood: Well, I just released my new single “As Real as They Come.” It is available on all platforms, and I also released a new video with a fresh look. I am in the beginning stages of working on my new album. I look forward to releasing more content in 2021.
(See more of Tavasha Shannon, Miss Undastood: Youtube.com/therealmissundastood; Instagram: Missundastoodnyc; Twitter: Ms_undastoodnyc? Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=missundastoodnyc)