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Jessy Moss sticks to her roots

Jessy Moss
Jessy Moss

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(CNN) -- Jessy Moss is an unusual player on the hip-hop landscape. She's a white female rapper/singer from Byron Bay, Australia.

The 6-foot-tall blonde takes an autobiographical approach to her music, writing about her father's struggle to raise four daughters with little money and the trouble she got into growing up.

Her debut album, "Street Knuckles," is scheduled for release later this month.

Moss knows she's navigating uncharted territory but hopes her music will speak for itself.

"There is no real precedent for white chicks in hip hop and it's gonna be ... a struggle," she said.

TMR caught up with Moss recently to talk about her album and what inspired it.

TMR: Tell us about your debut album, "Street Knuckles."

MOSS: It's pretty eclectic just because my influences are pretty eclectic. It has a lot of hip-hop elements in it, a lot of blues elements. I think it's eclectic because my influences are diverse. They include Miles Davis, Nina Simone and everything like Wu Tang (Clan), Beastie Boys, Bjork, the Pixies, Sonic Youth.

I got to work with a lot of good producers on the record like Butch Vig, who has great instincts in the studio. And someone from the Eminem camp, Camara Kambon, who's done a lot of stuff on Em's records and (Dr.) Dre's records. It was a really good team of people.

TMR: Where does the title "Street Knuckles" come from?

MOSS: Well, "Street Knuckles" is twofold. First of all, I was a scrapper when I was growing up. I used to be in and out of trouble, and trouble always seemed to find me. And also, "knuckle" in Australia is slang for a little gem, a little story. So it's basically like calling the record "Street Stories." And because "Street Knuckles" is autobiographical - essentially it's just about my life - that's why I chose to call it that.

Thematically, the whole record is probably about retribution and forgiveness, and little chapters, little stories of my life. A lot of them are based on actual events. For instance, (the song) "Confessions" is about a home invasion that I was in in Australia. I was held at gunpoint and (the lyrics of the song) are pretty much what this guy (who held me at gunpoint) was saying to me (at the time).

"Thanks for the Pictures" is about one of my ex-boyfriends knocking up another chick when he was with me.

TMR: Have you shot any music videos yet?

MOSS: Yeah we shot "Telling You Now" and "Pick A Card." The video for "Telling You Now" looks really pretty. It's going to be different to a lot of stuff that's out there already, which is good. You want to stand out a bit. It's really simple but I think it's really nice.

TMR: What are you listening to at the moment?

MOSS: Today I'm swinging back towards rock actually. I dip into whatever I think is genuine because I basically always relate to honesty, what I think is honesty lyrically. And that's why hip-hop really appealed to me for a while.

But right now more of the commercial stuff is not that appealing to me. I like 50 Cent and Eminem, the big heavy hitters. But for the most part I've been digging back into punk again. I really like Queens of the Stone Age and Distillers. Oh and that Johnny Cash song, "Hurt." That's amazing! I love that one.


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