We are thrilled to host the launch of Her Word is Bond: Navigating Hiphop and Relationships in a Culture of Misogyny, a celebration of the life and career of Psalm One, the Chicago born rapper who blazed the trail for women in hip hop. Part memoir, part music journalism, Her Word is Bond takes an unflinching look at underground hip hop culture through the eyes of a queer Black woman.
This event takes place over two days, hosted by Rofhiwa in collaboration with the African and African American Studies department at Duke University.
The launch of Psalm One's Memoir Her Word is Bond: Navigating Hiphop and Relationships in a Culture of Misogyny. Kyesha Jennings, Hiphop scholar and journalist joins Psalm One in conversation.
Rofhiwa presents a LIVE MUSIC SESSION with Psalm One performing music from their latest album Bigg Perm. The Chicago rapper describes the new project as a collection inspired by late Black woman hair entrepreneur Madame CJ Walker. The album explores ideas around wellness, independence and LGBTQIA acceptance.
We will offer seating for up to 35 in-person guests for each event, with priority access given to those who purchase the book. To register for one or both of the in person in store events, click on "Save My Spot" and your book and ticket. This will ensure that your seat is reserved on the day of the event.
About Psalm One:
Psalm One or Cristalle Bowen has been consistently named one of the nation's Best Artists by the Chicago Tribune, and in 2011 made her television debut on MTV's Emmy-winning series, MADE. She is an international touring and recording artist; featured in publications such as Vice, Forbes, and The FADER. An artist cut from Chicago's vast and unique HipHop talent, Psalm has commanded stages of festivals from Paid Due$ to Riot Fest; among artists such as Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Jean Grae, Odd Future, Wu - Tang and so many more... Not just an MC, Psalm has also been road DJ for rap legends. More than an entertainer, Cristalle is also an activist, scholar and teaching artist.
Cristalle released her debut album, Bio:Chemistry, while studying chemistry at the University of Illinois in 2002; was discovered by Casual of Hieroglyphics fame and brought to Rhymesayers Entertainment by Eyedea (RIP). In 2006 Psalm One became the only woman signed to the independent label after leaving her job as a chemist and releasing her commercial debut, The Death of Frequent Flyer. In 2013, she began releasing music under the pseudonym Hologram Kizzie, while co-founding the crew Rapperchicks. In 2015, she challenged Rhymesayers' practices toward women, herself then being the only woman signed to the imprint in its 20+ year history.
Not just a professional-turned-performer, Cristalle has always utilized her platform in many unique ways, not the least of which is educational. In 2012 she released a children's album, titled Child Support in conjunction with ASCAP and America SCORES, a nationally celebrated after-school program; she regularly balanced time between touring and running the hip-hop influenced after-school program Rhymeschool; as an advocate of equal rights across the board, Psalm One frequently speaks on panels and conducts workshops in the academic sphere.
In 2015 she self-released P.O.L.Y. (Psalm One Loves You), and embarked on a U.S. tour she orchestrated herself. P.O.L.Y. broke new ground for Psalm One, as it shows a beautiful amount of live instrumentation and group vocals. Fittingly, the album was named one of the year’s best by multiple publications. 2015 also marked the Rapperchicks' debut, Shitty Punk Album, as well as the release of Psalm’s incredible triple album Gender Fender Bender.
In 2020, the Rapperchicks became BIG $ILKY, a duo between herself and long time collaborator Angel Davanport. The two released two music projects and launched a web series during the pandemic, to much acclaim. They’ve also pivoted to mutual aid and Covid-19 relief, with Angel forming the S.H.I.F.T. Cooperative and Psalm joining the board. They’ve redistributed tens of thousands of dollars to Midwest families in need. 2022 has seen her publish a memoir, Her Word is Bond, Navigating Hiphop and Relationships in a Culture of Misogyny as well as an album, Bigg Perm.
About Keysha Jennings
Keysha Jennings is a multi-hyphenate creative, feminist, hip-hop scholar and freelance writer. She writes, teaches, speaks, researches and creates content about hip-hop and popular culture. She is currently an English Lecturer and Faculty Mentor at NC State University where she teaches First Year Writing.
Kyesha is a sought-after speaker and has been an invited guest at Virginia Tech University, UNC Chapell Hill, Averett University and A3C Hip-Hop Festival. She has presented at over 15 academic conferences on composition, literature and hip-hop. Her research focuses on Black Literature in general, but more specifically, her research centers Black women writers, hip-hop studies, hip-hop feminism and digital media.
Kyesha is a freelance writer who has established herself as the go-to writer for all things North Carolina hip-hop. As a contributing writer for the Indy Week, Kyesha runs a bi-weekly column, "Her Take: On Carolina Hip-Hop." She has interviewed legendary hip-hop artists from the likes of 9th Wonder, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of a Tribe Called Quest.
Her Word is Bond: Navigating Hiphop and Relationships in a Culture of Misogyny
Part memoir, part music journalism, Her Word is Bond takes an unflinching look at underground hip hop culture through the eyes of a queer Black woman. "Nowhere near famous but still infamous," Psalm One is a legend to rap nerds, scholars, and "heads," and has gone on to work with the brightest names in rap and have her work celebrated and taught around the globe. In Her Word Is Bond, Psalm One tells her own story, from growing up in Englewood, Chicago through her life as a chemist, teacher, and legendary rapper. Intrinsically feminist, this story is a celebration of the life and career of one artist who blazed the trail for women in hip hop.