Books

Canadian hip-hop legend Michie Mee writing memoir to be published in 2023

The book, which does not yet have a title, will be published in 2023 by Random House Canada.
Michie Mee is a Canadian hip-hop artist. (CBC)

Canadian hip-hop legend Michie Mee is writing a memoir.

Patrick Nichols (born 1965). 10013 Michie Mee, 1993. 40 x 40 in. 120 mm colour transparency. Digital chromogenic print. (Submitted by the artist)

The book, which does not yet have a title, will be published in 2023 by Random House Canada.

Michie Mee, the stage name for Michelle McCullock, is a Jamaica-born, Toronto-raised music legend and a rap icon. She was the first Canadian hip-hop artist to be signed to an American record label. 

Known as the godmother of Canadian rap, Michie Mee created a getaway for Canadian rappers and musicians to succeed in the U.S. market. She has been credited as an influence by many celebrated Canadian hip-hop artists, such as Maestro Fresh Wes and Drake.

"Without Michie there would be no me. That's the queen right there, understand what I'm saying? All I really did was follow in her footsteps. I just did it my way," Maestro Fresh Wes said in a 2016 interview with CBC Music.

For decades, much of Canada's hip hop history has gone undocumented. Now, the North Side Hip Hop Archive is celebrating the stories of the genre's pioneers. 6:17

She was the first Canadian female MC who, in the late 1980s, broke into a then-nascent genre of hip-hop. Amalgamating her Jamaican identity and dialect with her rap persona, she released classics such as On This MicJamaican Funk and later on Don't Wanna Be Your Slave — as well as with many of her rap-reggae-alternative-metal fusion releases with her all-female Rage Against the Machine-esque band Raggadeath.

The memoir will reflect on her career and life — from her early memories in Jamaica to growing up in Toronto's Jane/Finch area and pursuing her passion for music. 

"I wanted to live more musically through the eyes of an artist, before having to relive and write about my journey without the music," said Michie Mee in a statement.

"Now I have to memorize the music and remember why I wrote the lyrics, so here we go again."

WATCH | Michie Mee performs Badgyal Bubble on  Studio at the Junos: The Block Session:

Michie Mee | Badgyal Bubble | Junos: The Block Session

4 months ago
3:02
Michie Mee performs "Badgyal Bubble" on CBC Music in Studio at the Junos: The Block Session. 3:02

The book is a story of passion, determination and courage, as Michie Mee had to find her way in a male-dominated music genre and a white-dominated music industry.

"No one wants to hear what a rapper girl has to say. They want to know 'Okay, who is the Black guy in charge of her and who is the white guy in charge of him?'" 

An instrumental figure in Canadian music and pop culture, Michie Mee has led a 40-year musical career and continues to produce music and perform around the world.

She released her first full-length record, Bahdgyal's Revenge, in 2020. 

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