Earlier this month posted an article by University of Richmond Hip Hop Culture educator Erin Nielson which poised the question: Where Did All The Female Rappers Go?

   Well, Columbus emcee Dominique LaRue is having her Ohio release party for her album with DC/Indianapolis producer Maja 7th entitled Grand at Double Happiness Friday April 4.

   I asked her about the current marginalization of female rappers in Hip Hop.

   LaRue listed off a quite a few female lyricists, “We are here. Just getting recognition on a mainstream level has been an issue. But you know, Rhapsody, Boog Brown, there are other women ­­­ Ra the mc, In Silence, Nikki Linette, Psalm One, Invincible, Miss Corona, Apani, Jean Grae.”

   On instagram I often see the phrase, “Be the change you want to see”, and LaRue is working hard to put more women on the map starting with herself.

   When I met up with her and her manager Buka, LaRue had just returned from out of town shows. She had a release party for Grand in Indianapolis and also performed at a Women’s History Month Festival in Chicago.

   Dominique and Maja7th’s Grand new release is another step in LaRue’s growth as one of the best true­school female lyricists in Hip Hop and also what you would expect from a woman who won Womazing’s Rap battle and has also worked with underground Hip Hop greats like J. Rawls, Illmind and Kev Brown.

   I asked LaRue what song off Grand I should put on an I­Tunes playlist if I wanted to expose people to some good Hip Hop.

   LaRue said that was a tough one but suggested “Paint the Town” featuring Kim Joyce because of musical sequencing made by Maja who has worked with Freddie Gibbs, L.E.P. Bogus Boys, Pill, Killah Priest and Mikey Halsted in the past.

   “I love 'Paint the Town' because of the different transitions that it makes. First it goes just me rapping,  and then Kim comes in. And then it’s me rapping again. And then Kim comes in. Me rapping again. Kim kinda just takes over. Maja takes over. By the time the song gets to the end, people might even forget that I was just rapping on it. It’s just so much that’s going on. That I love. I love the changes. I love how musical he can be on the production side.”

   She also suggested “Happyness” for the the weed smokers, and “Feels Good” because it is a personal dedication to her son.

   “So Vivid” stood out to me because of the dedication to her grandma, and also her Aunt Janice who died of cancer. “I am very huge on paying homage to the women of my family,” LaRue explained.

   LaRue started rapping when she was seven years old and decided rap was her passion at age 12 after seeing the video for the Angie Martinez, Lil Kim, Left Eye, Da Brat and Missy Elliot song, ‘Ladies Night.”  “When I seen Left Eye back, it might have been after she burnt down Andre Rison’s House You know she on there spittin’.I’m like, Yo! I want to rap,” LaRue said. Her rap name was D­Money at the time. Yes, Dominique LaRue’s now professional moniker was lifted from Jasmine Guy’s vixen character in the movie Harlem Knights.

   And yes Dominique LaRue hopes to inspire upcoming lil' D­Moneys in the world.

   She recently gave a performance at Reynoldsburg High School to encourage young female emcees. LaRue said of her motivation for that show. “The main reason I did it was for the young women who rap, to provide inspiration for them. Honestly, I don’t think that there was a woman rapping when I was coming up. Someone I could look up to. I kind of wanted to provide it for them to the let them know, you can do it, you can be yourself. You don’t have to emulate what’s on TV.”

   LaRue will celebrate the release of Grand at J­Rawls “Ruff Draft” Night, Friday April 4. Double Happiness is located at 482 South Front Street. Zero Star, and Neswordz will also perform. Admission is Free.

Grand is availble on I­Tunes, Bandcamp, Audio Mack and In Stores