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Bay Rap Veteran Suga-T Honors Women Artists with ‘Her Museum’

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Suga-T Stevens.  (Coutesy of the artist)

You probably remember her iconic call-and-response with her brother E-40 in “Sprinkle Me” or her voice on the chorus of “Captain Save a Hoe.” But Suga-T has lived multiple lives since getting her start with her family rap group, The Click, in the early ’90s.

She’s continued a prolific recording career (2020’s The Rapademic finds her high-energy rhymes in top form). And she’s also spent the last three decades as a self-help author and advocate for women and girls since becoming a mom at the age of 16. To that end, she runs a mentorship and professional development program called Sprinkle Me Learning Academy.

Suga-T is open about being a survivor of gun violence and domestic violence, as well as a grandmother of an autistic child. Now, she focuses her energy on uplifting others in similar situations by organizing events around autism awareness, healing and education through her platform Her Museum.

“My goal is to help them turn their pain into peace, passion, prosperity and purpose,” she says in a recent Zoom call from her office while an RIAA Gold Record plaque hangs behind her.

“If I had a mentor like me, I probably wouldn’t have made so many mistakes and bad choices,” she says. “That’s part of the reason why I enjoy the opportunity to do it and also to help others who want to do the same type of work.”

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Her Museum’s next event takes place May 27 and 28 at 233 Eddy St. in San Francisco, and features artwork, workshops and events honoring Black women’s contributions to music and culture. Among the honorees are San Francisco Mayor London Breed, singer Martha Wash (of Weather Girls fame) and actress Terri J. Vaught Riley, all of whom are San Francisco natives.

Suga-T says she wants to spotlight positive Black role models for young girls, and to preserve an artistic legacy that often gets sidelined in the music industry. “There is a very biased element [against] the older generation of women in hip-hop, and especially women in the Bay,” says the artist, who is 51 years old.

She explains that many female musicians of her generation had no choice but to focus on family responsibilities. Meanwhile, their male peers left their kids in the care of wives or girlfriends and pursued their careers. Not to mention, the music industry has historically pitted women against each other. Suga-T wants to counter that narrative by bringing women together to lift each other up and celebrate each other’s legacies.

“We all should be able to shine together. I’m not intimidated by women. I love women,” she says. “And I love all women because we all have different things that we’ve been through and that we can relate to at the end of the day.”

Her Museum takes place at 233 Eddy St. in San Francisco. It’s open to the public on May 27, 11am-6pm; workshops on May 28 require an RSVP. Details here

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