Rick Ross signed Meek Mill to MMG in 2011, after seeing him perform at Philadelphia's annual Powerhouse concert, and Meek paid it forward by signing female rapper, Lee Mazin, to his Dreamchasers imprint after giving her a chance to hit the same stage, one year later.
Taliyah "Lee Mazin" Smith appeared on our "RapFix Live" Women in Hip Hop special this week, and explained that she'd known Meek before she started rapping, but when she began to take it seriously, he noticed that immediately.
They bumped into each other while Meek was on his first tour in Atlanta, and that's when the discussions first got serious.
"He said, 'I really respect our grind, the way you move and the way you work. I don't think there's too many chicks on your level so when we get back home I got something for ya,'" Lee Mazin relayed. "And it was actually Powerhouse night — Philly's biggest show, and he called me that night come to Powerhouse [said said] 'I'm bringing you out.'"
Lee Mazin is making steady moves, following up her Lovelee mixtape with last year's In My Own Lane, but she admits that being the only female on Dreamchasers is definitely a mixed bag.
"It's a plus and a minus," she explained. "I get a lot of attention being the only girl but at the same time I'm around a bunch of guys so you know how that goes."
And although Lee is just getting started in the industry, with plans to drop a new project in May, then headline a show in her hometown, Philly, in June, she's already understanding the intricacies of being a female rapper.
"It's definitely a challenge, but the way that I attacked it actually shocked me because I was playing around with it at first and I got encouraged by my family and friends," she said, of getting her career started. "They were like, 'you're dope, you're not just a rapper you're an artist, you should really do it hard,' and I took it serious."
"Within my first six months of rapping I was on both radio stations in my city and I was getting college shows and homecoming shows. It actually happened so fast that it shocked me. But it's definitely a challenge because it's a male-dominated profession and you've still gotta stay in your lane. You gottta take in what's going on with the industry but also [put] your own twist to it and stay true to yourself."
Look out for new music from Lee Mazin in May, and get further acquainted at LeeMazin.com