And The First Lady of the Bay hasn’t looked back since. Originally from the Oakland, California, Jimmie lived in practically every part of the city in most part due to her parents divorced when she was a tender 13-years-old. “I wouldn’t say it drove my mom crazy, but she was extremely depressed and she was on drugs,” Jimmie shares. “Then my dad left for a little while… It was pretty traumatic.” With two younger sisters in the household, Jimmie was all but forced to grow up quick. Her mother’s condition worsened when she lost her job, leaving Jimmie to fend for the four of them.
Neighbors helped and church members assisted, but no matter how much support they got as a family, Jimmie was more or less the authority figure. “I had to make sure my sisters got their homework done and got to school on time,” she remembers, “stuff like that.” Imaginably, Jimmie’s circumstances effected her childhood, adolescence and even her formative years in high school. However, she allows it’s something she did because she had to. There were simply no other options. “I didn’t even notice until I became an adult,” she quips.
“I didn’t really realize what effect it had until I got older and got into relationships. It was hard for me to trust men. It was hard for me to respect men, because I didn’t respect my dad and it was hard for me to have relationships with women because my mother wasn’t there for us.” Despite her trust issues, Jimmie pressed on and into her early twenty’s, got rid of some needless baggage. As MPrint Music and Management stepped into the picture, she moved to analyze her humble beginnings and learned to appreciate her story that much more.
Now, having restored her relationship with both of her parents, Jimmie is, in a word, “okay.” Unsurprisingly, Jimmie’s intestinal fortitude is a trademark that has come to define her as an artist. As she’s climbed the industry ladder alongside the likes of Bay Area songstresses Keyshia Cole, Goapele and others, her ‘go getter mentality’ has impressed a number of artists. Among them is Kaz Kyzah, who officially donned her “Go Girl” in 2006. Months later, she did a mixtape of the same name and KMEL’s Big Vawn, arguably the most noted radio personality/jock in the Bay, cosigned and hosted the project. “We came up with the concept in 2006,” she discloses.
“That was when the whole hyphy movement was going and everybody was like, ‘You go,’ ‘I go,’ and they just started calling me a ‘go girl.’ They started calling me a ‘go girl’ because I was about my business. Go girls are women who are classy and they get what they want, when they want it. They go about it the right way and they don’t take no for an answer.” Unsurprisingly, the MPrint camp and Jimmie Reign were caught off guard when former Sho’Nuff artist Ciara released her version of “Go Girl” worldwide on September 30, 2008. In fairness to the Atlanta native, the song was composed and conceptualized by T-Pain, who also contributes the hook.
With several release dates come and gone since her album, Fantasy Ride, was scheduled to hit stores, it’s fair to say that the Ciara/Pain collaboration didn’t meet the desired expectations as a promo single. “It’s hard to do something when you haven’t been doing it,” Jimmie says casually. “I am the original Go Girl. That is a Bay term and I represent it to a tee.” Accordingly, Jimmie’s debut album, Pretty Girl, is among the Bay Area’s most anticipated albums of ’09. Sparked by the lead single, “Different Person,” Pretty Girl is void of excessive collaborations, something “The First Lady of the Bay” insisted upon. “I’m just being really picky,” she says.
“I just want everything I put out this time to be a hit. I want it to be undeniable and I want you to be able to listen and be like, ‘Damn, this girl is really on her shit!’ I don’t want anyone to listen to the album and hear the Go Girl mixtape all over again.” ## Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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