There’s a clear distinction between hearing someone and actually listening to them. Make no mistake; A.B.Y.S.S. is definitely someone that heads need to listen to. Hailing from Plainfield, NJ, the lyrical dynamo pulls no punches on the mic and is as deep as her name suggests. “The meaning behind the name leads to an acronym, Ask Before You Speak Stupidity,” she explains. “If you know the definition of the word abyss, you know that there’s a depth to it where one couldn’t possibly know about everything it contains. I feel that’s similar to myself because you never know what to expect from me. There’s always a twist, I keep it spontaneous.”
Born in Williamston, NC, A.B.Y.S.S. moved up North to New Jersey with her family as an infant and was introduced to music early on. Blessed with a natural vocal ability, her initial form of creative expression was actually singing. At the age of four she sang Lena Horne’s “Stormy Weather” in a pre-school talent show and immediately fell in love with the art of performing. Her connection to hip-hop would develop a few years later as she began listening to artists like MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and Naughty By Nature. By 1995, A.B.Y.S.S. was penning her own rhymes and going flow for flow with other aspiring rappers in local ciphers. “I’ve loved music since I was a baby but when hip-hop caught my attention, I couldn’t get enough,” she says. “I just listened to different styles—from artists having fun with it to those that spoke their minds and telling real-life stories—and that helped me to mold my own sound.”
As her skill developed, A.B.Y.S.S. realized that rappin’ around the way was fine but her talents needed to be heard by the masses and began hittin’ the studio. In January 2007 she linked up with a local production company and completed a demo, “First Fathom”, which was followed a few months later by another, “2nd Nature”. The femme fatale rapper’s buzz continued to grow that summer when she emerged victorious in a Remy Martin-sponsored rap battle. By September, A.B.Y.S.S. began promoting herself and making the rounds through various artist showcases in the tri-state area. All her hard work started to pay off in 2008. That summer A.B.Y.S.S. made the finals of XXL magazine’s inaugural online rap battle on XXLblocktalk.com, and landed a spot on Vol. 14 of the popular 50 Mics mix CD. The year capped off with a phone call from hip-hop legend DJ Funk Master Flex, informing A.B.Y.S.S. that she had won a single deal with indie powerhouse Koch Records for being the best artist in his annual car show. Appearing in over 2,000 showcases, where she consistently kills the competition, A.B.Y.S.S. has drawn the attention of several high-standing music execs and received increasingly prominent media coverage due to her undeniable love for hip-hop and captivating stage presence. “I feel like, if music is your passion, your life, you have to grind hard no matter if you’re male or female,” she says. “My approach is 100 percent, do it whole-heartedly, or don’t do it at all.”
Managed by Platinum Sound Works Inc., A.B.Y.S.S. continued her industry assault by releasing a slew of singles that highlight her ability to blend potent lyrics with stellar production and catchy melodies. Prime examples being “Get It In,” a raucous street anthem that goes right for the competition’s jugular, and “You’re Mine,” an introspective love story that finds a perfect balance between radio-friendly musings and real hip-hop wordplay. Then there’s the instant classic “Sig’h’n,” where A.B.Y.S.S. shows off her potent pen work with hard-hittin’ rhymes and flexes her vocal chops on the bridge. Complete with a video, the song reveals the many layers there are to this still untapped artist. “I like singing but personally rapping helps me express myself more,” she says. “I incorporate the two here and there for a different feel. I figure if I can, then why not. My voice is very distinct, unlike any other, and I spit simple truth because my persona is fueled by pure star power.”
Slowly but surely, others are starting to see that light. Former Ruff Ryder recording artist Drag-On was so impressed with A.B.Y.S.S. that he hopped on her 2009 breakout single, “No Accident.” The high-octane collaboration was just another step in her journey for world domination. Due to her “no nonsense” demeanor over time, A.B.Y.S.S. has accrued “the business” as a nickname. Feeling like that name describes her to a “T”, A.B.Y.S.S. latched on to it, changed the spelling, intertwining her own, and is now also known to many as “Thabyssness.”
Though 2009 ended quietly with A.B.Y.S.S. taking time out to perfect her craft, 2010 came in with a bang as she released four extraordinary singles; “Automatic”, “Release”, “Survival”, and “Get Live”, showcasing her ability to tap into the r&b, pop, and rock genres. She was then ready to move on to her most anticipated project of her career; “Tha Wife Not Tha Mistress” street album. With the help of seasoned vet Dave House, founder and ceo of Whooooshouse Worldwide, senior executive coordinator, and head of promotions at Interscope Records East, A.B.Y.S.S.’ album accumulated over 30,000 downloads within a few months.
Numbers like those started getting A.B.Y.S.S. the buzz she needed to make more of an impact on this industry. She has since gone on to open for great acts such as Serani, Maino, and Tommy Davidson, just to name a few. Now with even more performances under her belt, and two new ear catching singles, coming off of her summer Ep “Bring It Back”, 2011 looks like a promising year for this necessary young lady. More than just a pretty face with crazy flow, A.B.Y.S.S. is unlike any artist—male or female—that’s come before her. “I give mad respect to those females who have held it down since day one,” she says. “But there’s a void that still exists, and it’s soon to be filled by the one and only A.B.Y.S.S. I’m in the process of letting everyone know who I am and what I have to offer. I am food for thought.” All you have to do is listen to be fed. Welcome to “Thabyssness” world.