Rece Steele, 25, has made it halfway through VH1’s Miss Rap Supreme, which airs Monday nights at 10 p.m., and hopes to win the competition and its $100,000 prize next month.
The competition pits a number of women against one another in various rap challenges, eliminating one contestant each week based on the decisions of legendary judges MC Serch and fellow female rap start MC Yo-Yo.
While Steele flew under the radar in the opening of the competition, taped over a two-month period, viewers have recently seen the Bronx MC grow over the last few weeks. Steele most recently won the “Miss Lady of the Stage” competition naming her the MVP of her team and giving her VIP treatment in a private room, named after Hip Hop legends, Salt-N-Peppa.
Now back from the show, Steele, a mother of a six-year-old son, Sean, travels multiple times a week to clubs, radio stations and other music/entertainment outlets with her best friend J Madison to promote her music through her production company “80’s Baby,” named after her 1982 birth year.
Steele was born at Bronx Lebanon Hospital to rap mother LA Starr, whose hip-hop music piqued her interest at an early age, but also led Steele to be brought up by her Italian grandmother in Belmont.
The different melding of cultures and experiences allowed Steele, who attended P.S. 32, P.S. 205, I.S. 118 and Grace Dodge High School, to be a rapper with a completely different style and message than that of her mother.
“I’m just me,” she simply said. “I love to spit rhymes and I’ve worked hard to make it, and I’m going to keep working.”
She worked as a licensed nurse practitioner for five years at the Morris Heights Health Center until she left to focus on her musical career in 2007.
Steele recently released “I Made the Beat” with Baychester-based producer Skitzo. The single is scheduled to appear on iTunes in coming weeks.
As she continues to promote the new single, Steele also gives back. On May 30, the rapper will perform at Harlem Children’s Zone’s talent day and fashion show. She’s also performed for Mike Green’s Hugs For Harlem, a non-profit organization that raises money for community needs such as school supplies.
“I may be tough, but I love kids,” she said.
Michael “MC Serch” Berrin, who co-hosts Miss Rap Supreme, is impressed with Steele’s passion.
“I think Rece represents what an MC from the Bronx is made of,” Serch said. “She is battle tested, is quick with her writing, knows the difference between a rap for the streets and how to write a song and is a survivor and a heck of a mom.”
Fellow co-host MC Yo-Yo agreed, saying, “What I like about Rece is, she pushes past her fears. She never fronts. It is, what it is; whether you like it or not!”
Steele credits the Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and Salt-N-Peppa as the artistic influences that helped make her who she is today.
Was it enough to win the competition? Though the show’s winner won’t be announced until June, MC Serch said, “She is a winner in my eyes.”