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Healing with MADlines: Reclaiming Feminine Divinity in Hip Hop Culture

Updated: Dec 23, 2019


Pictured: MADlines
"Magic exists best in a container. Sometimes having rules can make you feel free. Having boundaries is a great example of this. Boundary setting rituals and practices are essential to mental health  because they create patterns of consistency." - Maddy Clifford aka “MADlines

BHC: What does healing mean to you?


MADlines: Healing is about balance and equilibrium of mind, body and spirit. I know I’m balanced when things become serendipitous as opposed to feeling pulled in different directions and feeling overwhelmed.


BHC: How do you define yourself as an artist?


MADlines: I use my rhymes and my words as spell work. Magic exists best in a container. Sometimes having rules can make you feel free. Boundaries are a great example of this. Boundary setting rituals and practices are essential to mental health  because they create patterns of consistency. Everyone’s rituals look different. Rapping is intrinsic to how I heal, being a master of ceremony and the ceremony isn’t always a rap battle. Sometimes the ceremony takes on many other forms.


BHC: Let’s talk about your newest video “God Talk”. What inspired the song and specifically the title?


MADlines: “God Talk” is reclamation of rap as a woman. It was inspired by The Black Woman is God and the notion of feminine divinity. I started my hip hop career in the early 2000s and there weren’t a lot of women rappers that time. Black women as artists were shut out of the hip hop ceremony (cypher, stage) We were largely kept from that. Hip Hop lacks balance which is why its been used as a weapon against us as Black people.  The first verse is directed towards black men. I felt I was always seen and very rarely heard and hip hop is a way that men hear me. Xiomara’s voice is very powerful and soothing on the track and pays homage to mothers. God Talk is a means of reclaiming balance by centering feminine divinity.


BHC: What’s been the most effective healing practice for you?


MADlines: Writing three pages a day is good for soothing anxiety. This practice is especially good for artists. I’ve been greatly inspired by “The Artist’s Way” which is where I got this practice from.  Writing three pages gets all the junk out. The book also recommends taking yourself on “artist dates” which is also something I do. I like going places by myself in order to explore. As artists we need to carve out space and time to honor ourselves. Going on the artists dates, I’ve had some amazing experiences. Recently I’ve taken myself out to the Asian Art Museum and also to go see Queen and Slim. This is a necessary practice for women in general because men are socialized to be a little bit more independent. We as women are relearning how to make space for ourselves and learn to trust our intuition. Tarot decks are really good for developing your intuition as well. When I got out of a psychologically abusive situation,I felt like my intuition was weak. Sometimes we as women can be afraid of our own intuitive power. My cat Nani also helps with my healing process. One of the good things about pets, if you’re a caretaker and healer, you can get caught up with overextending yourself and your boundaries and having a pet can help you care-take in a more balanced way if boundaries are something you struggle with. 


Watch God Talk by MADlines featuring Xiomara here:



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