Miz Korona Bio

If award-winning Detroit emcee Miz Korona had followed the rigid rules she’s been given since her childhood, she would have never opened up for hip-hop icons like Scarface and Run-DMC, or freestyled alongside Eminem and Xzibit in a blockbuster film that was monumental for the rap genre and her city. Her father—a member of 70s R&B group The Floaters—wanted her to sing, but she decided to rhyme. A cowardly music industry would prefer she either rap about sex or keep her lips sealed, but she spits blistering bars without compromise.

Good thing she doesn’t listen.

“I have a no-holds-barred approach: ‘You’re going to respect me,’” Korona insists. “If you stand firm, you make people pay attention. It’s about being assertive and letting your voice come out.”

After gaining confidence from classmates’ approval to her morning rhymes on the school bus, a 12-year-old Korona eagerly ran up to an area producer to showcase her skills. Impressed, the producer took Korona under his wing and helped her sharpen her freestyling, writing and recording skills. She then began to make her rounds at Detroit hotspots like St. Andrews Hall and the legendary Hip-Hop Shop, where she would perform and network with the city’s rap movers and shakers. With two strikes against her—she was so young that she had to sneak into venues, and she was a woman in a male-dominated culture—she didn’t have a choice but to hit a home run with every at-bat.

“It was a bumpy road, because a lot of people didn’t take me seriously,” Korona remembers. “They would say, ‘Go home, little girl.’ But then I would start spittin’, and people would begin to listen.”

Her formidable delivery and sharp punchlines helped her establish a following, and she nabbed gigs opening for icons like Scarface and Run-DMC. But most moviegoers remember her from her portrayal of “Vanessa” in 8 Mile, the blockbuster film starring hometown hero Eminem. In the scene, she freestyles alongside Em and multiplatinum-selling artist Xzibit, each of whom play plant workers on lunch break.

“That was a nerve-wracking experience, but it was so wonderful. I wrote like three verses before they picked one, and they kept turning mine down,” Korona remembers. “I’m like ‘Damn, I’m not good enough.’ And the lady said ‘No, they’re just too good, so you have to tone it down some. We don’t want you to overshadow anybody that’s already established.’ Some people think I just started rapping once I got in that movie, but no: they discovered me from rapping to be in the movie.”

In years since, she has won Detroit Music Awards (Best Hip-Hop Artist) and Detroit Hip-Hop Awards (Best Female Artist three years in a row), and appeared on albums by Detroit staples and artists around the world. But 2010 sees Miz Korona staking her claim the way the real greats do: product. After dropping her Dope Muzik mixtape of raw, unfinished songs as a primer, she now releases her official debut: The Injection. The album shows versatility when necessary, as she shows cocky confidence (“Do That For Me”) and the pitfalls of inner-city living (“The Real Nightmare”) with equal candor. But The Injection’s shining moments appear on songs such as the single “Like A Zoo,” which pair pounding production with her equally formidable rhymes. The same rhymes that impressed casting directors, area and international emcees, and the kids on her school bus from years ago.

“I’m spittin’ till you’re sick of her,” Korona asserts. “Sick 16’s, till I hit spleens, and your vision’s blurred.”

And if anyone is sick of her, too bad—veteran status aside, Miz Korona is just getting started.