By Joi-Marie Mckenzie & Cambrey Thomas
Rapper Ingrid Burley doesn’t get much sleep.
The 23-year-old Houston native rarely sleeps past six a.m. on a good day. She refuses to buy a bed – she doesn’t want to get too comfortable.
Burley moved to Brooklyn three months ago. Her realtor told her she was getting a place in Clinton Hill, but when she showed up to her new apartment, which gets more use as a recording studio, she realized it was Bedford-Stuyvesant. And that it was just blocks away from the Marcy Projects, the public houses where hip-hop icon Jay-Z grew up. But she says it’s a coincidence.
Burley wants to make a living out of rapping. She left Houston and mostly everyone she knows in the hope of fulfilling this dream. Burley or IB as she is known on the stage, describes herself as a true hip-hopper with a slight electro-influence. She hasn’t kept a steady job since December 2008 and if she can’t make money from her music, she’s planning to go back to Houston to sell her car to spend a few more months in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn, a borough that has birthed legendary hip-hop artists like Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim and Mos Def, is essential to IB.
“The market for me in Houston was dead,” Burley said. “I’ve done every venue in Houston and nothing was moving forward. “
With a fresh start in Brooklyn, Burley thinks her music will be better received, “Brooklyn is very hip-hop proud, just the place in itself,” she says. “People around here care about the culture of hip-hop.”
Here is her story.