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May 07, 2011  | by: Ariam Frezghi

Ruby Ibarra

While I was sifting through the garbage news feed that usually plagues worldstarhiphop.com, I stumbled on a post that featured a video titled “Female Asian Rapper with Bars: Ruby Ibarra’s Freestyle.”

After listening to the first song, I didn’t hesitate to search her name on the address bar and hear other tracks from this unknown emcee.

Ruby Ibarra is a 23-year-old spoken word artist, rapper, beatboxer, and music producer from the Bay Area with roots in the Philippines . Her freestyles entail fast rapping over legendary hip-hop instrumentals like Cormega- The Saga and Channel Live.

Ibarra, who is unsigned, has worked with Ruff Ryder artist Jin, who caught his big break in 2000 after winning a series of battles on Freestyle Friday (106 & Park).

The two collaborated for a track which is featured on Jin’s Hiphop Census Mixtape and is available for download at ayojin.com. “The Meaning” opens up with Ibarra: “They know I’m in charge that’s why they keep their eyes on me/Diamond in da rough I’ll guess you’ll say my name is the irony/ To find the monotony with lyrical capacity/Prodigy/Apocalyptical so I’m the prophecy.”

Other acts that Ibarra has opened for include Blu, Earth Tones, Random Abiladeze, Leejay, Butterscotch, Gabe Bondoc, Koba Sounds, etc who are also based in California.

With an array of sites on the net, Ibarra has created a vast pool of listeners and fan base. Her YouTube channel has accumulated over 4,000 subscribers with just 12 videos! Other sites that document her daily activity include Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

Last month, Ibarra rocked the mic at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Filipino Student Organization annual Rated P (Powerful, Provocative, and Pin@y) and facilitated a spoken word workshop before the show.

Ibarra, who lists A Tribe Called Quest, Lauryn Hill, Eminem, Lupe Fiasco, Wu Tang Clan, and Kanye West as her musical influences, payed homage to Francis Magalona, the late Filipino rapper, who was the first to cross over in mainstream industry.

Ibarra’s devotion to her music and culture has taken her many places beyond the Bay area. Since then I’ve been in tune with what she has to offer.  I respect her musical abilities because it’s profanity free and poetic, in a sense. Her Tumblr page is a bit more personal, documenting her daily occurrences and local performances.

Her poem turned into “Who I Am,” which was performed at University of California Davis’s Filipino Culture Night. The first few lines is in the language of the Philippines. Her versatility and unique sound makes Ibarra a breathe of fresh air for the female rappers and hip-hop lovers.

Check out the video below.  It’s my favorite on her channel!

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