Cover Story: Napoleon and His Sisters

IsWhat?! MC in a one-on-one with himself

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Napoleon Maddox: With so many sisters, how did this inform your outlook on women?

Napoleon Maddox: Having eight sisters affects my outlook on women in so many ways that I've yet to identify them all. One thing I know is that my sisters are different from each other in very unique ways.

The most basic lesson might be recognizing that women are unique. I think also sometimes I might have stronger feelings about things that affect women because I have feelings connected to my sisters in general without even thinking of any of them individually.

NM: What have your sisters taught you about women?

NM: They taught me to feel women, the way you feel the Holy Spirit or the way you feel joy by offering a sincere compliment to anyone or the way you can smile and it just feels good. So without ever knowing it, I wasn't being taught facts. I was being schooled on and in Spirit. Women feel things very deeply.

NM: About yourself they have taught you...

NM: ... many lessons. Don't start unnecessary arguments. I'm still learning that. Don't assume that feeling strongly that you're right makes you right. There are ways you can have the right ideas or answers and still be wrong. The spirit of the deed can be more powerful than the deed itself.

NM: Have you merely used the information to up the ante of your holla?

NM: Fortunately, I have no holla. By many I might have been considered a sucka, 'cause there was a time that I thought most, if not every, woman was my sister. So, no, my holla was just the standard/un-standard friendship/non-line.

NM: Give us real time anecdotes about growing up in that house.

NM: One incident I'll never forget is arguing with my sister Jassy over the "betterness" of a Lamberghini over a Ford Taurus. Jassy didn't think much of the Lamberghini and I didn't think much of the Taurus. If we were both boys, we would have agreed that the streets of heaven must be covered with Lamberghinis and hell overflows with those ugly Taurus cars. Jassy could go overboard, and this time our parents had enough and she got in trouble.

I have a strong will and a house full of sisters didn't break it. It was just shaped into a tool for survival.

NM: And how do you feel about your sisters?

NM: I feel completely different about each one. I love them all, but Brena is like an OG to me, there's nothing I can say. Schoolin' me is beyond her now. By the time I was forming an idea she was finishing it or carrying it out.

Leen and I have been at odds in the best way. It seems like our ideologies are circles that go far apart at the most distant points and still connect to make one reality. She once scolded me for my nappy, uncombed hair and now she's a step away from 'locks.

Rita is the artist and comedian I always wanted to be. She could draw so good and I'd just admire it. Rita would also play this game with me like my head was a football and she would throw my head to me and I'd run and catch it. Yes, my head.

Me and Karen had this thing where we'd always act like we were top-notch auto specialists. Porsches, Audis, Ferraris — we'd claim 'em all, with no place to park 'em.

Karen was the first one to endorse my beat-box skills. There was one beat she always wanted me to do for people, then she'd be mad if I didn't do it just like I did it before.

Sandy was '80s pop culture. Somehow she acquired a million Prince buttons to cover her blue jean jacket. But it then it hit the fan when our mother and daddy saw the jacket.

Jassy made me feel like I was the greatest storyteller of all time. She'd listen and laugh and act like I was the TV when I was in the zone.

Nae Nae was as close to a brother as I'll ever get. We ran through the woods together, caught crawdads, fixed bikes, rocked the mic together and on and on and on.

Omega is potential. Omega makes me sharpen my pencil and try to write a better rhyme. She makes me know poets' blood is in our veins, and she is so sincere.

The one sister that I didn't name yet is my mother. She is all of the above.

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