Meet Haitian American Lady Tigra: One Half Of The 80’s Miami Bass Girl Group L’Trimm
December 4, 2012
In the late ’80s, Haitian American artist Lady Tigra was one half of L’ Trimm, known for their pop spin on Miami Bass, and specifically the Top 40 hit “Cars that Go Boom.
The Lady Tigra (nee Rachel de Rougemont) was born of a Haitian mother and French father in New York City, where she lived until the age of 14.
Her family relocated to the pastel-drenched land of “Sonny” Crockett and “Rico” Tubbs, also the heart of the burgeoning Miami bass scene (you guessed it – Miami, Florida), in 1984.
Who knows what would have become of The Lady Tigra if this fateful relocation didn’t occur; but, luckily for us, it did and her immersion into the Miami bass scene was as quick as you can say “Grab It” (the Lady Tigra and high school friend Bunny D’s (nee Elana Cager) – collectively known as L’Trimm – first Hot Productions single from 1988).
Fame came instantaneously for L’Trimm. Their Billboard Top 40 hit “Cars With the Boom” – from their 1988 debut LP Grab It! – also proved to be their sole Top 40 hit, earning them categorization as a “one-hit wonder.”
L’Trimm released Drop That Bottom on Atlantic Records in 1989 which earned them The Source’s crown of “Hip-Hop Goddesses of the Month.” After a long-running legal dispute with Hot Productions over the duo’s diminishing artistic input and control, L’Trimm’s producers took the reigns of the third L’Trimm album, Groovy, after the Lady Tigra and Bunny D abandoned the project. Groovy was transformed into something loosely resembling house music ala C+C Music Factory and released on Atlantic Records in 1991. It flopped, proving the artists knew best.
The Lady Tigra eschewed her career in music, returning to New York City where she worked as general manager of the nightclub Plaid (which then turned into the nightclub Spa). Fate, however, would intervene once again. The Lady Tigra was introduced to singer-songwriter and producer Berko by mutual friends.
The Lady Tigra and Berko started making music together “just for fun.” Creative sparks flew, and the phoenix rose from the ashes; The Lady Tigra was reborn – this time around without Bunny D (who is married and has four children).
In 2006, the Lady Tigra signed with High Score Records, relocated to Los Angeles (“giving LA a little taste of the ‘T’”) and commenced recording of her first album since L’Trimm’s demise. Twenty years after the release of Grab It!, The Lady Tigra is primped and primed to once again add some much needed bass (‘bass on the bottom, bass on the top / bass for your mama, bass for your pop / bass so strong it will make you swell / and you’ll be shaking your booty like a mademoiselle’ – “Bass on the Bottom”) to the unsuspecting world with Please Mr. Boombox. With Berko at the helm as primary beat-master and producer, Please Mr. Boombox drifts seamlessly from retro-80s, bass-heavy grooves (“Bass on the Bottom” and “Please Mr. Boombox”) to elaborately sculpted, modern soundscapes (“Sad Day Song” and “Cauchemars”).
At 37 years of age, the Lady Tigra has not lost her super-keen panache for penning playful and sassy lyrics over bootylicious (thank you Oxford English Dictionary for recently adding that one!) beats – most noticeably on her Pinkberry frozen yogurt jingle, “Sorry Ice Cream.”
The summer of 2011, Lady Tigra released a brand new single “Summertime” featuring Fatlip. Fatlip has done collaborations with other artists such as Ludacris, The Chemical Brothers, KRS-One, and used to be a member of the hip hop group The Pharcyde. In the new little summer ditty The Lady Tigra sings about bubbles, champagne, chillin’ in the shade, living in LA and everything else that happens from sunny day to starry night.
The video is cute and is all about summer fun. In fact, Paris Hilton even gave it props when she tweeted about it, “Check out my girl @LadyTigraxoxo‘s new music video. Looking beautiful Tigra! Cute summer song!” Could “Summertime” be the new summer fun hit?