Lady Saw never made much of an impact on the U.S. charts (unless you count her feature on No Doubt's "Underneath It All"), but her reggae/dancehall tunes influenced today's pop in a big way, beginning with Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.
"I love watching all the island girls just expanding," Lady Saw said in a recent interview with Complex. "I saw Rihanna just came out with a new cologne for men, and I'm like, 'Imagine her on an island growing up. Did she ever dream that [she] would ever be that famous?' Even though I didn't want to be that famous, I like privacy so I couldn't do the Hollywood thing, but I'm proud of them. I love them."
The 42-year-old hasn't put out an album in four years, a break she says was due to family issues.
"When I was going through some things, I was at a dark place like three years ago," she said. "There was some personal things going on with me and my man. For 18 years we've been together. He got a child on me, but not just one child — there were kids before. I don't even want to talk about it, but it was all over the media and the press. All the females in the game were picking at me like, 'Oh, we have something on her, let's go in!'"
"So they went it. I was like taking it to God, talking about it. I started having some experiences where I started getting in the spirit. The Holy Ghost took me over, and I'm like, "God is this ... I should go get baptized." I was about to, but then one of them wouldn't stop, and I said, "So, God, if this is a test, I'm going to fail." But when I look into it, I dealt with it and everything. I said I'm sorry to my fans because I didn't want to go down that road."
Now, she's turning her experience into wisdom and subsequent positive messages for woman in the world.
"Every album sold, a part of the money goes to my Lady Saw Foundation for abused women and children because I've been an abused girl," she said. "I just didn't tell everybody about everything. I talk about some things. Some of my fellow females in the game didn't understand why I didn't talk about it. I'm planning a movie about my life about the whole thing. I'm not done yet, and I came for a reason and that reason was to uplift women and to tell them to love yourself. 'Pretty Fingers' was about loving yourself."
Her new album, Alter Ego, dropped earlier this month, and you can listen to "Pretty Fingers" below.