Growing up in a strict household in the suburbs of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Tedra Wilson could only wear dresses that fell below her knee. Never pants.
Secular music was limited to Disney soundtracks, at most. Nearly every day, she and her three siblings spent hours praying at the local Pentecostal church with their mother and father.
But Wilson couldn't be monitored every moment, and when she had one to herself, she sat by her radio, studying the music her church could never support: rap.
"I remember tape-recording one of Foxy Brown's songs, and I would write it word for word," Wilson, 31, said seated inside a Station North cafe recently. "I would...