Mama. Poet. Activist. Rucker was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, where she was a graduate of Temple University’s journalism program. Rucker had been writing poetry since adolescence but kept her writings to herself until she read poetry in 1994, at Philadelphia's Zanzibar Blue, which is credited as her debut. That same year, Rucker was invited to collaborate with numerous recording artists, and producers including Wax Tailor, King Britt, 4hero, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Josh Wink, Alix Perez and most notably The Roots. Their collaboration The Unlocking led to subsequent invitations to close The Roots follow-up albums Illadelph Halflife and the certified gold record Things Fall Apart. Rucker garnered a reputation for unique poetry techniques and stage presence which were described as "strong, vulnerable, wounded and raging". King Britt gave Rucker recognition and invited her to create her first spoken-word recording, the 1994 club hit Supernatural. She appears in the 2008 film The Black Candle, directed by M.K. Asante, Jr. and narrated by Maya Angelou.