2 badass women the rap American industry needed : I present you Leikeli47 and Bbymutha

You can’t imagine how honoured I’m feeling, just writing this article. Right now, living in a new age of femininity in the rap industry, those two artists, sightly different, are bringing some brand new universes.

LEIKELI47

Picture from Tumblr but taken on Pinterest

First thing first, I found out about her and her music in the HBO show, Insecure circa October 2016. Issa Rae, during an incredible scene of boosting self-confidence is completing herself on the song « Attitude », an iconic moment which made the show gain more popularity and convinced me to listen to the artist behind the sound. Leikeli47 born in New York, is until today a pure mystery to me. I don’t know her age (but I guess that she could be in her twenties). With her bandanas masks, the rapper is playing the anonymous card, used by a lot of artists before her as the cryptic MFDOOM or the french duo djs Daft Punk. This part of enigma confers her a charm.

Leikeli47 music sounds like a strawberry bubblegum with an explosive part at the end. She has an universe full of faux-fur, strass and artsy nails. But her music goes beyond. Expressing her issues with the male gender, she often claims a liberty for herself, and for women in general. Mixing this super feminine world with her revendications and her texts, at the end we have a super dope combo. With this wit of New York in her which shows on every song, she can rap, make you dance and tell your boyfriend to fuck off in the same sentence. She’s about individuals’ empowerment and celebration.

The most important part of her art is the fact that she talks to women and to men, and at the end to everybody. Her music units many communities as the LGBT community. The songs « Pose that » or « Wash & Set » are primer examples : those sounds are clearly inspired by the music used in the ballrooms, a part of house and big basses, everything is musically reunited to vogue, drag and POSE. I saw her live last year in May 2019 and she was incredible in front of us, giving to the audience a lot of positivity and good vibes. With her dj as her backer, they were on fire. In the middle of the concert, she invited some guys to vogue and battle on the scene, an unforgettable moment. I realized the Leikeli47 that I listen on my phone was the same that I saw live. She’s a true artist. Her love for fashion and her pettiness are undeniable some famously parts of the ballroom culture and voguing culture. Her projects and albums are full of different musical worlds. Leikeli47 seems to be in her zone everywhere, she adapts herself and pen on soul or industrial hip hop, nothing scares her.

She’s the princess that I’ve been waiting for. Seeing the New York rap scene, she brings a new way of expression and she transcends.

BBYMUTHA

Picture from Pinterest.

BBYMUTHA is already a true star and icon. Born Britnee Moore, she’s from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Last summer, I was listening to my new weekly discovers, when I came across her song « Sleeping with the enemy » (2018) and I started following her. Mutha is a weapon, she’s impolite, she doesn’t miss a target and she’s confident.

She got that Southern spirit in her music : the trap or chopped and screwed sounds are sensible in her songs. The southern scene (Georgia, Texas, Tennessee and more) are known to have opened American rap music to their style and universe to what they called : the dirt. This kind of country rap chocked the USA at the beginning of the 2000. Lil John or T.I. are main figures. BBYMUTHA represents the southern well and with talent. Her music is dangerous. She depicts her life and how her enemies try her. Bitches trying to mess her, men fragility and indelicacy, Mutha is as her stage name, lethal. She has a certain aura. She’s of course a lyricist but what I appreciate the most is her voice. Her raucous voice gives to her songs a bit of character, toughness and drama. The project « Mutha Day 3 » (2018) is solid, grim and bitter. She’s a gangsta and proud of it. On the other hand « The Bastard Tape, Vol 1 » (2018) defers a lot. Maybe her tender side showed off and the project is brighter. But the rapper didn’t loose her energy and figure.

On social media too, Mutha doesn’t play. Her Instagram is a museum of her graphic world. Her aesthetic vision and her music complete each other. The oddness that we can find in some of her songs as in the song « Religion » with the flute and the dramatic and intense piano, is perceived in her outfits, her hairstyles and her photos. Her looks are a mix of darkness and brightness, like gothic meets romanticism, Marilyn Manson meets Ariana Grande. She affirms her personality with colored wigs, pimped nails and quirk looks. Implicating her personal life in her music, BBYMUTH. MUTHA has released a project last week named « Muthaleficent » (2020) and she delivers and keeps winning.

Leikeli47 and BBYMUTHA are to me true gems in the urban industry. They established their images and stick to them. They don’t have the same realm but they express their arts to conclude to the same result : they are strong, beautiful and talented black women persisting and conquering. They both have some solid little fanbases sensed all around the world, as in Europe. I’m not worried about them because nobody can take away their talents. The real question is : is the industry ready for them? And are the labels ready to include more black women distancing themselves from the linear constructed black woman archetype, which has been winning right now and for the last 10 years?

Lunaticharlie.

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