by I.S. Jones & Jake Milgate
Editor’s Note: I couldn’t tell you exactly when I slipped into this depression and subsequent fear of writing and reporting–quitting a job amidst family turmoil, making ends meet in such an expensive city, and on and on–I retreated from things I love, things that remind me why I fight for what I love. Art is a source of my power, as I imagine is the same for the women in this playlist. If I can be frank, there were not nearly enough women to choose from–for every rapper that sent music, maybe eight male rappers mailed in music as well. I began writing about music because I saw many talented emerging rappers not getting the recognition, I felt, they deserved.
When I became immersed in the culture, I noticed it was true two-fold for women. If not for music like what is here in this playlist, I don’t know if the threats and trolling (which happens too often) would be worth it. The music always centers me. It is the music that lifts me from the floorboards towards the light.
I was back and forth about explicitly stating this is an “all women’s playlists” but some male rappers began using the hashtag I created to increase their chances of “exposure”. What became clear to me is that making an all-woman playlist is about leveling the playing field. It’s about saying “these rappers are exceptional because they are exceptional and not solely because they are women. They may have been looked over because they are women”. The music you’ll find here borrow jazz-infused undertones, hard-knock boom baps, sensual cadence that rests on the tongue like silk. The music is funny playful, silly, and urgent in its deliverance. I hope, dear readers, this music finds you as it found me. Thanks for listening.
Baddie: Jean Grae meets Lil Wayne– such is the dynamic power and irreverence of Chyna Streetz. Audacious and captivating in her stark yet specific wordplay, the Brooklyn resident’s bravado is electric. Born Ashley Evans, Chyna Streetz is a multi-talented artist. As a singer-songwriter, her transition into music as a performer comes on the heels of a successful modeling career. Her other music can be found here
Come Correct: The synergy between these two rappers is phenomenal. Powerhouses Gifted Gab and Blimes Brixton team for a woman duo the likes of which hip-hop has not seen in a while. The duo trades bar-for-bar with each note dipped in that classic boom-bap beat ascribed from past generations of the genre. “Come Correct” serves as the collaboration with Seattle’s Gifted Gab has gained 20 million views across platforms & counting.
Reputation: We’ve spoken about Phlow here on Dead End Hip Hop before. The Nigerian rapper creates here a short, biting rhymes assert not only her confidence as an emcee, but where she stands in the game–emerging, yes, but also not one to be trifled with or overlooked. Check out her mini ep “Asuai” here
Irrelevant: I’ve always been a fan of a braggadocious single from a woman rapper because women rarely are given the permission to speak into their power & abilities. In “Irrelevant”, those in opposition of rapper Chanda Tresvant. Her confidence is sexy and infectious. Her voice is firm and unwavering. The California native who comes from a music-oriented family (her uncle is Ralph Tresvant, the lead of New Edition) has worked with the likes of Young Dolph, Nipsey Hustle, and more. Check more her music out here.
Message: We’ve also had the honor of featuring Abby Jasmine here on Dead End. The Staten Island Native came into the public eye through her comedic persona. Her Vines went viral amassing a huge following. From there she began cultivating a promising music career. The California music native has found her unique voice: bravado and inventive in her flow. You can find more music from the recent Cinematic Music Group signee here.
Hot Damn: I couldn’t continue this playlist without coming back to Blimes Brixton. Her sensual appeal has all tantalizing feminine energy equally blended with her swagger makes her bars that much more lethal. Blimes teams up with legend Method Man to create “Hot Damn”. As stated in her bio: “from the heart of San Francisco, Blimes Brixton is an MC and vocalist armed with an unmatched passion for artistry. Her distinctive voice is globally appreciated; early on in her career, the lyricist joined the likes of Too Short, Adam Vida, & France’s Scratch Bandits Crew on various releases and co-headlined a 25 city European tour with LA rapper Gavlyn”.
No Lie: FrivolousShara is exactly what I need to keep my energy up with winter looming closer every day. Infused with an undertone of swing time jazz, high hats, and daring bass, FrivolousShara is charming, fun, and flirty in her clever wordplay: “I’m making waves like a water-bender”. The Michigan Native is, for me, an instant favorite. View the rest of LP “Route 44” here.
Orange Skyline: Left Eye Meets Biggie, Seattle’s own Gifted Gab is on top of the world in “Orange Skyline”. The perfect party anthem that sits on the zenith of a good night with friends, Orange Skyline is fun in that throwback style of rap with a modern twist. Born Gabrielle Kadushin, the Seattle native grew up in the church and singing in the choir, she was composing melodies and playing instruments at a young age. Since then has gone on to open for legends such as DJ Quik, Rakim & Slick Rick as well as write-ups in major publications like XXL, VH1, Dope & TIME magazine. You can listen to her music here
Ghetto Fabulous: Emerging rapper Sávage’s single was the best track to transition to the playlist’s conclusion. A song which is mellow in comparison to the others on the playlist, the Chattanooga, TN native takes her time meander and scattering her voice in jazz-infused incantations. Her latest single ‘Wolfe’ released on October of this year.
No One: Sometimes you just need a song that will tell you it’s going to be okay. For the eight hour shifts that just drag on, for the days when you don’t know if you’re going to make it, for the long days ahead, Nigeria’s very own Maka has just the song to ease the soul. Sensual, soulful, fellow Nigerian Phlow joins on her the track.
Jake Milgate is a Staff Writer with Dead End Hip Hop. He resides in upstate New York.
I.S. Jones is the Managing Editor of Dead End Hip Hop. You can tweet at her here.