In preparation for Femcee Madness, 8 young rappers are officially competing for your votes to complete the brackets! This is your chance to choose your favourite of 4 rappers for each vote-in spot that is marked as TBD... because it is "to be decided..." by YOU! For those who need an update about what Femcee Madness is all about, here is my intro, or if you would like a closer look at the brackets, a printable version can be found here. For those who are ready to check out the vote-in contenders, you are in exactly the right place! This is what we're looking at right now...
Here is one more chance to get more acquainted with these hopeful femcee contenders before making the big decision about who you want to see advance. First up we have the 4 women hoping for the #11th seed in the Northwest Freshman quadrant. For a youtube playlist featuring a couple songs from each contender, here's a link, but I've also linked each song I mention individually below.
Meet Rye Rye. In 2008, when she was still in high school in Baltimore, she toured and collaborated with M.I.A, who quickly became her mentor and label boss. Her last solo album, Go! Pop! Bang! was released in 2012, but she is still doing feature verses here and there. Her specialty is making club bangers, and some good examples to check out include, "Dance," and "Bang." I'm also a fan of the more down-tempo "Never Will Be Mine," that features the mesmerizing Robyn, and just so happens to be embedded below.
Next up is Lola Monroe. Although she still has yet to release a full-length album, she has been steadily releasing solid mixtapes since 2009. She has also made plenty of guest appearances on albums by big names in hip hop, like Wiz Khalifa, Trina and Cassie. It probably doesn't hurt that she is stunning, and made her debut in the industry as a model/actress, but her first love is music and her hard rhymes just might be her strongest feature. Check out her "Overtime" video from 2010, or "Louis, Gucci, Fendi," with Los. However, my favourite thing she has on YouTube is a remix of "Run the World."
Straight outta London, with loads of Caribbean influence (her parents are both from St. Kitts), Lady LeShurr has been making fans laugh as much as she's made them dance. Her rhymes are chock-full of playful pop culture references, but she can bring the burns as strong as the jokes. LeShurr has released at least one EP or mixtape every year since 2009. Her "Queen's Speech[es]," are really what put her on the map; the most popular is #4 but I prefer either "QS Ep.3" and "QS Ep.6." Also the video for "Where Are You Now?" is extra fun and shady.
Finally we have the badass Mexican formerly known as Snow White, Snow Tha Product. If you've spent any time with The Hamilton Mixtape, you might recognize her from the best verse on "Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)." Before 2010, Snow primarily recorded in Spanish and gained a following among Hispanophones, but since moving to Texas and recording more in English, her versatility in not only language, but also in style, genre and content, has caught a lot of attention. Whether she's rocking a party anthem like, "AyAyAy," or getting some feelings off her chest in "Bet That I Will," she brings it all. But if you only watch one thing, I'd suggest this:
And now for the moment of truth...
And just like that, we're on to the next batch of even fresher (younger, more recent) femcees. These women are competing for the coveted #16 spot in the Southwest bracket among other young peers. If you prefer the youtube playlist option, I've made one on here.
Do not underestimate Nadia Rose. She may be young and small and adorable, but she's more badass than you think, with exactly the attitude and sense of humour you might expect from a rapper from South London. In just 3 years, Rose has made a name for herself with fun, lightly choreographed visuals to aid her catchy hooks and tight verses. The slightly earlier "Station" is a YouTube favourite, as well as the more recent "Boom," that was filmed on a regular night out with her friends. The track that made me a serious fan is "Skwod," which is embedded below.
Kamaiyah's mixtape, A Good Night in the Ghetto plays like one long 90s west-coast hip hop nostalgia trip. Her track for YG's Drake-featured "Why You Always Hatin'?" gave her an audience outside of her hometown of Oakland, California. She makes a lot of great feel-good jams like "I'm On," but can also get heavy with, "For My Dawg." Her biggest jam to date, however, is this track that also shows off her sick style.
Nitty Scott MC sometimes refers to herself as Little Buddah, but don't pigeonhole her. It's true that she's often designated as a socially and spiritually conscious rapper, but that doesn't mean she can't spit a diss. For the contrast see "Generation Now" and "Hieroglyphics." I'm a big sucker for this one time where she raps over a Roxanne Shanté sample... oh look, here it is.
Last but not least (unless you don't vote for her) we have another London representative, Little Simz. I don't know if anyone has been working as hard as she has - releasing 3 EPs a year before dropping full length albums in 2015 and 2016. Her poetic rhymes are often inspiring without shying away from hard truths. Some good places to start are "The Hamptons" and "Gratitude," or this beautiful live recording of "Wings."
And that's about enough from me. Do your research, make your choice, and share the madness!
You can vote once per day (if you're a super-fan) until Feb. 15th, when the femcees with the most votes will advance to playing among the stars of the brackets! Good luck to your faves,