With world tours just announced for Rihanna, Adele, Grimes, and more, 2016 is gearing up to be another year in music dominated by women. Expect to see and hear a lot more of these up and comers as they approach the new year with a vibrant new vision for expression in the industry.
1. MARSHIA CELINA
"Hey Black Child,
Do you know you are strong?
I mean really strong?"
The above quote is from a poem by Countee Cullen and is featured in "Reality Rap: The Digital Tape," the latest project from Toronto-based rap visionary Marshia Celina. The 17-minute piece reads like a love-letter to the revolution, and Celina's references to past civil rights contributions drop serious truth bombs about unchanging attitudes of racism in America. Her lyrics demand consciousness from the listener, and paired with intense, old-school beats, will no doubt move audiences to their feet. To see for yourself, catch her at This Ain't Hollywood in Hamilton on Friday December 4th alongside other stellar local rappers Emay and LAL.
2. GRRRL PRTY
The GRRRL PRTY music collective, as you can see from the header photo, consists of rappers Lizzo, Sophia Eris, Manchita, Quinn Wilson and DJ Shannon Blowtorch. Although they hail from Minneapolis, they are making international headlines for their latest (and fiercest) EP, GRRRL PRTY x Bionik. The diverse group is known for not only their scathing rhymes but their strong feminist stance as well. The team's mantra of making unapologetic, body-positive, socially-conscious rap provides refreshing and relevant contrast to the seemingly endless stream of male-driven rap that revolves around sex, drugs, and partying. In an interview with Rookie Magazine, the group confirms that if you feel they sound angry, you're right. Manchita explains, “We write fight songs...We're charged.” Their music is intertwined with the realities of being stigmatized and even targeted for one's race, gender, appearance, and sexuality. Lizzo's “Ain't I” is a standout with an ending that I guarantee will earn the track its spot on your next playlist.
3. NONAME GYPSY
If you haven't heard about Noname Gypsy by now, be prepared to. With the long-awaited mixtape, Telefone, set to debut soon, latecomers can also experience the smooth, smart, and hypnotic melodies of Noname. I've been obsessed with the artist since first hearing her in “Lost,” on Chance The Rapper's 2013 Acid Rap. Her flow is understated and brings the perfect amount of energy to the mellowest of beats. With curious and emotive lyrics that provoke thought and imagery, it comes as no surprise that Noname got her start participating in Slam poetry competitions and open mic's in her native Chicago with the support of buddies Chance and Vic Mensa. Listen to Noname's raw talent for yourself in the beautiful, serene, “Warm Enough”: