feature image of Hua Li from ixdaily.com
The emergence of queer and queer-conscious hip-hop artists is a small revolution. It parallels changing social and political attitudes towards LGTBQ women as the doors of opportunity open slowly but surely. The artists that come out now are going to break down barriers in hip-hop, music, pop culture and the world at large.
The women featured here are a diverse bunch but all of them are businesswomen, brands, revolutionaries, really dope human beings and a key element of the future of hip-hop. Speaking for the underrepresented, they’re our soundtrack for minorities and marginalized groups around the globe, cracking open doors of opportunity for the next generation of openly queer and gender non-conforming music artists to follow. They’re from all over the globe kickin’ ass and takin’ names one record at a time. Hear them. See them. Support them!
1. Brooke Candy
The former exotic dancer turned rap artist is proof that that women do everything men do so much better! She extrapolates on the hypersexuality of a musical genre that remains male-dominated by challenging the double standards placed on women. Brooke manages to be overtly sexual as she effortlessly satirizes the typical hip-hop subject matters like money, cars, clothes, and women. Straight from southern California, she puts confidence behind words designed to strip that very element from the queer community. Most importantly, she does something hip-hop doesn’t often do, which is allow women to be in charge of their own sexuality. You can follow Brooke Candy on Facebook.
Brooke Candy – “Das Me”
2. Angel Haze
Rakeeya “Angel” Haze is known as much for her provocative lyricism as she is for being openly pansexual. She’s fearless with an effortless but powerful delivery. The unapologetic lyricist conquers every topic verbally and visually. Angel tackles religion, pedophilia, sexual violence against women, her personal sexuality, suicide, abuse, depression, and human trafficking like a mother effing pro’. Plus, she’s currently nominated for a 2014 MTV Video Music Award for “Best Video With a Social Message” for her song “Battle Cry” featuring Sia. Make sure you vote for Angel using the link! You can follow Angel Haze on Twitter.
Angel Haze feat. Sia – “Battle Cry”
This proud Bed-Stuy native and self-proclaimed “D.Y.K.E.” has a painful past and a promising future that all people can relate to. As a star of “Sisterhood of Hip-hop,” she’s bringing her rhymes and a peak into her relationship onto television, joining the few (but growing!) number of queer women of color on television. The Sisterhood of Hip-Hop airs on August 12, 2014 at 9:00p.m. on Oxygen. Make sure you tune in! You can follow Siya on Twitter.
Siya discusses sexuality and hip-hop:
4. God-Des & She
The veterans of the game. Tina Gassen (She) and Alicia Smith (God-des) got their first major taste of exposure on The L Word where they performed the cunnilingus anthem “Lick It.” The duo is still together, making new music and launching a web docu-series about their new tour, their recent album The United States of God-Des and She, and their relocation from the southern swag of Austin, Texas to the Big Apple. I love that they’re unafraid to explore the dynamics of queer relationships and same-sex education in the best forum possible: the music. You can follow God-Des and She on Facebook.
God-Des & She – “Lick It”
The new addition and maybe the best-kept secret of the bunch, this rapper-slash-actor is making waves for her androgynous look, liberated lesbian lyrics, and all-around confidence. It’s no secret that Chicago is not a city for the faint of heart, and she delivers aggressively personal stories for your listening pleasure of her 2014 EP Cocaine. In the video for “Tempers Room,” she demands her female lover take her clothes off, questions her thoughts on infidelity, and contemplates how to balance her career with her love life. Currently hosting and touring, you can follow Temper on Facebook.
Temper – “Tempers Room”
6. Dai Burger
She’s raunchy, explicit, unique, from Queens, NY, and she’s got a cool ass name. This in-your-face part Jamaican jewel dropped her 2014 mixtape affectionately titled, In Ya Mouf, and she’s coming to a city near you possibly with a small cheeseburger in hand! The former stylist and background dancer for Lil’ Mama has no problem speaking her mind on records like “Souffle” and the club banger “Big Boob Bitch.” She may tell you how it tastes and give you a lipstick tutorial all at once. Be prepared! You can follow Dai Burger on Facebook.
Dai Burger – “Souffle”
7. Oh Blimey The Kid
This brave Bay Area born badass is my nominee for “life of the party.” The rapper/singer/songwriter is gaining notoriety for representing an under-represented group in queer hip-hop as a tomboy chick who’s got hella bars unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Recently relocated to Los Angeles, Blimey has her big personality and belligerent bars set on all things music and entertainment. Unafraid to let you know the status of her sexuality, the club banger “Make It Pop” gives you a taste into the world of Oh Blimey. You can follow Oh Blimey on Facebook.
Oh Blimey – “Make It Pop”
8. Rainbow Noise Entertainment (Stud Phame & Cee Smith)
I became familiar with Las Vegas native Stud Phamous after she pulled out a dildo in the heat of a rap battle. Truly a rap battle first! I mean, talk about crushing the competition. She has since joined forces with fellow rapper Cee Smith to collaborate on the Rainbow Noise Entertainment mixtape Complicated Compilation. The goal of lesbian-owned-and-operated Rainbow Noise Entertainment is to represent LGBTQ entertainers and artists in visual and performing arts that have raw talent and commercial appeal. You can follow Rainbow Noise on Facebook.
Rainbow Noise – “Off the Richter”
9. Azealia Banks
The bisexual mermaid bombshell of the game. She really is the queen of digital controversy. As popular for her bold statements on sexuality and Twitter fights as she is for her magnetic sound and yung rapunxel swag, Azealia demands all eyes on her. It’s like Naomi Campbell throwing a cell phone at the hip-hop industry. You can follow Azealia Banks on Facebook.
Azealia Banks – “212”
Recently featured on our Rebel Girls Dance Party: Women’s Voices Through Time playlist is a bisexual rap queen from Birmingham, England. RoxXxan boasts an ungodly flow with an unapologetic style and attitude to match. She has no problem rocking feminine and masculine styles or letting you know of her love for women in her lyrics. She stays on tour and on many musical collaborations that remind us all why she needs mainstream attention, immediately. You can follow RoxXxan on Twitter.
RoxXxan – “Two Fuckin’ Facety”
The independent icons of the game. Together, IQ and Nor, Mount Vernon, New York natives come together and form the gender bending duo Kin4Life, who we interviewed back in 2010. Not only does this group create meaningful music, they produce and song-write under their own independent label Noriq Records. They are back with their new project Money Brings Trouble. You can follow Kin4Life on Facebook.
Kin4Life – “Jackin’ My Swag”
12. Saye Sky
The international Iranian-born Saye Sky is a force of nature. In a country with very limited rights for queer people, Saye has taken a huge safety risk in order to speak about her personal struggles with her sexuality and religion. It’s hard enough being gay, but her presence is truly a giant moment for all queerkind. As a result of her choice to be an openly gay artist, she has since relocated to Toronto, Canada and continues to perform and be an outspoken activist for Iranian LGBTQ rights. You can follow Saye Sky on Facebook.
Saye Sky – “Bidari” (English Translation)
The empowerment specialist. This Berlin, Germany based feminist rapper not only loves hip-hop, she believes in magnifying gender and sexism with every lyric and every moving image. It’s fitting that her degree is in Gender Studies. She focuses on questioning the audience on what appropriate feminine and masculine behavior is. You can follow Sookee on Facebook.
Sookee – “D.R.A.G.”
14. Hua Li aka Peggy Hogan
The Canadian rookie of all things queer. On her Twitter, her bio states she’s everybody’s girlfriend. In real life, Hua Li (the alter ego of Peggy Hogan) is a queer sex columnist, classically trained jazz musician, deejay, and an independent hip hop artist from Montreal, Quebec. From feminism to taking a stab at a what society has deemed to be a male-only arena, Hua Li doesn’t mind pushing the envelope. She has dominated the queer music scene in Montreal for a while, and now it’s time for the world to get to know her better! You can follow Peggy Hogan aka Hua Li on Tumblr.
Hua Li – “Pinkett”
15. Amplify Dot
Last but certainly not least, the game changer, Amplify Dot. The south London based spitta knocks down all gender barriers. In 2012, she was the first female rapper in the UK to sign to a major label in over a decade. She’s shared the stage with some of hip-hop’s biggest names, like Missy Elliott, and had a major feature with Busta Rhymes on her single “I’m Good.” Not only is she a wizard with words, she is now bringing the same word game to BBC Radio this September with #TheDottyShow. She’s a big deal! You can follow Amplify Dot on Twitter.
Amplify Dot – “Outlaw”