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Coachella 2018: Women To Watch

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In the wake of Beyoncé’s absolutely epic, news-making Coachella performance, now is as good a time as any to uncover some more life-giving female talent to add to your playlists. Here are some women to watch, picked fresh from the Coachella 2018 lineup.

 

  1. Peggy Gou

Berlin-based South Korean DJ Peggy Gou is absolutely masterful when it comes to giving us chill tunes to vibe out to. The sounds are colorful, fun, and get those endorphins flowing. This is feel-good music in its purest form—which makes Peggy Gou’s light, refreshing house music the perfect compliment to your spring and summer playlists. No matter what time of year, though, you’ll find yourself transported to that perfect Saturday in June. Think: good drinks, great company, and too-good-to-be-true beach-day weather. Everybody’s talking about her breakout hit It Makes You Forget (Itgehane) and, while I could loop it for hours, my personal fave is definitely Han Jan.

 

 Image Credit:  XL recordings

  1. Ibeyi

Speaking of Beyoncé, you might’ve seen this duo across visuals from her Lemonade album. Ibeyi is made up of twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz. The French-Cuban sisters are heavily influenced by their Afro-Cuban roots and African ancestry. They mix in some Yoruba on many of their songs (my favorite, River, among those) and Ibeyi actually means twins in the language. Their self-titled album dropped back in 2015 and their sophomore album Ash dropped in 2017. So, if you’re just now catching on, you’ve already got a healthy supply of Ibeyi waiting to satisfy your ear. This wasn’t their first Coachella performance, either; they made an appearance in 2016 as well. Their soulful, spiritual sound is thoughtful and tells stories of womanhood, family, and love.

 

  1. Noname

I was first introduced to the rapper who goes by Noname on Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap mixtape. Since then, her album Telefone  has found a special place in my heart. Right along with her set on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert last year. She showcased herself herself as super-talented, super-intelligent, and super-humble. Her fresh lyricism takes on serious subject matter while staying creative and engaging. She pauses to talk to the crowd to break down her song choices and why she performed them the way she did; genuine in her desire to be understood and gauge the effectiveness of her delivery. If you haven’t already, I recommend heading over to YouTube and checking out that particular performance before diving into Telefone. After you’ve done that, Noname is sure to make it into your top ten.

 

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Featured image credit: Ninja Tune

Female Rappers on the Rise

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In a genre defined by hypermasculinity, profanity, and the sexualization of female bodies, it’s not surprising that there has never been a historically high concentration of women in rap. When it came to hip-hop, women were always tied to the role of “featured” artist, or contributing harmonies and hooks, but rarely verses. However, things are finally changing in the rap world and we have many genre-defying female artists to thank for that. We rounded up a list of the most up-and-coming female rappers on the rise that you should not be sleeping on this year.

 

CARDI B
If you haven’t heard Cardi B’s breakout single “Bodak Yellow,” then you must be living under a rock. The overarching message of the song is obvious from the first few lines: Cardi B thinks she’s better than you, and she wants to be the one to tell you. The song takes cues from classic rap culture surrounding money, glory, and celebrity. It also subverts the classic rap narrative because Cardi is a woman—the antithesis of the tough, black male rapper stereotype. She’s effortlessly breaking boundaries, and she’s doing it in a way you can dance to.  

NONAME
Starting out as a slam poet in Chicago, Fatima Warner (Noname) broke out onto the rap scene when she was featured by Chance the Rapper on the Acid Rap mixtape. Since then, she and Chance have collaborated a few more times (Surf, Coloring Book), but she was also busy recording her own debut album, Telefone. An uncompromised look at the experience of growing up a black woman in Chicago, this album is a triumph. Not only does she experiment with unconventional jazz-influenced beats, but she also uses her background in spoken word to craft extremely smart and personal verses.

YOUNG M.A.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Young M.A. (also known as Katorah Marrero) has rap running through her veins. Beginning to rap as early as age 9, the 25-year-old has accomplished a lot in her short life thus far; she’s released more than a few viral tracks (“Brooklyn Chiraq,” “Body Bag”) and two mixtapes (Sleepwalkin’, Herstory,) and the latter two received critical acclaim. Her single “OOOUUU” has over 100 million streams on Spotify alone, and it was featured on basically every party playlist in the country for a few months. Her songs aren’t just mindless bangers, either; she also uses her music as an outlet to discuss social issues and her identity as a black lesbian woman.

KAMAIYAH
Called “Oakland’s Best New Rapper” by MTV, Kamaiyah is definitely one to watch. Her debut album A Good Night in the Ghetto is a cross-section of everything she represents as a rapper: confidence, clarity, and charisma. Her verses are sharp, but they’re also fun. Heavy bass lines and catchy hooks make the tracks perfect for parties without compromising who she is. She’s not a singer, she’s a rapper—and she’s not afraid to say it. If you’re still unconvinced that she’s the next big thing, just remember she also shared a feature with Drake on the YG track “Why You Always Hatin’” in 2016.

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Female Rappers on the Rise: Featured image courtesy of CardiB/Faceboook

5 Artists You Can’t Miss at Panorama Music Festival

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From the same people who brought you Coachella (Goldenvoice) comes Panorama Music Festival. Held on Randall’s Island in New York City, the music festival is a three-day explosion beginning July 28 complete with entertainment, Instagrammable food, innovative attractions, and, of course, amazing music. With all of this going on at once, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and miss out on something great. But fear not! We have compiled a list of the top 5 artists you can’t miss at Panorama Music Festival.

 

  1. Glass Animals

If you haven’t heard the amorphous pop of Glass Animals, then you’re missing out. Their hit song “Gooey” gives off alt-J vibes, but the band’s blend of synth-pop and indie is completely their own. Their newest release, a concept album titled How To Be A Human, is even more experimental for the band. Based on stories they collected while touring, it’s much more lyric-driven than their first album, while still providing the same danceable beats as before.