These three female rappers use their music to tackle the tough stuff.
Mainstream radio would have you believe there are, at most, two female rappers in America and both of them churn out painfully similar songs. But Milwaukee’s scene alone should dispel this fiction, especially these three lady rhyme-slingers, each vastly different in style and substance.
Kia Rap Princess
With crisp delivery, Kia Rap Princess (Nekia Fisher), 30, brims with confidence and lyrical transparency, rhyming about her songwriting expertise, partying and street life. On one track, she tackles pop culture’s proclivity for nudity. “I don’t have to take off all of my clothes for you to hear me,” she says. The lack of female MCs nationally is an opportunity. “The lane is open,” she says. “Wide open.”
Key Track: “#YeenGottaGetNaked”
When Lunaversol9 (Lia Manley-DeRuiter) progressed from poetry to rap nearly 20 years ago, she brought along a range of experiences. Her voice is subdued, and her lyrics feature metaphor-laden rhymes about life’s highs and lows. “I write a lot about stuff that hurts me personally,” says the 39-year-old, who often raps with Def Harmonic. Of local female MCs, she says: “It makes me feel like we’re getting somewhere.”
Key Track:“Run the Tape”
Shatehris Roberts, or Queen Tut, won’t pull punches, even when rapping about police brutality or corporate greed. “It’s a way for me to express myself, a therapeutic release,” says the 25-year-old, whose voice tests many speeds in the same track and often belies her lyrics’ gravity. “This is also my chance to explain what’s happening to people of color right now,” she says. “Some may not like it, but I can’t think of a better place to express it.”
key track: “Dominion”