We're counting down 5 underrated queer women of color Hip Hop and R&B artists that you need in your rotation.
5) Tiffany Gouché
Tiffany Gouché (pronounced Goo-shay) is an artist I recently learned of from Instagram. I looked up her Soundcloud and instantly fell in love! Combining her love for women, seductive lyrics and her distinct tenor tone makes for the R&B artist one could only dream of. She also composes her own music (which is rare these days). What I love most about her music is I don't need to change the pronouns in her songs (I know y'all know the struggle)! She's collaborated with artists like Little Simz, Casey Veggies, and is currently on tour with Daley.
Standout Track: Red Rum Melody (Warning: This song may result in your clothes magically disappearing)
4) Angel Haze
I can’t remember how I found out about the dopeness that is Angel Haze, but I remember how she made me feel…shook. Her insane wordplay puts her haters in their rightful place, but Haze does more than boast. She’s got layers. She raps, she sings, and she doesn’t shy away from more personal songs that discuss heavy issues like abuse, depression and questioning religion. She is more than a rapper, she is a storyteller who puts you in the shoes of her subjects especially in Castle on a Cloud. It's easy to see that music is therapy for Angel Haze and we're all invited to vent, heal and celebrate with her.
Standout Song: "Impossible"
3) Young M.A
This Brooklyn native rapper took the world by storm with her 2016 hit “OOOUUU” which I’ll admit I had to let it grow on me. I was instantly mesmerized as I saw article after article where she’s constantly having to address her gender and her masculine presenting style. I even had a YouTube binge watch of her videos and the majority of the comments section are people saying things like: “Young M.A is the only female rapper I f--k with! (sexist)” “She’s better than most of these dudes out here! (true)” “I would turn gay for her! (girl, bye.)” “Why does she dress like a dude though? (who cares)" It became very clear to me that Young M.A is a rapper that causes a much needed disruption to hip hop as we know it. She didn’t come in the game trying to be a dolled up femme. She dresses how she is comfortable and makes it about the music and I respect it. She’s a dope emcee... PERIOD labels be damned.
I found out about Baelani—excuse me Kehlani back in 2014 from rapper G-Eazy on Twitter. He tweeted a link to her mixtape Cloud 19. I was looking for new music so I pressed play, that’s when I fell in love with this tatted up Oakland girl. One particular song from Cloud 19 got my attention First Position, a song of Kehlani seducing an inexperienced woman to sleep with her. “Girl let me put you on with something real/wanna show you how it feels/to rock with something trill/so come join me in this room girl it’s time/I know what you like/baby let me get you right…” Let’s just say I was enticed. I followed her Soundcloud, watched countless interviews and music videos and found myself not only enamored by her charm but in admiration of her grind! Her second mixtape You Should Be Here was nominated for a Grammy! Yes, a Grammy for a mixtape! She toured this year for her album Sweet, Sexy, Savage and I was lucky enough to get a ticket to her sold out Los Angeles show. Her stage presence was crazy, her choreography was on point and she had messages of self-love and love for the LGBTQ community throughout her set. Simply put she's amazing.
Standout track: Everything is Yours
Syd is probably the most known on this list but still so underrated! She’s most known for being the lead vocalist for the group The Internet but before that she was signed to Odd Future and known as “Syd Tha Kyd”. I found out about Syd in 2015 listening to Pandora. When I heard Girl I was so excited to have another love song where I didn’t need to change the pronouns (seriously, that means a lot to me). “If I told you that you rock my world/I want ya around me/ would you let me call you my girl/my girlfriend, my girlfriend/I could give you the life you deserve/Just say the word/and I got ya/ darlin’ I got ya." Her voice was so smooth and gentle, like nothing I had heard before. I loved that The Internet was her and five other guys who let Syd be Syd. I was even more excited when she dropped her debut solo album Fin earlier this year. “Did she just give me another anthem?” I thought as I listened to Got Her Own. I swear this woman sings the soundtrack to my life. She also just dropped a 3-track EP Always Never Home and it just confirmed that Syd just can’t make a bad song. There are few artists who I reserve the term “eargasmic” for but she’s earned it. Syd is someone you listen to when you want to get your feelings out for the woman you love or simply been eye-fucking from across the room.
Standout track: (All of them honestly, but to keep up with the theme I’ll pick one.)
Bad Dream/ No Looking Back