THE GOLDEN GIRL: Lady Lykez
LADY LYKEZ wants you to know that she loves her butt and yes, the weave that she wears is her hair.
Don’t be confused, Lykez is a conscientious, intelligent emcee who regularly works with children and can out-rap any of her male counterparts but she is also on a mission to challenge the established ideals of beauty through her music. Her newest song I Love My Butt talks about her hugely bulbous derrière and affirms her happiness with it.
“I would walk around the place and people would say ‘oh my god, look at her butt’; I found it funny, and one day the song just came to me,” explained the 24-year-old.
“It’s a celebration song; I describe my butt and use the biggest things in the world to compare it to - like the Grand Canyon. When I perform the track the crowd absolutely love it, some people hear the title and think it’s going to be explicit, but it’s not. There’s nothing rude about it, its just fun.”
It is not all fun and jokes for the rapper, who learnt the hard way that image matters to the decision makers in the music industry.
“Image is important to the business, I found that out at a young age – it was kind of hurtful because I have always loved music and it’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t realise that there was so much more to being an artist or a star. It’s not just about the music, its about if you look good and if girls would want to look like you.”
“Society has built the impression that light skin is beautiful, if you don’t look like Beyonce you are not perceived to be pretty, if your dark skin and it’s hard. I feel that I have a duty as a dark skin woman to show that we are beautiful. I did a show the other day and performed I Love My Butt and It’s Not Your Hair track, and these girls came up to me after and said they really liked my performance because I was a dark skin black woman holding her own, I didn’t realise the impact that it would have, I almost cried,” said the artist.
According to Lykez, in order to become a popular musician, who transcends barriers, you must be relatable.
“I do subjects that I know everyone will get, even your mum and dad will understand the subjects that I am talking about. I think if you’re an emcee and you’re only talking about how many bars you have, that’s fine but if you can relate to more people through your music, it will go further.
“People want realness, the reason I have gotten to the position I am in today is because I am me. People are yearning for real acts to come through, who they can relate to. You got Nicki Minaj and these American artists and they are cool, but can people really relate to what she’s about?”
Still, the emcee had to admit that regardless of a musicians ‘real’ personality or technical ability some acts gain fame purely because of their looks.
“I’ve seen certain female rappers that are not good, but because people think they’re pretty it’s ok for them not have any talent.”
On the whole, female rappers are holding their own and garnering a respected status on both the underground and mainstream scenes - even though there is still a resistance by some to work with lady emcees.
“It’s not a case of men thinking women can’t rap, it’s just that some guys don’t want to work with women or put women on the radio because they are intimidated by our talent and know that we can rap better than them.”
But Lykez and other femcees are still facing an uphill struggle to get played on the radio and receive the same exposure as male rappers, admittedly Lykez has felt the pressure to change her musical style.
“I’m not going to lie, I have been fighting this battle with myself, people have recently suggested I do different types of music because it can get me on radio but it’s difficult. I could do a pop track but my main forte is hip-hop. I like rap and I think a lot of the mainstream pop is ok, but it all sounds the same. It’s that bubblegum, simple chorus and it is for the wild masses, but I like credible music - I like hip-hop.”
Lady Lykez EP Lykez Me Now is out now, for more information visit www.ladylykez.co.uk