Identity

The Queer Rapper Redefining Baltimore’s Hip-Hop Scene

20-year-old Lor Choc on her songwriting process, her relationship with her mother, and being a queer woman in rap.
September 11, 2018, 4:07pm
Photo by Lexey Swall

Lor Choc’s career began in 2015 when she began posting videos of her freestyles on Facebook. WorldstarHipHop began reposting them soon after, and the next thing she knew, Lor Choc had gone viral. In 2017, she released a much-anticipated mixtape, Worth the Wait. Capturing the gritty essence of West Baltimore, Lor—which means “li’l” in Baltimore slang—has adopted something of a little-sister role in the city’s male-dominated rap scene, and she’s no wallflower.

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Lor Choc has created her own sound by combining her queerness, her pride in being a daughter of Baltimore, and her lifelong love of rap and R&B to make music centered around themes of escapism, survival, and city life. Lor Choc’s fresh approach to rap has recently thrust her to the forefront of Baltimore’s growing hip-hop scene—and she’s ready to share her talent with the world. This August, Red Bull Radio debuted its newest hip-hop show, True Laurels, featuring Lor Choc as its inaugural guest.

Photo by Lexey Swall

We asked Lor Choc about the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry, how she finds the strength to stay motivated, and what she’s most proud of.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

On staying flexible
My songwriting process all depends on how I’m feeling at that moment. Sometimes I write songs to go over beats, but sometimes I write the lyrics and then make the beats after to go with that song. I rap about how I’m feeling, and what I see around me in my city. My favorite part about being a musician is writing music and going to the studio to record.

Photo by Lexey Swall

On the power of inclusion
The only challenge I’ve faced so far is being overlooked in my city. Besides that, the male rappers treat me like a little sister and really look out for me, regardless of the way I look or my sexual preference. They make me feel like I belong.

On family support
There have been times where I didn’t feel strong because of past experiences, but my mother was there to help me regain strength—not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. My mother is the strongest woman I know.

On the future
The thing I’m most proud of this year is myself. I’ve come such a long way, and I still have a long way to go!

25 Strong is a new series highlighting people who have broken barriers and changed culture in 2018. Created with Reebok.