I know a bad bitch when I see one, and Swedish rapper Gnucci (real name: Ana Rab) isn't playing around. Well, maybe just a little. In her music video for "A.Rab," she mugs for the camera Missy Elliot-style, surrounded by her posse—a gang of cool girls on Vespas. The video is based on an experience that everyone who has ever suffered through gym class can relate to: that awful moment during a game of softball when you step up to bat, and everyone is watching, waiting for you to fuck up.
"It's based on a true story!" exclaims Gnucci when I call her up on Skype for her first interview with American media. (Later, she thanks me for "popping my American cherry.") She says the inspiration for "A.Rab" came from an episode from her high school. "We were playing Swedish softball, and this shy girl picked up a flat racket known as tjejracket, the 'girl racket.'" Then, something unforgettable happened, which is captured in the final scene. That ending perfectly sums up what Gnucci is about: in-your-face humor with a dash of girl power thrown in.
"The typical infrastructure of how music is made and put out is boring. I would never want to begin interviews like this by crediting the same old white dude," Gnucci says. Not that she has to worry about being boring. Originally from Yugoslavia, she moved to Sweden when she was five because of the Yugoslav Wars, and is now married to the South African dance musician Spoek Mathambo. Although she admits to getting into the music game late, Gnucci does everything on her own.
She owns her own label, manages herself, creative directs everything, and produces all her videos. (Check out for video for "WORK!" which was nominated at the Los Angeles Music Video Festival.)
"I think it's cool that I can be like—yo, shoutout to myself for working so hard. Shout out to my collaborators, most of whom are females in a strong creative directing role. Give it up to me!"