"The short answer? We rap and we're chicks," is what the quartet of Chicago MCs called The Rapperchicks offer when asked about their name, one that, they also note, has been laid upon them dismissively at times: "This name was given to us by a guy who wanted to have sex and control all of us," they explained first. "That could never happen." Hip-hop is an artform where being female tends to prompt people to tack that gender adjective onto any descriptions of the person doing the rapping. The group—composed of Psalm One, Angelenah, Fluffy, and Ill-Esha—is a winking rebuke to that idea, among others.
"The Rapperchicks is the idea that women are thoughtful, vulgar and unapologetically gonna get shit wrong until we get it right," they explained over email, adding that the whole project is DIY and that the members mentor rappers of all ages and genders and are involved with throwing events in Chicago. "We can change the world simply because our voices haven't been heard," they added. "It's happening, slowly but surely. We're about YOU hearing us and understanding that you've needed us all along."
Their song "Rules and Regulations," the first off their upcoming Shitty Punk Album, is a giant middle finger to the world that catpures their ethos in a nutshell: "Rules and regulations got me feeling like / Fuck it though!" goes the hook, over screaming synths and bass, and the verses feature a variety of invitations to, in the words of guest rapper Gangsta Boo, "get on they knees and lick my clit." The crew connected with Gangsta Boo last year at SXSW and recorded with her over the summer when she was playing Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago with Run the Jewels, and the pairing is just as phenomenal as her scene-stealing turn with the duo of El-P and Killer Mike was.
"Fuck these hoes talking 'bout / I been run the fucking South / been making sexy freaky women put that dick in they mouth," Gangsta Boo raps, making claims that speak for themselves. Everyone else comes through with equally thrilling verses, and the overall energy is so out of control you can picture the mosh pits forming if you're not already too busy karate chopping your computer in half and dismantling the system around you. Which of course is what the song is about.
"It's about shunning the hetero-normative, big-worded mundane guidelines in life people feel we HAVE to abide by, especially as women," the group commented on the song over email. "Fuck being quiet, amicable and soft, if that's not YOUR thing. Don't BE something because that's what's been beaten into your gullible heads. Challenge all of that."
Shitty Punk Album (because "you cannot expect a great punk album") is due out in March. Listen to "Rules and Regulations" below:
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