🏷 Nigerian-American rapper from Alabama

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“Balencies” by Chika

In an ever-crowded playing field, what [Chika] feels she’s bringing to hip-hop is vulnerability.

“Not to shit on the past and be like, ‘No one’s ever done this,’ but the vulnerability, that’s what’s missing,” she says. “We parade and masquerade and talk about all the shit we have. I pride more than my flex. I would much rather talk about my feelings and get them out and help people process theirs.”

Even her track “Balencies,” which at the start seems like she’s bragging about being able to afford a luxury brand such as Balenciaga, seamlessly transitions to her grappling with the pressures and expectations of fame.

“At the end of the day, the whole song is me talking about my mental health,” Chika says. “We kind of lost that sense of self in hip-hop, and we’ve created characters that people subscribe to. And I don’t want to be that person.”

📄 Fast Company
📷 Leeor Wild

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