“My Neck, My Back” femcee turned viral podcaster Khia has gone viral once more, this time for a feud with new St. Louis sensation Sexyy Red who just sold out an arena in her hometown over the weekend.
It’s a battle of generations. While Khia wants to make it clear that Sexyy Red shouldn’t be compared to her, at one point, the Neck and Back singer was compared to Lil’Kim for her raucous lyrics and sexual bravodo. Before that, Kim was compared to Millie Jackson for the same reasons.
Gen Z gave this style of rap a name—Pussy Rap, but is the genre a thing of the past? Who even knew that it was a thing to begin with? As it turns out—everybody.
Its drivers of the hip-hop-sub-genre of mostly southern-based-bragadocious-get money by any means necessary—are the City Girls whose debut LP City On Lock came out during the summer of the pandemic in 2020. As Pussy Rap became bankable, others emerged, including Latto, Sukhiana, Glorilla, Lakeyah, and this year’s breakout star Sexyy Red.
It is arguably an answer—though not thee answer to the once male-dominated (and often-problematic) industry.
Somewhere, though, Pussy Rap sparked its own debate about whether it was about women’s empowerment, or the objectification of Black women. One Tik-toker received backlash for her opinion from fans of the sub-genre—including Sexyy Red herself.
Last Friday, the City Girls released their sophomore record, RAW, which they revealed on the red carpet at the BET Hip-Hop Awards to be an acronym for “Real Ass Whores.” Its first week, the project moved a disappointing 6-8,000 units.
In hip-hop, timing is everything.
When the City Girls made an appearance on popular morning show, The Breakfast Club, DJ Envy suggested that the project felt like a summer record.
One vintage record dealer (and fan of the City Girls) agreed with Envy but went even further in her apprehensive about RAW saying she felt strange with all that’s been happening in current affairs (especially in Israel and Palestine). “Do I really want to listen to songs about popping my pussy and trickin’ niggas? Meanwhile, people are dying and babies are getting bombed?” Due to the sensitivity of her comment, the listener has asked to remain anonymous.
On the other hand, the St. Louis rapper Sexyy Red is experiencing major success off her two big singles, “Pound Town,” and “SkeeYee.” In half the time of her contemporaries, she’s gotten major collaborations including one from Nicki Minaj.
“If you’re looking for serious cypher ass raps, I ain’t…,” the City Girls warn on their intro to the album, and then they go through a list of names such as J. Cole, Kanye, Foxy Brown, and Queen Latifah, and further offer the disclaimer, “you can turn this album off right now, all you gone get is some scammin’ trickin’ pussy-rap, period.”
There seems to be a gritty sound emerging from the north headed by girls such as Maiya the Don, Lola Brooke, Scar Lip, and best in show battle rapper Ms. Hustle who just signed with rapper Jim Jones.
That said, fans don’t seem ready to give up on Pussy Rap, even if (for now) they may want to take a break.
James R. Sanders is a freelance based in NYC