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An interview With Lady Lykez

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Cutting a path through the male dominated rap scene is Lady Lykez – the female rapper with more bars than a penitentiary.

Lykez made an impressive debut in 2013 with the ferocious Eurgh! followed by derriere ditty I love my butt. Her status as a rapper worthy of keeping on the radar was solidified after her Fire in the Booth with Charlie Sloth, which saw Lykez spit lyrics so molten hot you would be forgiven for thinking she was a volcano.

The 23-year-old first got a feel for the mic over 10 years ago watching her older cousins emcee over garage. “They used to stand there in a circle with the mic in the middle – old skool,” says Lykez, when I ask what the vibe was like. “I wanted to get involved. I thought it was so cool.”

Get involved she did. Armed with her own garage lyrics, it wasn’t long before she made a name for herself by clashing other rhymers whenever she got the chance. “I just used to walk up to random people like: ‘do you clash?’ They would just look at me like who is this little girl,” she tells me.

One rapper to feel her lyrical wrath was Chip, now signed to T.I’s Grand Hustle. “He was my little rival,” jokes Lykez about encounters with the fellow north Londoner.

Her experience as a battle rapper is probably what makes her such a witty and ferocious lyricist. “I actually enjoyed destroying the guys. At that time there were not that many girls ballsy enough to do something like that. I was hungry, I wanted to rap any chance I got.”

Although she cut her teeth in the battle rap scene, Lykez feels she has now graduated from being just an emcee to a fully-fledged artist, and makes the distinction by saying: “I know how to make songs. There are a lot of talented rappers out there, but not all of them can make songs.”

The ability to make songs it would seem lies in Lykez’s hands on approach to music. “I’ll go to my producer like check this concept out, I want the chorus to go like this and sometimes I have the idea for the beat in my head,” she says.

Lykez’s latest track Psycho sees her switching between loved up darling to bunny boiler psycho in a heartbeat, cleverly presenting the thin line between love and hate. “I have definitely been in that situation and felt a lot of what’s in the song that’s why I was able to write about it so intensely,” Lykez says of the song that has a horror movie inspired video to go with it.

After a bit of probing, Lykez confesses to having had a psycho moment of her own. “I cut up the clothes and left them outside the front door – that’s in the song,” she laughs.

Lykez is adamant that she is in it for the long haul and is looking for the same longevity her favourite artists Eve, Eminem, Missy and Ludacris experienced. “They all had their own lane and that’s what I am trying to do,” Lykez says before explaining how Dizzee Rascal made her realise her own lane was actually possible. “He was like the first person that was rapping in a British accent that I had heard. I was like: ‘oh my God this is wicked, I can rap and be myself. I don’t have to have an American accent to sound cool.’”

Lykez not only sounds cool, but with videos reminiscent of a Missy Elliot offering, she manages to inject the fun-factor into a genre that at times takes itself way too seriously.

The UK has spawned a few female rappers of note over the years – Ms Dynamite, Shystie and Blu are some who have been commended for their lyrical prowess. It’s not a stretch to imagine Lady Lykez could have her name discussed in similar conversations if she continues in the vein she has been.

http://www.ladylykez.co.uk

@Lykez

 

 

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.