Music

Milwaukee Rapper Lakeyah Is The Newest Artist Quality Control Is Betting On

On the lineup of female rappers that she’s joined since she started taking her craft seriously, she shares, “I’m blessed and excited to be a part of such a moment in hip hop.” She also adds, “Women are running the game.”

It’s been almost a year since Lakeyah first signed to Atlanta-based label Quality Control. In 2020, the emerging rapper forced her way into the female rap conversation when she dropped her fiery single “Big FlexHer.” The follow-up to that release was “Female Goat” featuring the City Girls. The equally biting track was fitting given the fact that the Milwaukee-bred rapper has been in the studio perfecting her craft. 

With her strong singles forging her path, Lakeyah unleashed her debut project in 2020, Time’s Up. The mixtape was laced with her cocky wordplay, but it also featured her swift, lyrically driven sound. The bass-heavy beats that are on the majority of the tracks on this project are very Atlanta, and that makes sense especially since she relocated there to follow her dreams of becoming a QC artist.

Growing up in Milwaukee, Lakeyah admits there were rough times that she lived through. Raised by a single mother alongside four siblings, she began rapping and singing when she was a teenager. In an email, she expanded on this by sharing there was a lot of poverty around. “I wouldn’t trade growing up there though because it made me ready for the hard times that would come,” she adds. 

Initially, Lakeyah caught the attention of QC after she released a remix to JT’s “First Day Out” challenge in 2019. JT reposted the viral video which led to more eyes on it. The following year, Lakeyah moved to Atlanta permanently with her girlfriend to continue chasing her goal of becoming a signed act, she’s an open lesbian. After releasing another freestyle to Lil Baby’s “We Paid” and garnering more traction she received a phone call from Pierre “P,” QC CEO, this was the second call she’d received from him. Shortly after that call, she signed to the label that’s also home to Migos and Bankroll Freddie. 

The bevy of female rap talent that exists in the rap industry is a direct lineage from titans like Nicki Minaj who serves as inspiration for the QC signee. Another artist who she is inspired by is the supreme talent Lauryn Hill. In Lakeyah’s music, she dabbles in R&B, but she sounds most confident when she’s serving up hard-hitting bars. 

On the lineup of female rappers that she’s joined since she started taking her craft seriously, she shares, “I’m blessed and excited to be a part of such a moment in hip hop.” She also mentions that she feels as though there has never been a moment in music history like what’s being experienced. Yet, the undeniable legacy of women in rap has paved the way for artists like her to rise to the occasion. 

Photo Credit: Chad Lawson

For example, her labelmates the City Girls have made a name for themselves on the backs of acts like Trina and Lil’ Kim, mainly due to their catchy, sex-centric lyrics. On the popular duo Lakeyahs shares it feels amazing to be signed alongside them. The emcee admits she thought she would’ve been nervous or thought it would be hard to come close to what they’ve accomplished. 

What sets Lakeyah apart from her peers is her determination and grit. She hopes to create music that stands the test of time. On Due Time, her newest mixtape, out today, her sound is versatile, but it also includes tracks that display that she’s a dedicated lyricist. You can hear that on “Pressure,” “Easy,” and “Dirty World.” On the tape, she shares, “Being a female young artist I always want to show my growth. That’s why some songs you’re getting three verses, more vocals, and more pain.” Additionally, the Gucci Mane collaboration, “Poppin” was a full-circle moment for Lakeyah since she grew up listening to the Atlanta rapper. 

Even as she’s cutting her teeth in the industry, the rising rapper still manages to release impressive singles, mixtapes, videos, content, and more. “I hope [my fans] see my growth from the first tape to this one. Also, I hope it motivates everybody to chase their dreams. It’s possible even if you come from a small city that lacks hope and support,” Lakeyah adds.

Stream In Due Time below.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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