Oakland, CA native Kamaiyah is decidedly retro. Most of her debut mixtape A Good Night In The Ghetto is a callback to the ’90s, be it through samples, interpolating lyrics, the attire of her videos or just the overall feel of the song. “Mo Money Mo Problems” is all of the above, and as one of the highlights of the mixtape, Kamaiyah decided the track needed a video.
While she got buzzing in 2016, snagging herself a spot on YG’s lauded FDT tour, she will continue to be a name to watch for in 2017 as she looks to take the next step in her career. She’s an interesting figure in rap going forward, not only as a female, but also as one that doesn’t fit the traditional, sexist model of what is “desirable” physically. But there is a definite sexiness about Yaya, be it her confidence, her overall swagger or her uncanny, and again, decidedly retro style. Aesthetics are always a factor for female MCs, even unfairly so, but fitting the “traditional” mold there hasn’t been a deal-breaker, just another obstacle for a woman looking to forge a lane in the boy’s club that rap is.
As far as her sound, Kamaiyah has that down pat. With her distinctive voice, her gift of melody and remarkable ear for production the music is the least of her problems. She also flexes versatility, mostly dealing with more carefree material, but shifting to more headier topics like her rough upbringing and her fallen friends — when the time is right she can even get down right raunchy. All the tools are there, and they’re on display on “Mo Money Mo Problems” and will continue to be fuel whatever Kamaiyah does next.