Music

Queen Key Doubles Down On Her Raunchy Album Title, Proving Just How Unapologetic She Is

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If raunchy rap heroines like Cardi B, City Girls, and Megan Thee Stallion already irritate rap purists’ delicate, male-centric sensibilities, those men who’d prefer their female rappers prim and proper would do best to avoid Queen Key. The 23-year-old Chicagoan is pure, distilled sex and comedy, brashly brandishing her femininity and a bawdy, bold gift for side-splitting declarations like “If that n—- got a problem, he can suck his own d*ck.” Those of us who like our rappers raw, real, and keenly disinterested in the desires of the patriarchy will gladly wave the flag for Queen Key.

Born Ke’Asha McClure, the dimple-cheeked rapper decided early on that she wanted to be a star, telling The Fader she made her first mixtape at the age of seven with a tape deck and keyboard. Her ambitions continued through high school, where she realized she couldn’t go by just Queen since she realized the name was taken already. Key’s dreams of stardom culminated last year with the release of her ribald 2018 EP, appropriately titled Eat My Pussy.

The title fits because like its creator and her rhymes, it’s direct and to-the-point and unashamed of either fact. It’s the sort of thing you say with a lot of confidence and eye contact — and it usually gets results. It’s a command, not a request, and it sums up Key’s personality perfectly; she’s not here to request or even demand space in the rap game. She just assumes that it’s there and plants herself without a second thought to how anybody else feels about it. She certainly sees that space as available to any and every other woman who wants it, sharing bars on three of her EP’s seven tracks with Cuban Doll, Dreezy, and Tink — all similarly in-your-face rappers, two of whom are also from Chicago.

That isn’t to say she can’t be subtle when she wants to be. On “Slide,” a remix of fellow Chicagoan FBG Duck’s 2017 single, she moves across a sly punchline with the sort of wordplay you’re liable to miss the first time around. “F*ck you and your man, I don’t gang bang,” she crows in the video, alongside an unusually abashed-looking Chance The Rapper. The simplicity of her delivery and rhyme schemes and ease of her laid-back cadence tend to belie a sharply polished wit that lets her sling both huge haymakers like the aforementioned boastful bomb from “My Way” and sneaky jabs like the one on “Slide.” She even jumped on a “Thotiana” remix of her own, proving she has the confidence to be mentioned among stars like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj.

The humor she uses has been remarked upon by multiple outlets, coming from her personality, which is naturally boisterous, as opposed to playing up a character. The Queen Key you get on records is the same Queen Key who cuts up with her friends, cracking jokes on Twitter that eventually turn into album titles. In fact, she loved the title so much that she turned around and used it again; her follow-up to the attention-grabbing EP is a 14-song album entitled Eat My Pussy Again. Clearly, she sees no need to apologize for herself, back down from who she is, or change up a single thing about herself or her rhymes. Queen Key has already laid claim to the space she’s wanted for her domain since she was seven-years-old — there’s no way she’s giving it up now.

Eat My Pussy Again is due March 22 via Machine Entertainment Group.

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