London rapper Queenie shook the table and smashed it to smithereens last year, when she dropped her memorable verse on the IMMENSE and politically important, Lioness led, 2018 Grime track; ‘DBT Remix.’ The first of 5 female guest MC’s, ‘DBT’ delved into the issues of colourism and sexism within the black community and saw Queenie brazenly warn any wasteman who dares to try and bring her down with their unwarranted negative opinions, that she will wear her waist trainer for fitness or fashion and will stick to doing as she pleases. She ends her verse just as strongly as she began it, by urging other women to, “Do you when you’re leaving the house, natural hair or weave on your scalp, tell a man listen frig your opinion, it doesn’t put money in your account.” Queenie’s alignment and collaboration with other equally outspoken and empowering women within the Grime and UK rap scenes, gave us the indication that Queenie is an artist who refuses to hold back when she has something important to say.
The aforementioned is proven on her upcoming release ‘Smoke.’ Producer Westy creates an enemy in the shadows vibe, with his ominous instrumental featuring a spine tingling off-key piano riff and a bass which conjures up the imagery of the iconic scene in the film ‘Aliens’ when the relentlessly malevolent alien is threatening to burst free from Sigourney Weaver’s stomach! (Well that’s one way to make your entrance!) I’m convinced that if that scene were fact and not a work of fiction, you could take a stethoscope to Sigourney Weaver’s stomach and the heartbeat of the alien would sound like the pulsating bass on this track!! The mix down on the track by Ripperman only serves to amplify the sinister mood Westy has created.
Queenie emerges from the smoke with a spoken word intro which is delivered as a warning, as she states she’s the calmest person in the room, and everyone that knows her will tell you she is a chilled person, it’s here Queenie ups the ante x10 to proclaim “I never said I wasn’t on smoke”, which is often the assumption when a person is nice and relaxed most of the time. Within the first 30 seconds of the track, Queenie delivers so many elite bars my wig was grabbed, snatched and slung. She launches a scathing attack on the “…Clowns, waves on hurricane a brotha might drown.” Before I even had the chance to get into the recovery position, Queenie came through with the next bar, “Shellin on mic Day ‘N’ Nite, I’m on my Kid Cudi right now” the fact she sings this bar in the exact same key and pitch as Kid Cudi on the chorus of his much loved worldwide hit ‘Day N Nite’, draws you right into the track as you anticipate what Queenie will say next.
Queenie spits so many metaphors and uses intelligent wordplay with every bar she flings, by the time the track is done, you’ll feel like she put you behind bars with no chance of escape. Hot Pepper sauce is added to proceedings to bring extra seasoning with the lyrics “Spinderella, when I spit, splits your head up.” And the wordplay just keeps on coming as a play of words is delivered inspired by her artist name, as she decides to show you her hand and lay all her cards on the table…literally “Queens’ got a diamond heart, but I will still take out clubs and spades”, which ties in with the beginning of the track, when Queenie explained the two distinctive sides of her persona.
For people who are still mourning the end of Game of Thrones, there is a shout out to the show in the last half of the track you will appreciate. Throughout the song Queenie’s flow continuously switches between a double time flow, a laboured delivery and spoken word, the fact that she knows exactly when and where to utilise these differing flows, showcases an artist who is versatile and confident in her own ability in merging differing rhyming styles in a relatively short time period. This track is a warning that if this queen invites you to come and chill at her ‘palace’, if you disrespect her she will serve you a platter full of malice!! Bad minds – Beware
*WATCH* Queenie’s *NEW VIDEO* ‘Smoke’