'Sisterhood of Hip Hop' Rapper Siya's Music Spreads an Empowering Message & Is Just Plain Awesome
If I just heard someone say the name "Si-ya" out loud, I would probably think of the artist, Sia, whose choice to rattle the public's view of fame and perform facing the back of the stage during multiple performances has been the talk of the town. But I'm not here to talk about Sia, I'm here to talk about Siya, an artist who is challenging and subverting the way people see females in Hip Hop. A star on the new Oxygen reality series Sisterhood of Hip Hop , Siya is a Brooklyn-based "femcee" who is taking over the industry. Siya joins a storied roster of Queer rap artists like L31F, Mykki Blanco, and Angel Haze, whose honesty and fearless conviction to the telling of their experiences make their songs that much more addictive and refreshing.
In her introduction video, Siya laments, "There's one thing I hate about the industry like you have to be naked to sell... Like no you don't! If your music is dope, they gon' fall in love with you." The raw emotion and veracity in her lyrics makes them not only approachable but easy to understand. In her anthemic "D.Y.K.E. (Damn You Killin' Em')," she relays the story of what it was like to come out and accept her own sexuality.
I used to struggle ’til I found the courage to say fuck it, that’s what it is... Coming out was never easy, but neither was denying it / My grandma said she loved me no matter who I was lying with.
In a society that chastises women who embrace their sexuality while at the same time chastising other women for not being subservient to the media's depiction of normalized female gender expression, Siya is a rare breed.
But to be clear, Siya is not a gay rapper. She is an extremely talented rapper, who happens to be gay. "My sexuality, to me, has never affected my career," she says in the introduction video. "I'm a woman. I am into women; I've always been a lesbian my entire life and it is what it is. I got bars...It just so happened that I'm gay, but I'm a dope rapper."
Though Siya is committed to spreading a message, she also has a couple of club-ready classics under her belt. She is truly versatile as an artist, something that is rare in today's industry.
Siya has attracted major label attention and in 2012 was tapped by Complex as one of their "rappers to watch out for." Sisterhood of Hip Hop isn't just introducing audiences to incredible female artists. It's introducing them to people like Siya, people who have powerful messages to spread, "I wanna be able to set the tone for the youth to know that it's okay to be who you are; you don't have to be afraid to be yourself." The strength of her message paired with her lyrical prowess and dope delivery make her an unstoppable force in the rap game.
To say she's one to watch would be an understatement, but for now it'll have to do.