Che Noir is everything good about hip-hop. From her delivery on official tracks to her impressive freestyles, the 26-year-old rapper uses rapping to share narratives that shape the person she has become. Her metaphors and visual-provoking verses depict her sometimes harsh reality entangled with violent streets, drug-filled corners, family issues, and dedication to making it out. Approaching storytelling rap similar to stylings of JAY-Z or The Notorious B.I.G., the Buffalo artist effortlessly pairs big brags with intricate rhyme schemes and gritty beats. She recently hooked up with Apollo Brown to release the excellent As God Intended album.
There is something inescapably alluring about what Che brings to the table. In a present landscape where mainstream female MCs under 30 tend to (more often than not) focus on trends and songs that make their sexuality the focal point of their music, she is excelling a road less traveled.
Not that there is anything inherently wrong with her peers’ direction — it can be lucrative as hell. But it’s not for everyone. It’s always refreshing to show a malleable sea of younger female listeners another side of the coin.
“As a woman, we’re often stereotyped in the industry,” Che told said during an interview for HipHopDX in October of 2019. “So, if we’re tired of being stereotyped, why continue doing things to perpetuate that? My goal was to stand out and do something different.”
That’s a mantra to which she’s stayed true.
She is continuing to uphold a brand of Hip Hop that old heads regularly impart on her generation, but from a fresh new perspective — one that’s often silenced. Sure, she’s able to spit that dirty gun talk with the best of them, and her gritty storytelling game is A-1 (see “12 Hours” or “Blood is Thicker” for example). Yet, at its most raw, this project paints a picture of the sister, cousin and daughter of the guys getting lost on the streets; the story generally glossed over.
One particularly haunting line on the standout “Follow The Wisdom” was, “Pain of these streets, it ain’t worth seeing your daughters crying … I was that daughter, so you never hear me glorify it.” It’s an incredibly vivid moment (and sadly, a shared experience) that honestly — as a father myself — hits different. There was another powerful reference on “Anti-Social,” where she describes losing her cousin (a close confidant) to the system.
If you’ve been dozing on Che Noir, As God Intended has made it that more difficult to deny her potential. Are there other females out here spitting bars? Absolutely. Is Che breaking any sonic or conceptual molds? Not quite. However, there aren’t many 26-year-old girls that can body a project like this — let alone rhyme alongside lyricists like Skyzoo and Black Thought without getting buried in dust.
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