After Writing Rap Hits, Can This Queer Female MC Break Into the Mainstream?

By Sameer Rao Sep 07, 2016

A new Pitchfork profile examines the trajectory of a hit-making queer female rapper as she breaks industry barriers and reaches for the same stardom her male colleagues enjoy.

Gizzle, a South Central Los Angeles native, already features in Puff Daddy & The Family’s "You Could Be My Lover." But you probably know Glenda Proby better for the songs she’s co-written for other artists, like Kanye West‘s "Real Friends," Trey Songz’s "Fumble" and several Ty Dolla $ign tracks.

The Bad Boy artist, who came out at the age of 15, told Pitchfork that despite the rap industry’s frequent celebration of hypermasculinity, changing percaptions and expectations may make her ascent less rocky. "Something that’s supposed to be a flaw about you is becoming the positive now," she said. "People in general are craving individuality and authenticity."

The piece also explores Gizzle’s origins, addressing how her family life is described in a song for a possible future solo release:

One of the songs she’s working on is written from the perspective of her 15-year-old self. She’s petitioning a local dope dealer to put her on: "Dope man, can I ride in your Murciélago?/While your eyes low/I’ma keep watch for 5-0/Just drive slow/Let me take a toke then show me the ropes." Back then, she was tempted by the street life that some of her friends, and even her father, a Rollin’ 60s Crip, were involved in. "I wanted to do the same shit everybody else was doing, selling drugs and all that," she explains. "I tried to do it a little bit but I couldn’t really go far in it, because the older people wouldn’t let me in." That elder class of hustlers always saw something bigger and better for the gregarious young woman with the outsize[d] personality and a gift for rhyming. Deep down, she saw more for herself too.

Despite her extensive resume, Gizzle only hopes her own tracks and future solo music speak for themselves. "I’ma put out quality shit and if you fuck with it, you fuck with it. If you don’t, then nigga, it doesn’t matter ’cause I’m comin anyway," she says. 

Check out the full profile here.