Some may disagree with this statement, but I feel like Christian Rap as a whole is growing. One thing in particular that is starting to stand out with this genre is female emcees. For years, it felt like women emcees were missing from Christian rap. Personally, I feel like women bring a different vibe and make their presence known on verses. It’s like they take a song to a whole different level. 2013 was a very monumental year for female rappers. Under the direction of rapper Thi’sl, an all-female compilation album, Gurl Code, was dropped. One of the females featured on this project was HeeSun Lee. She made her introduction in 2004 with her first solo album Re-Defined, so she is definitely no amateur to Christian rap. After almost 10 years, Lee is back with her second album Stereotypes.
First thing that caught my eye about Stereotypes was the album art. This is definitely something that was not thrown together; So much thought was taken. An elegant woman, covered in a dress of women’s faces, is seen sashaying across the cover. It leads the mind to wonder who exactly these women are (kind of hard to depict who is who) and if they too are stereotyped. If she was going with the goal of something that catches the eye, then she surely hit the nail on the head. Another thing that caught my eye was the title itself, Stereotypes. I feel like that is a topic we all struggle with but rarely speak on. Diving through this album, I noticed that Lee hit on not only stereotypes women and Koreans face, but she inspected society’s stereotypes as a whole. In fact, the intro of the album lists some of those exact stereotypes. The last thing that caught my eye about the album was the features. Some heavy hitters featured were Chris Cobbins, Erica Cumbo, MC Jin, and Social Club. There was a great balance of tracks with just HeeSun Lee and tracks with features. We really got her message that she was trying to deliver as well as hear some other artist sentiments on stereotypes.
My favorite track on Stereotypes was Get to Know Me. I loved the production, but the lyrics are what really got me. It was so “in your face” like you should really get to know me (no pun intended). The hook was very memorable. “You should get to know me it’s not that hard. They said I’ll never make it; I’m here to break the odds. You should get to know me.” I also liked the beginning of HeeSun Lee’s verse when she said, “My make-up don’t me less of a rapper. It can’t conceal who I am neither my character. Ability far from an amateur.” Wow! She said that! I think sometimes people can think that women have no ability as rappers and if they are rappers they’re very masculine. HeeSun Lee basically trying to say, just because her face is beat, don’t think she can’t be lyrical because she is not new to this. Boaw! My other favorite tracks on Stereotypes were I Get In, Life is Too Short, I Break Stereotypes, Tonight is the Night, and Skin Deep.
To Sum it up, HeeSun Lee did an excellent job with her newest album, Stereotypes. I was definitely feeling her dominating flows on this album. She unquestionably showed she is here to stay and is a force to be reckoned with. I think it’s time we open are eyes and see that female emcees are making their way to the forefront and by the sound of Stereotypes, HeeSun Lee may be the female who is leading this revolution in Christian hip-hop .
Review by KJ Golden (@introducing_kj)