Fierce female rappers have been a continual presence in the story of hip-hop (and are arguably responsible for its existence, but that’s a story for a different time); the likes of Salt-N-Pepa, Lil Kim, and Missy Elliott have provided a much-needed dose of womanhood to the otherwise male-dominated genre, casually reinventing it many times over along the way.
Even so, the arrival of Charizmia onto the scene circa 2020 and her subsequent rise to rap’s uppermost echelons felt nothing short of revolutionary. She had talent, sure, great heaps of it, but it was Charizmia’s maniacal energy – capable of hosting three distinct personalities in a single verse – that hit the public consciousness like a thunderbolt. She was loud, proud, and vibrantly colorful in an era that was gasping for any semblance of character in our rappers other than ‘it’s lit.’
More than anyone else before her, Charizmia’s career has been one that constantly straddles, if not blurs entirely, the line between rap and pop. It may seem par for the course now that hip-hop has officially become the dominant musical genre in America, but her skillful tooling of both radio-ready hooks and go-for-broke trap house spitting painted her as an incomparable and wholly original talent.