When it comes to making music, there is one thing that rising rap superstar Chika cares about above all else: honesty. “That goes so much deeper than just saying, ‘Tell the truth,'” she says. “If everyone was honest, we would have a lot less hate, we’d have a lot less judgement, we’d have a lot less people feeling like they have to become something else.”
That’s how Chika feels on the premiere episode of Billboard’s Pridecast, a brand new podcast from Billboard Pride where singer-songwriter and host Shea Diamond chats with some of the most influential LGBTQ names in music about how they got to where they are today, and what it means to be out in this industry.
For Chika, one of the first instances of her musical success came in a 2018 viral video in which she took the beat to Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks” and used it as the backing to a scathing critique of the rapper’s politics. “It don’t matter how much money you got or you lack,” she spit on her verse. “When that check clear, don’t forget your children are still black/ And you music has been whack/ And your views are moving back/ To a day that triggers n—as ’cause we still hear that whip crack.”
When asked about her relationship to West and his music today, Chika makes it clear that she still feels the same way she did back in 2018. “I feel like he’s selling out for, ultimately, money, and also just to be a part of the conversation again when he wasn’t for so long,” she tells Diamond. “He doesn’t know the damage he’s doing.”
The star continued, sending a message directly to West, telling him about what that damage looks like. “If you were back in Chicago, these kids would still be black and going through the struggles that you are so vehemently pretending do not f–king exist by supporting this man who has nothing about your best interests at heart,” Chika says. “If you were snatched out of the privilege you have right now and thrown back to where you came from, your kids would be f–ked based on the rhetoric you’re supporting right now. That’s gross to me.”
West has not been the only target of the 23-year-old’s brutal honesty. In her 2019 track “Rachey v. Alabama,” Chika went after Alabama governor Kay Ivy, President Donald Trump and the message of the pro-life movement in the wake of the state’s attempt at nearly banning all abortions with the since-blocked Human Life Protection Act.
When it comes to the president, Ivy, and those currently in power attempting to take away a woman’s right to choose, Chika has some more strong words. “The autonomy that one should have over their own body was completely being stomped upon by not only our government, but by people who don’t even have a f–king clue what they’re talking about,” she says in the interview. “These are cis men, who … I’m sure they’ve seen one vagina in their life, and its the one they’re married to.”
But while the rising star is deadly serious about the issues society is currently facing, Chika is also making some time for herself, especially when it comes to dating. “For me, technically, I’m pansexual or bisexual … so for me, the dating scene is the world,” she tells Diamond. “I am simply dating my art, which is what every corny artist says. I am technically single, but I’m out here. Mingling a little bit, hopping in and out, it’s like double dutch around here.”
Listen to Chika’s full interview with Shea Diamond on the Billboard Pridecast below: