SXSW 2019: JVCKI WAI solidifies her title of Korean trap queen at her first US performance

Let’s be real, hate it or love it, trap has become a huge part of hip-hop and it’s made it’ mark on history. It’s crossed borders and is now one of the most popular sub-genres in hip-hop, especially Korean hip-hop.

While we’re at it, we might as well be real about Korean hip-hop too. Women in Korean hip-hop are few and far between. And the ones who’ve survived the aftermath of ‘Unpretty Rapstar‘, those who didn’t use Korean hip-hop as a launching pad for their variety careers or to relaunch their failed singing careers, seem to fit a mold that excludes a huge demographic of femcees.

So imagine how hyped I was to see Korea’s own queen of trap, the mold-breaker herself at SXSW 2019!

JVCKI WAI runs in the circles of experimental and trap producers who have been hyping up her sound for a while now, and suddenly within the last year, she signed to Swings‘ new sub-label of fresh young artists, Indigo Music, and proceeded to absolutely annihilate the status quo.

JVCKI is young, punk, and wild. At such a young age, she’s mastered trap, getting in on the ground floor of Korea’s trap wave as the only female artist who rocks the mic in the genre at such a high success rate. She’s an innovator in her own right, and now we’re seeing more and more young women like her popping up outside the mold that mainstream hip-hop has attempted to force women into.

For her set at SXSW, JVCKI WAI stepped out on stage assisted by the extremely talented producer and DJ Junior Chef in a pair of loose-fit plaid-punk styled bondage pants, massive combat boots, a matching punk-plaid skirt, a tour-tee shirt, a giant white hand designed puffy jacket, and pigtails. Mic in hand and in sparing English, she proceeded to eat up the whole damn stage.

Where all my stoners at?!” She yelled into the mic before rolling into “Munch Drunk Purp“, which was a huge hit with the crowd.

Whether you like trap or not is really besides the point. She’s very cross genre, in and out of experimental beats, party hip-hop, trap, and even a lil’ classic bap for the old heads.

JVCKI WAI makes autotune acceptable, which is a damned hard thing to do. She holds her own and dominates in an industry that tends to shun women, and she does so all while refusing to bend to the demand that she look a certain way, sound a certain way, and even act a certain way. She’s very much of her own style and sound, even while she does what many other hip-hop artists do in mimicking bits and pieces of others in the genre.

Is she perfect? Absolutely not. She she’s a bit like Cardi B with her purring and sound reliance in the mic. But she’s got a solid flow, got time, and she’s growing with every new release, something she showcased at SXSW.

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I'm not drunk enough for this.