Jack Daniel’s 2014 music scout winner Gigi Lamayne’s hit track, Ice Cream, was loved by many. She isn’t your ordinary rapper – she is a self-titled king of rap. We find out more about this feisty rapper.
You are a final year students at Wits University, studying for a BA degree, and you are a full-time artist. How do you balance work and still maintain a social life?
I sacrifice a lot of my time to do what I need to do. If I need to do my varsity work, I make sure I get it done before spending time on my music. Because of this, I spend less time with friends and more of it in the studio, using my free time to better my craft.
You are part of the Golden Key Society at Wits, which means you are pretty smart. Does being an academic help you make better music?
Being an academic helps you have more content for your art. You don’t have to be a university student to be a smart rapper with intellectual lyrics. It’s as simple as educating yourself; reading books increases your knowledge. People can tell a rapper that knows what they’re talking. For me, part of the hustle includes educating myself; this has worked to my advantage in everything I do.
You refer to yourself as King Gigi. Why not Queen Gigi?
The hip-hop industry is male dominated. As a man, you are automatically given more credit. When people listen to my music, I want them to think of me as a rapper and not a female rapper. And, if they compare me with anyone it shouldn’t be with just females but males as well, because I want to be seen and compete equally with everyone.
You came in the industry and rapped in Afrikaans, being the first female rapper to this commercially in South Africa. Do you speak Afrikaans and will we see more of this style in your other songs?
I am not an Afrikaans speaker, but wanted to add Afrikaans to my Ice Cream track in order to relate to everyone. As an artist, it is necessary that I expand my craft; it’s the only way to grow and connect with a bigger audience.
Female rappers are expanding, but are still not getting as much recognition. What is your take on this?
There has been a major shift in 2015 – the ladies have taken a stand and are definitely growing their rap skills. I just want us to sustain the work we’re doing. I don’t want it to be temporary fame. In future, I hope women in hip hop are taken just as seriously as the men.
You are set to release a new song every Friday of this month. Please tell us more about this?
Yes, in light of Women’s Month, I am releasing a freestyle song ever Friday. The first one was At Ease, released on 7 August. These songs will all fall under my Iron Lady brand.