If there is one aspect of hip hop that is sub par across the world, it is that there is not enough female artists in the mix. Hip hop was birthed in America, in a patriarchal society, which has made it difficult for women to excel and receive proper recognition. The same struggle can be parallel is evident in Africa where patriarchal and religious influence dictate much of the culture. The presence of these influences in Sierra Leone are what make Star Zee a necessary anomaly.
Star Zee, also known as Queen Zee Zee, was born and raised in Salone. Zee’s father was a member of the Sierra Leone military band. Zee would sit and watch her father compose music and practice with the band. It was here that Zee fell in love with music, and she continued that passion through high school into adulthood.
Star Zee began her career as a member of a girl called Ladies Day Out or LDO, but she eventually went solo and released four albums. Zee’s present sound can be defined a cross between hip hop and dancehall.
The latest single from Star Zee , “Leader”, features Stonebwoy. The video shows the duo connecting with each other in a variety of scenes. The record encourages audiences to think and act by their own volition.
Star Zee utilizes an all-female ensemble of background dancers to help illustrate her message. Unlike in most rap videos, the females are not provocatively dressed; instead the focus is placed in the women’s choreography.
Throughout the song, Queen Zee Zee refers to herself as a queen and presents herself with a crown on her head. This notion of queendom is empowering to all of the young women who look to Zee as a star in music and socially. Zee is also careful to metaphorically note the importance of unification and mental strength.
Zee urges the audience to acknowledge their place as leaders and allow the power to drive them. We must all forget about the haters and be true to what is inside of us.