Black Queen: Music With a Message

Black Queen made her claim to fame as an internet sensation in 2016. She released her debut mixtape Art-Gens which distinguished herself from local big names on the scene like Simon PPS and Big D. Her mixtape marks the advent of female leadership in the Senegalese hip-hop game. Black Queen’s discussions of topics like peace, children, love, and female empowerment make her music especially popular for women who share similar ideologies. As a self-proclaimed Afro-feminist, much of her music is used as a platfrom to advocate for womens rights within her country. Her smooth flow and beautiful melodies give her music a unique versatility and popularity amongst youth in Senegal.

In her song ‘DEMNA’ released in 2018, the video opens with an image of her overdosed on pills with a positive pregnancy test in her hand. Such a strong opening allows the audience to immediately understand that the video will address social inequities and injustices that women face in Senegal. As the song continues we, the audience, learn that Black Queen’s pregnancy was the result of sexual violence from her stepfather. The duration of the song discusses the trauma and difficulties she experienced while growing up in a home filled with rape and abuse. She ultimately targets her frustrations at her mother, God, and those around her who failed to protect her from such vile circumstances.

She ends the song by asking that her mother understand her choice to end her life and that God takes it easy on her after her death. In terms of this song’s impact on the Senegalese hip-hop scene, it is one of very few that address rape and sexual violence among young women within the household. Not only does it call out of males, but it also calls out women who enable men to abuse young women. In a society where women’s sexuality is a taboo topic in the public sphere, Queen’s work is revolutionary. Her message inspires mothers to care for their children before their spouses and gives young women a platform and voice to speak out against sexual violence.

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