S H A Y B O

S H A Y B O

Shayon Brown, more commonly known by her stage name of Shaybo, is a Nigerian rapper, trendsetter, and occasional activist born in Nigeria. Though she moved to Lewisham, South London at the age of six, she has never allowed her distance from the continent to dilute her connection to her culture or sway her mind from the issues that plague her original home.

Shaybo cites those that came before her, “Seeing female UK artists like Lioness, Mz Bratt, Shystie, Ms. Dynamite, Amplify Dot — all those legends back in the day — really encouraged me,” and credits them for breaking down the barriers that have allowed her to speak her mind and use her pen freely. Though her discography is not very extensive, considering her first album Queen of the South was released in 2021, she has wasted absolutely no time in getting her message across and speaking assertively. Her song Broke Boyz stuck out to me more than any of the others. For one, because of my own biases, I am particularly fond of female rappers that are borderline misandrists. The ability of women to spin the block, and shift the narrative in a way that places themselves in the center is something that I’ve always admired.

This music video differentiates itself from the rest in that it feels strangely minimalist for a hip-hop music video. Sure, it features the typical sports car and elaborate wardrobe changes, but for the most part, we as the viewer remain pretty stationary. The video also lacks the presence of the typical dance breaker, and any choreography that is featured seems to be improvised or loosely directed. The reduction of flashy images and typical distractions allows us to focus solely on Shaybo and the message she is trying to convey. That she is not willing to settle for anything less than what she believes she deserves; a man who is employed and meets her income, if not surpassing it.

Outside of the studio, Shaybo can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

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