Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Nadia Nakai Explains Why She Never Used to Work With Women Rappers

"Because I would have never shined as Nadia Nakai. I would have shined as another female rapper."

South African rapper Nadia Nakai is gearing to release her debut album. She recently did an interview with the website Slikour On Life in which she spoke about, among other things, squashing beef, the work behind her album and the importance of dressing up for her performances.

She also spoke about why she has always been opposed to all-female collaborations, especially those whose selling point is that they are all-girl collaborations.

"There's a reason why I did what I did when I didn't do those female remixes, when I didn't jump on those songs, when I was okay that I wasn't on the 'Baddest' remix," she told Slikour.


"Because I would have never shined as Nadia Nakai," she explained. "I would have shined as another female rapper. And that's what I didn't want. I want when I'm involved in something, Nadia Nakai has an impact. Not just 'it's a whole bunch of girls together.'

Nadia explained that she feels a collaboration between her and another woman artist should be on the basis that it will be impactful because of their stature instead of gender.

"And that's the reason why I didn't wanna work with female rappers before because I felt like nobody had created anything for themselves to make the collaboration impactful," she says.

"Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj came together and that was impactful because they did so much on their own. So what exactly did the others do to make me feel like we can work together? Now we get to that point, and that's why I made the decisions I made, but people never understood when I was making them, they thought 'this chick is a bitch' or 'she's hurt because they left her out or.' No, everything was a reason for building my brand. And now I see the respect changing because people are getting it now."

South African hip-hop has had those moments, which are actually condescending to women who rap. For instance, DJ Switch released two remixes for his popular 2016 rappity rap single "Now or Never." The first remix, just like the original, featured an all-male lineup, but didn't carry with it any gender branding. The second remix however, facilitated by the DJ Ms Cosmo, was called the "LeFemme remix," and featured an all-female lineup.

While DJ Switch and Ms Cosmo may have overlooked the effect, it implied that the girls weren't good enough to rap alongside the boys.

This is similar to having a favorite female MC. What you are essentially saying is that you have your favorite MC and then your favorite female MC, because the two just can't be put in one rank.

Watch the full interview below, and watch the video for Nadia's latest single "Naaa Mean" featuring Cassper Nyovest underneath.

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Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

Freddie Harrel Is Building Conscious Beauty For and With the African Diaspora

Formerly known as "Big Hair Don't Care", creator Freddie Harrel and her team have released 3 new wig shapes called the "RadShapes" available now.


Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


The normalising of Black and brown women in wigs of various styles has certainly been welcomed by the community, as it has opened up so many creative avenues for Black women to take on leadership roles and make room for themselves in the industry.

Radswan (formerly known as Big Hair Don't Care), is a lifestyle brand "bringing a new perspective on Blackness through hair, by disrupting the synthetic market with innovative and sustainable products." Through their rebrand, Radswan aims to, "upscale the direct-to-consumer experience holistically, by having connected conversations around culture and identity, in order to remove the roots of stigma."

The latest from French-Cameroonian founder and creator Freddie Harrel - who was featured on our list of 100 women of 2020 - has built her career in digital marketing and reputation as an outspoken advocate for women's empowerment. On top of her business ventures, the 2018 'Cosmopolitan Influencer of the Year' uses her platform to advocate for women's empowerment with 'SHE Unleashed,' a workshop series where women of all ages come together to discuss the issues that impact the female experience, including the feeling of otherness, identity politics, unconscious bias, racism and sexism.

And hair is clearly one of her many passions, as Freddie says, "Hair embodies my freest and earliest form of self expression, and as a shapeshifter, I'm never done. I get to forever reintroduce my various angles, tell all my stories to this world that often feels constrained and biased."

Armed with a committee of Black women, Freddie has cultivated Radswan and the aesthetic that comes with the synthetic but luxurious wigs. The wigs are designed to look like as though the hair is growing out of her own head, with matching lace that compliments your own skin colour.

By being the first brand to use recycled fibres, Radswan is truly here to change the game. The team has somehow figured out how to make their products look and feel like the real thing, while using 0% human hair and not negotiating on the price, quality or persona.

In 2019, the company secured £1.5m of investment led by BBG Ventures with Female Founders Fund and Pritzker Private Capital participating, along with angelic contributions from Hannah Bronfman, Nashilu Mouen Makoua, and Sonja Perkins.

On the importance of representation and telling Black stories through the products we create, Freddie says, "Hair to me is Sundays kneeling between your mothers or aunties legs, it's your cousin or newly made friend combing lovingly through your hair, whilst you detangle your life out loud. Our constant shapeshifting teaches us to see ourselves in each other, the hands braiding always intimately touching our head more often than not laying someone's lap."

"Big Hair No Care took off in ways we couldn't keep up with," she continues, "RadSwan is our comeback.It's a lifestyle brand, it's the hair game getting an upgrade, becoming fairer and cleaner. It's the platform that recognises and celebrates your identity as a shapeshifter, your individuality and your right to be black like you."


Check out your next hairstyle from Radswan here.

Radswan's RadShape 01Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 02Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 03Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

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