Rapper Niska Garoute defies the stereotypical expectations that some may have for a rapper. The Haiti-based MC raps like an organic musical smoothie of Lauryn Hill, with a dash of Santigold for pea protein, and a bit of Ms. Dynamite as vanilla extract, and a slice of Jean Gray for apple slices. There’s a lot of attitude in her lyrics, and plenty of mouthy retorts. You don’t want to mess with Niska, okay? Not the rapper. Not the person. She puts you in check before you even approach her. Her crown is on her head, and you can’t snatch the tiara off of this Haitian queen.
On her latest track “Dan Bang”, there’s this social-consciousness that seeps through, and that’s not present on any other of her rap songs that I sampled. A sign of maturity and growth in the artist, no doubt. She’s growing up, and her awareness about the things beyond Niska’s personal space manifests plainly.
One needs only to scrutinize her stream of past work to come to this conclusion. “Dan Bang” refutes the concept and image that Niska presented of herself in previous songs like “I Love Myself”, and “Better Than I”. On those tracks, the rapper was preoccupied with love and relationships, dissing those who wronged her, and spitting out saucy backtalk. That Niska is pretty much alive, but she’s now directing her dissatisfaction and her displeasure not at people, but at a system, at an environment. Produced by as Pipo Beat, and featuring a rapper known as Dr. Highman, the song denounces corruption and upbraids those who are complacent. The video shows a curly-haired, torso-bearing Niska hobnobbing in the hood with the residents of Haiti’s slums. Her delivery is flawless, and her flow leaves nothing to musical chance.
[Main photo credit: Steve Baboun]
Check out rapper Niska’s latest video below: