Narubi Selah, an MC originally from Trenton, New Jersey and now residing in Brooklyn, New York has been overlooked and outright ignored by the mainstream Hip-Hop community. As a playwright, a poet, and rapper, Narubi shows an obvious flair for lyricism and her two albums I Am Living Math released in 2010 and Architect: Sacred Geometry released in 2013 are both examples of her rugged, empowering, unapologetic style.
Take a listen to “You Already Know” from her debut album and witness Narubi’s powerful and flawless lyricism referencing Eric B & Rakim and Prodigy of Mobb Deep…
Also take a listen to “Gun Law” from her sophomore LP, a track that has a very important message that doesn’t wander down the path of contrived mainstream liberalism when it comes to the subject of guns…
Other standout tracks are “Slaughter” and “Birdee”, the latter humourously mocking female superficial activists. You should also take a listen to “Hookless II” for another dose of Selah’s underground lyricism, at one point knocking people who listen to mainstream female rappers; “You listen to Minaj? Word? You should kill yourself and everybody you came with…”
On the topic of Minaj, it’s a strange phenomenon that every time a female rapper makes it to the mainstream, they have to resort to sex in order to promote their music. From Lil Kim to Nicki Minaj to Cardi B, it seems that women in Hip-Hop receive more focus (at least from the majority of people) for their sexiness rather than their talent. You could mix these two qualities, after all being sexy isn’t necessarily detrimental to music as long as it comes second to an artist’s lyricism (take Nitty Scott or No Lay for example) but with these aforementioned rappers, it’s obvious that mainstream Hip-Hop fans prefer tits and ass to talent and skill. It’s strange that the Heather B‘s, the Hurricane G’s, the Sa-Roc’s (and Narubi Selah’s) never make it to the heights of Hip-Hop stardom and yet their ability and power outshines all of the others. But, I guess all that’s for another article.
Back to the topic of Nerubi Selah, I’ll be the first to admit that her albums have their flaws but as a Hip-Hop artist she is so obviously gifted that I’m sure she would have made something classic in her lifetime. After giving it a shot, it seems however that Selah’s public profile, at least her musical profile has been all but erased from the internet. Her Twitter account now has zero tweets, her Facebook Page is deleted, her website doesn’t exist, she has an Instagram account but it’s private. If it wasn’t for Spotify and Amazon Music, you’d swear she didn’t exist. As a Brooklyn Elementary School Principal, I’m sure she’s doing good work outside of music, it’s just a shame that she’s no longer working in Hip-Hop. It’s fucked up that rappers with real ability are pretty much banished from the scene whereas all the sub-par material pushes its way to the forefront. If you’re sick of all the objectification of women in Hip-Hop, if you’re looking for a strong female MC who mixes consciousness with braggadocio elements, look no further than Narubi Selah.
You Already Know.