The experience of African Australians is not widely documented in popular culture. However, new artists like Genesis Owusu and Tkay Maidza, who was born in Zimbabwe, are changing that. Maidza is on a mission to become the most recognized Australian female rapper on the international stage, surpassing Iggy Azalea. Her three EPs, released from 2018 to 2021, showcase her versatility in terms of subject matter, genre, and flow. This path is reminiscent of Lizzo’s, but with a tougher attitude.
The album Sweet Justice showcases Maidza’s growth by working with popular producers (Flume, Kaytranada) and collaborating with Duckwrth again on the track Gone to the West. Maidza’s influences, such as Nicki Minaj, are reinvented into catchy tunes that have the potential for mainstream success. The album features fun party tracks like Out of Luck, Ghost!, and What Ya Know, as well as a deeper and more soulful R&B track called Wasp.
However, the uplifting moments, while persistent, cannot help but feel somewhat bland in comparison to Maidza’s more aggressive styles. The name of a threatening dance track, WUACV, is an abbreviation for “woke up and chose violence”; Free Throws is both musically and lyrically confrontational. “Don’t underestimate me, I am a cunning killer,” she sings on Silent Assassin – and it’s difficult to disagree that not including Maidza in your music collection would be a mistake.