Queen G: “Genius” Runway Review


In Kuwait, a small and diverse hip-hop scene hides behind the huge khaliji the pop industry. Khaliji is an umbrella term for Arabic pop informed by the polyrhythmic folk music of the Gulf region, particularly its layered percussion which includes darbukas, mirwas and frame drums. Queen G, Kuwait’s most prominent female hip-hop star, shares the difference between these underground and mainstream communities. She raps to eerie beats that combine khaliji elements – clanking cymbals, handclaps – with reggaeton rhythms, her songs accompanied by a paranoid, digital aesthetic due to MIA. MAYA. She made herself known a few years ago with a string of characters of simple uploaded to YouTube and TikTok which revealed his terminally ill online sense of humor. (See: his flip of a piece of A$AP Fergtitled after a certain Battle Royale video game).

“Genius,” Queen G’s latest release, is an interesting showcase of her distinct point of view. The single’s jerky beat – with a succession of woofs, meows and croaks – sets the stage for a raspy rap about his badassery. A DALL-E AI generated music video featuring alien civilizations, jeweled cats and Kazuma Kiryu from the Yakuza games gestes to the overall project of his work: a portrait of the average Internet user as a seabed crab, decorating his shell with whatever he finds in the endless ocean of content.


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