It’s hard being a female in any male-dominated industry, especially rap. In San Francisco femcee Chiemi‘s new video for “Wrek Ya Style,” the Japanese/Hawaiian songstress talks about the struggles of being the only woman in the room and trying to get people to take her and her music seriously.
“Sprung and acting dumb, out of pocket without patience / All I ever wanted was a conversation / The compliments you pass, but then they rack up expectations / Your wall of dudes cramping up my style,” intones Chiemi over a bassy, old-school hip-hop beat. As the title of the track suggests, the song is about changing the status quo and muscling through the flack, derision, and challenges that women oftentimes face.
“[The song] was written as a reminder to myself that I wasn’t going to tolerate that shit anymore,” Chiemi says. “It’s about a girl who literally walks out her house in sweatpants and has to deal with grown men talking bullshit to her. The message is clear: Rise beyond the petty shit and do you.”
The video — which is punctuated with brightly colored animation — was shot in front of Chiemi’s grandmother’s house on Geary Street in the Western Addition, the home where she, her father, her aunties, and her cousins all grew up. Despite the song’s serious undertones, the Sun-Chow Media directed video is playful and entertaining, and follows Chiemi and her friends as they bike around the neighborhood and chill on front stoops.
“Wrek Ya Style” is from Chiemi’s recently released debut album, If Love Is The Answer, What Was The Question?