Locals Only

This week: Sirena Victima, Nef the Pharaoh, Cityshawn

Sirena Victima

If You Like Sleater-Kinney,
Then You’ll Like Sirena Victima

The term “Riot grrrl” has grown rather toothless in recent years. Spearheaded by bands like Bratmobile and Bikini Kill, it was once representative of a radical, revolutionary movement that saw pissed-off women playing pissed-off punk riffs and getting loud about just how pissed off they were.

Nowadays, most all-women bands have a contentious relationship with the term, but not San Francisco’s Sirena Victima. The trio has proudly claimed it — and rightfully so. They play scuzzy post-punk with atonal riffs that sounds a lot like Riot grrrl alt-rock from the ’90s. Like their Olympia foremothers Sleater-Kinney, Sirena Victima delivers barbed lyrics in the movement’s signature half-sing, half-yell style.

Whether taking twisted pleasure in vapid consumerism (“Mall Rats”) or losing patience with some intolerable emo dude (“Sad Boy”), Sirena Victima attacks with the same viciousness that Sleater-Kinney and other Riot grrrl bands tapped into more than two decades ago. Elle Carroll

Album Spotlight:
The Chang Project by Nef the Pharaoh

When “Big Tymin” became Nef the Pharaoh’s breakthrough hit in 2015, it pretty much established him as a party rapper. Since then, the Vallejo native has stuck to the same formula of exuberant synths, heavy bass, and boastful lyrics, peddling upbeat, bouncy tracks with hyphy influences.

But though Nef has been putting out a steady stream of projects in the two years since he signed to E-40’s label, Sick Wid It Records, none of them have achieved the same balance of inventiveness and execution that “Big Tymin” did — until now.

Buried in the middle of The Chang Project, Nef’s debut album, is his new best song, “Move4,” featuring local rappers Jay Ant and OMB Peezy. Filled with vocal chops and looped keyboard melodies, it’s nothing like “Big Tymin,” and in fact sounds more like a nu-disco hip-hop record. Nef’s bars are controlled and thought out, showing a more contemplative side to the normally hyper rapper, who mentions his 3-year-old son and his hopes to win a Grammy in the song.

The rest of the album is more varied, featuring turn-up tunes, dark and sinister raps, and a sexually suggestive bedroom number featuring Ty Dolla $ign. Jessie Schiewe

SF Weekly Song of the Week:

“Work For It” CityShawn

CityShawn is a hard-working San Jose rapper who, in the last two years, has released more than 50 tracks and multiple projects. In “Work For It,” the emcee spits quotidian trivialities in a matter-of-fact style reminiscent of Leimert Park rapper Dom Kennedy. The beat, produced by Haze, is predominated by a burbling synth line that helps punctuate and buoy CityShawn’s forcefully delivered vocals. JS

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