Image Source: Motown Records
When it comes to Lakeyah, everything she does is big. There are only big rollouts, big announcements, and big moves for the 21-year-old rapper repping Midwest hip-hop. Lakeyah — newly signed to Motown Records (in addition to Quality Control Music) — is gearing up to take over the summer airwaves. With the release of her single “I Look Good” and a new collaboration with Latto, the Milwaukee native is ready to show the world the tricks she has up her sleeve.
“It’s so much growth in the music,” she tells POPSUGAR of her upcoming summer project. “I stepped out of my comfort zone for sure, as everybody can see with my new single I dropped [“I Look Good”] . . . I wanted to work with a lot of different and big producers, creative people, and you can hear the confidence in my music.”
Lakeyah’s style of rap, best described as “sh*t-talking music,” is boastful in every sense of the word. Confidence is exactly what she exudes on every track she records, and part of that is because she’s one of very few representing a region of hip-hop that doesn’t often get credit. “I’m representing from Milwaukee all the way to Ohio, and I love that for my city because we haven’t had an artist come out since Coo Coo Cal,” Lakeyah explains, also highlighting Detroit acts like Molly Brazy and Doughboyz Cashout. “I’m a female too, a young female out of Milwaukee, so I just feel like [this moment] is great and I wanted to shine some positive light on our [music] scene.”
Image Source: Motown Records/Jaden Aikman
Lakeyah’s rap style, self-described as “sh*t-talking music,” is boastful in every sense. She displays her cocky swagger on every track she records, partly because she’s one of few representing a region of hip-hop that doesn’t often get credit. “I’m representing from Milwaukee all the way to Ohio, and I love that for my city because we haven’t had an artist come out since Coo Coo Cal,” Lakeyah explains. She also highlights Detroit acts like Molly Brazy and Doughboyz Cashout. “I’m a female, too, a young female out of Milwaukee, so I just feel like [this moment] is great, and I wanted to shine some positive light on our [music] scene.”
Lakeyah set her bar high after making a splash in 2020 with her “Time’s Up” EP. Fans raved over standout tracks like “Worst Thing” and “Big FlexHer.” The rapper followed up with even more bangers on her 2021 project “In Due Time” — which featured her hit song “Too Much.” But despite all that success, Lakeyah is still hyperfocused on blowing her listeners away with something even better. “I got a lot of fans that don’t think I can top ‘Too Much’ and ‘Worst Thing,’ but I got some good sh*t coming for them,” she declares.
Breaking into the music industry is no easy feat for any artist, especially with a never-ending flood of talent. Singing was Lakeyah’s gateway to music, but she soon realized she had a gift for rhyming when she discovered poetry. “I joined a poetry-slam team when I was in high school. It was around the time that my stepfather had passed away, and I did a rendition to ‘I Miss You,’ and it kind of went viral,” she shares. “So, I just kept going after that. My poetry people were like, ‘You sound like a rapper.’ Then I went back and did another challenge — Monica’s ‘So Gone’ [in 2016] — and that was my first real viral moment. It was everywhere. I posted it on Facebook, it made it to Instagram, and then I started accumulating a lot of followers and subscribers on Instagram and YouTube. That’s just how it started, and I was like, I really am good at this sh*t.”
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