Norwegian rapper Big Daddy Karsten and Aja Lebeja kick off Pride month with a classic rap cypher that includes several of the most talented queer rappers the USA and Canada have to offer.
Openly queer and international artists Aja, Kezra Leon, xMetalMouthx, Big Daddy Karsten, Jesse Paradice, Nuépa, Bryce Quartz, Shilow, and Count Klassy are dropping their one-of-a-kind, joint project, Bargasm.
Aja is known for RuPaul’s Drag Race, RPDR Allstars, and the HBO ballroom competition Legendary.
Karsten is known from Melodi Grand Prix where he charmed the country with the song Smile as well as other TV productions.
A cypher is a song that sees several rappers show off their rap skills to the best of their ability. The rap cypher is known for its macho heteronormative expression, but here the entire rainbow spectrum shows its toughest faces and shows that they belong in hip-hop.
-We want to create a platform for our community that can become a regular release and encourage collaboration, says Shilow, the founder of Bargasm and one of 9 artists featured on the project.
-If the industry doesn’t want to dowill just do it ourselves, notes Aja, a television star and one of the artists on the roster.
Norwegian artist Big Daddy Karsten says, “The gayluminati is real, and we’re angry.”
Here it is:
Meet the artists:
Brooklyn, New York
Venus Nadya Oshun, known professionally as Aja, is an American rapper, reality television personality, and drag queen best known for competing in Ballroom, HBO’s Legendary (Season 3), and RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 9 & All Stars 3).
Kezra Leon is an up-and-coming artist based in South Florida. With a background in musical theatre, hip-hop culture, and the queer club scene, he has forged a truly unique brand. Kezra’s niche combination of ostentatious lyrics, stage presence, and gender-defying aesthetic has landed him on stages with big names like Cupcakke, Big Freedia, and Marc Rebillet — all before releasing his debut single “Big Mad”.
Since the release of Big Mad, Kezra has gone on to work with celebrities such as Aja from RuPaul’s Drag Race, as well as being featured in international publications such as Xtra Magazine, as well as donating numerous hours to local pride charity-based events.
Verse in all things music (and something else), xMetalMouthx was born and raised in Lumberton, NC. Looking to infuse his high-risk homosexual behavior into his music, he has been known to spit and swallow across multiple genres to express his ever-changing emotions.
Big Daddy Karsten
Big Daddy Karsten – Big Bear, Big Heart, Big Tunes! He’s known as Norway’s first and only openly gay rapper, a battle rap legend in his own country, and an LGBTQIA+ activist. Having played at Pride festivals all over Norway, as well as some of the biggest music festivals in the country, he has become a fairly known name in the queer and rap communities.
Until early 2020, all of his tracks have been in Norwegian, but eager to explore new territories, while sharing his curves with the world, he now serves sexy bear realness in English for everyone to enjoy.
Jesse Paradice is a Cleveland, Ohio-based independent rapper whose introspective and emotional lyrics, intertwined with experimental sounds, provide a unique and intense listening experience. His upcoming project “SDS1” explores mental health, and the complexities of loss, depression, substance abuse, racism, and religion.
A true student of the game, Jesse is heavily influenced by multiple eras of music, often finding different ways to combine contrasting sounds – like post-hardcore and ambient, or even drill and boom bap. Jesse is on a mission to bring you to his world through his music. Dare to take the journey?
Nuépa is a Portuguese-Canadian pop artist. They make music as a way of healing from identity and mental health trauma. Their rap voice lives in stark contrast to their jazz-style vocals as a way of expressing the contrast between feminine and masculine energy. Nuépa’s sounds are inspired by house, hip-hop, dance, and R&B.
Queens, New York City
Bryce Quartz is a queer, cubby rapper currently based in Queens, NY. Bryce is also a writer for Ryan Cassata’s music blog Rock The Pigeon and Bear World Magazine where he’s written about queer artists from around the world.
He’s worked with RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Brita Filter, charted on the iTunes Hip Hop, Pop, and All Genres charts, and has amassed a niche following from his Tik Tok fan base for his unapologetically raunchy lyrics.
Kansas City, Missouri
Mixing elite lyricism and a number of different musical genre inspirations, Shilow is the next true hip-hop pioneer, challenging what it means to be a successful MC in the ever-changing rap arena. Proudly claiming the title of a queer hip-hop artist, Chance Parsons donned the Shilow persona in order to share his unique experiences with the world in an attempt to help bring queer art into the mainstream.
Slick wordplay and pop-inspired choruses combine to show that there is truly no style that Shilow can’t master in order to paint a vivid picture for listeners.
Count Klassy is a new-age hip-hop artist coming out of Canada’s musical hub, Toronto. He’s been ghostwriting for Grammy-Award-winning artists for over 5 years, handling their digital marketing portfolios, while simultaneously working on his own music, developing new sounds and styles to bring into the hip-hop genre as an LGBTQ artist.
In 2020, Skunk Magazine crowned his single ‘Good Vibes’ featuring Juno Award Winner Choclair as “2020’s Cannabis Anthem”. Having been mentored by successful artists such as Tone Lōc (Funky Cold Medina), and George Brown of Kool and the Gang (Celebrate, Jungle Boogie), Count Klassy is here to add some glitter to the hip-hop game.