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Queen Key Needs To Be Heard, Period

The rising Chicago rapper tells MTV News about her come-up and what her new album 'Eat My Pussy Again' means

By Mark Braboy

On Eat My Pussy Again, the latest offering from Chicago's Queen Key, the rising rapper resembles Vera, the notorious brothel madam in 1989 Eddie Murphy comedy Harlem Nights. Both are blunt, aggressive, supportive, brutally honest, and hilarious AF. Accordingly, Eat My Pussy Again — the follow-up to last year's Eat My Pussy, naturally — is a dynamic project that shows Queen Key at her rawest and most personal as a rapper and, more importantly, as a woman.

Queen Key, born Ke'Asha McClure, was one of seven children (five biological and two stepchildren) raised by a single mother. She bounced around across the Midwest from Chicago's Wild 100s and South Suburbs, attending the infamous Homewood Flossmoor High School, a majority-Black school where a video and photos of white students wearing blackface went viral earlier this year, leading to a huge walkout by students and young organizers. She headed to Indiana and eventually back to the city's North side. As she saw how class and access plays such a huge role on the what kind of education, food, natural environment, job opportunities, and cultural and social upbringing a Black child is allowed to have, it influenced her outlook on the Windy City.

"Chicago is kind of set up [that way] on purpose just because n----s ain't got money like that, as opposed to the better neighborhoods I was living in, which had better schools, better everything," she explained. Despite having few resources, the 22-year-old rapper found an escape in a household filled with fun, imagination, and creativity. She grew up watching her sister writing plays while she made music with her brother on his keyboard, rapping for fun over old cassette tapes.

At 17, Key was kicked out of her home over beef with her abusive stepfather; that spilled over into her relationship with her mother (who divorced him in 2015). Life and divine intervention was spelling out her destiny as she focused on writing and developing a relationship with God. A string of mixtapes — Beauty in a Beast and the Your Highness series — followed, and a year later, her former makeup artist and hair stylist linked her with Machine Entertainment co-founder Mikkey Halsted. The rest was history.

Since then, her profile both as an artist and a humanitarian has grown, not only because continues to deliver exciting and empowering tracks, but also through Queen's Camp, the initiative to support young ladies in Chicago she founded. "I want everybody to hear me," she said. "I need to be heard, period."

MTV News talked with Queen Key about her new album, supporting and loving her female peers loudly, empowering girls in her city, how she handles criticism, racism, and more.

MTV News: You attended Homewood Flossmoor in the South Suburbs of Chicago, correct?

Queen Key: Yeah, they're wilding the fuck out right now. That shit wasn't going on when I was there. I mean, it was racism going on in the sense of white privilege. You as a Black student, [you're assumed as] bad or whatever as opposed to a white kid. It was racism in that sense, but motherfuckers wasn't painting themselves in blackface and all that crazy shit.

MTV News: Based on the reports of the incident and the demonstrations, the attitudes towards Black and white students don't seem to have changed. What was your reaction when you heard about it?

Queen Key: I couldn't fucking believe it. That shit pissed me off. They needed to be expelled, all types of shit. Their asses have to apologize. If they were Black kids, they would have got expelled over some little shit like stealing a pencil.

MTV News: Do you think diversity within itself is adequate to address or even solve racism?

Queen Key: [laughs] The only thing that can stop racism is motherfuckers not being racist. [laughs] No matter what anybody says or what anybody does, as long as there's white people who don't like Black people, there will always be racism no matter what because that's just the hate they have in their hearts.

MTV News: What was the hardest song for you to write on the Eat My Pussy Again project?

Queen Key: I wouldn't say there was any song that was hard to write, but I would say that the hardest for me to release was maybe my "Ms. Understood" song because it's super different. I don't even think I talk about head [laughs].

What's crazy is that I had already made the beginning of that during my sophomore year, the poem in the beginning. I had already done [the verses] during the summer of 2016 when [it was originally] a remix of J. Cole's "Cole Summer" and I never released it. I kind of was just adding shit together.

MTV News: Is there a meaning or message with the title Eat My Pussy?

Queen Key: It's a statement. It's powerful. I'm saying, "Eat my pussy." That's saying, "Stop fucking playing with me, girls can do it too, we're here." Girls are here and we have opinions and a voice and shit that we want and shit that we need. Eat my pussy!

The empty space that I seen was women overly flattering themselves. Yeah, we got female rappers who made nasty songs, but I don't think anyone is coming how I'm coming because I make sure that women get the upper hand in every fucking song that I make. And I made sure that I made that shit my lifestyle.

MTV News: Why is it important for you to support women loudly?

Queen Key: It's kind of how I am when I feel a way about something. If I feel any type of way about it, you will know. No one will have a question mark in their brain about me. I love music and I love when I just see raw shit, and it's important to show that you don't have to be insecure or weird. I don't even think that was even a thing because just how I grew up. It's really not hard for me at all to support another woman rapper because that's almost natural. I don't even understand why some can't do that [laughs].

MTV News: What would you say to those who criticize you and other women for your overtly sexual lyrics and believes that you all are promoting "being a ho?"

Queen Key: I don't give a fuck! [laughs] I'm not worried about nobody calling me no ho because none of them can fuck me — damn near can't even eat my pussy. I don't be worried about that shit because that ain't shit but some motherfucking words to me. Honestly, people have been hating on me all my life. I had titties since I was 12, so it's always been hella rumors about me, people thinking I was fucking young as hell and that wasn't even the case. So people always weirdly hated on me and just said shit about me because I really don't give a fuck. I get a kick out of it.

MTV News: How did your Queen's Camp initiative start and what made you want to give back to the young girls of Chicago?

Queen Key: I was kind of figuring out that music was my purpose and in order for it to work out, the whole plan was for me to do some type of helping. I always knew I was going to do something; I just didn't know what. Around sometime last year, this guy was telling me that I should take some my fans out, take them on a shopping spree, hang out with me. And I just branched off that idea and wanted to do more [than that] and make it forever instead of [having it for] one day or only one fan. I wanted it to be [about] girl power.

I just want to keep going and be a positive help in their life because people don't think that I'm positive for the most part. I just want to show [the girls] that y'all can say what y'all say and do what you do.