Jesswar Shares a Playlist of the Tracks That Inspired Her New Single “Medusa”

The Fijian rapper shares 10 songs that helped shape her bold style.

While we continue to anticipate that follow-up to DAMN., and await Kanye’s reversion back into the hard-hitting industrial raps of Yeezus, we have the boisterous raps of Jesswar to soundtrack our most grueling workout routines. Following the raw intensity that was last year’s instantly catchy “Venom,” the Fijian rapper has just revealed that next month will see the release of her anticipated project Tropixx—news that arrives with another song and video for her track “Medusa.”

In addition to the industrial beat and doomy atmosphere tapped from Yeezus (or maybe more aptly from hardcore noise rappers like Dälek or Moodie Black, albeit with a more radio-friendly agenda), Jesswar cites contemporaries like Leikeli47, Rico Nasty, and Princess Nokia as artists who’ve inspired her tough-as-nails style, as each of the innovative and shit-talking emcees match the vicious nature of the rapper’s flow. It’s these artists and more who she mentions by name when noting her sources for inspiration on the latest single.

With “Medusa” debuting today, Jesswar put together a full playlist of her inspirations below which you can stream after checking out the video. Read on for her write-up on each track as well.

Kanye West, “Blood on the Leaves”

The way this song starts and finishes sounds like two different songs. I love the way it flows and the freedom in the instrumentation. My favorite part of the track is when the brass stabs toward the end with the build up of the verse. 

M.I.A., “Bad Girls”

I really love M.I.A.! Her artistry is next level. She always has really catchy phrasing and a deeper meaning behind her lyrics. I also love how her visuals flow into her music. “Bad Girls” is a big vibe: “Live fast die young, bad girls do it well.” That shit is hard!

Baauer “Day Ones”

This song is on my workout playlist. I love how it hits, and Leikeli47’s hook makes it an anthem. The energy on this track is wild. Baauer’s production makes you want to fight. 

Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”

Word play, lyrics, beat, phrasing, everything is on point here. “HUMBLE.” is a staple.

Leikeli47, “Money”

Leikeli47 is hands down one of my favorite artists right now. She’s so versatile and everything she releases sounds different, which I like! This track is a favorite of mine—it’s actually the first song I ever heard of hers. She just flows like water coming downstream, it’s very melty! Smooth, it feels like silk. I love it, she’s phenomenal.

Stefflon Don, “16 Shots”

Stefflon Don is a weapon! I love the way she goes so hard on this track. The chorus feels like a fight, and her rhythm in her verses is like butter, but it holds the song together so nicely. 

Azealia Banks, “Jumanji”

I love this era of Azealia’s music! This song goes hard, from the drumming rhythms to the lead synth and her verses! Big anthem vibes!

Princess Nokia, “Tomboy”

It’s the drumming at the start! The engine sounds and chorus drop really gets me as well. Plus, I could relate to the tomboy line. This song feels like a celebration. Big anthem feels. 

Rico Nasty, “Big Titties”

The beat is what hooked me! I love how Rico always goes so hard on every song! She doesn’t hold back and just goes in. I really admire and appreciate that energy and that grit. It’s really exciting and inspiring to see. 

Leikeli47, “Bad Gyal Flex”

The energy on this track! She goes in and gives you really heavy verses, then hits you with some beautiful melodies. She’s a great artist. I love how she plays with different rhythms and timings too! You can hear her bravery in the music.

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