Born and raised in Jersey City, NJ, Shikiba Carr known artistically as Keishh, had what she describes as a ‘good’ childhood, surrounded by the typical trials and tribulations of the inner city streets. She was the only child raised in a single-mother home, while her father spent most of her childhood incarcerated. Though he was impactful and supportive in her life, and in her music, his absence forced Keishh to develop a toughness and savvy about herself.
She began to write raps and do remixes with friends at the age of fourteen, before taking the craft seriously 3 years later. A music career is a dream that Keishh and her father began pursing together upon his release from prison, making it not only her dream, but a vision that they both would share.
Unexpectedly, her father passed away, and what would seem set to halt her momentum towards achieving her dream, only inspired her to push harder. On Keishh’s new single “Play Wit ‘Em”, the female sensation spits out the cadence of a refined rapper met with the flow of a young rising star. She’s a confident rapper with no shortage of contemporaries trying to catch up to her talents. Her assertive delivery is met with lyrics making bold statements.
Keishh separates herself from the crowded field of young women who are transforming the alternative rap scene through her appeal. Her Jersey City girl flow and her lyrics represent a strong sense of self-sufficiency and individuality.
These elements perfectly encapsulate the color of her artistic profile and is the reason why so many of us fell in love with her. Keishh’s cadence is one of the central points of her skillset; the way she articulates every syllable with a voice that drips with understated cockiness and swagger is perfect.
Her captivating intonation sounds natural in the sense that she’s not forcing it to be a gimmick. “Play Wit ‘Em” proves her skills, solidifies her talent as a songwriter, and adds a much-needed layer to both her brand and sonic palette. The song is bursting at the seams with personality.
It is hypnotically bouncy with an undercurrent of tongue-in-cheek hubris. Keishh sounds right at home over the beat and she even switches up her tone to evoke the spunk of someone who never lets up. She spits every line with hunger and conviction.
“Play Wit ‘Em” does an excellent job in terms of showcasing Keishh’s potential and crafting a recognizable brand and style. We are unquestionably in the midst of a female rap renaissance, and Keishh is one of those women who redefine what it means to rap, while she carves out her own niche. The charisma, lyrical ability and sheer confidence she displays on “Play Wit ‘Em” will lend itself towards her future success.
Rap and hip-hop is still plagued with misogyny-fueled gate keeping from key male industry-figures, but Keishh has all the potential to break through and survive in rap’s ruthless ecosystem, as she has no plans to be anything besides her most authentic self and flaunt it enthusiastically as she reaches for her dream.