Rising rapper CHIKA released EP ONCE UPON A TIME on March 12.
The EP focuses on themes from fairy tales, and flows in a way that almost feels like a concept album. ONCE UPON A TIME does not, however, retell the fables in a conventional fashion, instead highlighting the stories of those who are not typically portrayed as the main character. She uses her personal narrative to give the voiceless a voice, starting off the EP's title track, "Fairy Tales," with the line "no heroes inside a book look like me."
ONCE UPON A TIME addresses a number of topics through CHIKA's lyrical genius and hip-hop activism, from struggles with mental health to the many facets of beauty and societal norms.
The two-part "Cinderella" tracks in particular stand out. Over the years, many rappers have leveraged ambiguity in their sexualities, but "Cinderella" tells an honest and compassionate love story about CHIKA and the woman she loves, advocating for acceptance and representation in hip-hop.
Listen to ONCE UPON A TIME below and let us know what you think.