Don’t mistake this Philly native for just a pretty face, she’s got some of the hardest rhymes around.
“How can something so gangsta be so pretty in pictures?” The line spit by Jay-Z on ‘That’s My Bitch’ fits rising emcee Chynna flawlessly. After hitting the music scene less than a year ago, 19-year-old Chynna Rogers has already made a steady name for herself. From joining Marino Gang to being one of the faces of some of today’s hottest streetwear lines, the stylish and street-smart rapper has learned to merge two of her biggest interests – music and fashion. Having not yet reached the legal age of 21, Chynna has made herself at home in the world of hip hop.
It’s been some time since we’ve had a female rap artist come out and rhyme about things other than men, money, and how good they are in bed. The idea of what a female should represent has been masculinised by common trends and simply bad taste. I’m not saying that hip hop has horrible female artists. In fact, Nicki Minaj is a personal favourites right now, since her new music is taking us back to the 2009 ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’ days when she would spit straight bars. But after listening to Chynna’s debut EP ‘Chinois’, I didn’t get a Nicki vibe, or a sense of any other rapper for that matter. It was something new, something refreshing in her lyrics that caught the ears of many, including online publications like Complex and New York’s HOT97 radio station. With some old-school production, including a Busta Rhymes instrumental and a rapid flow dropped on numerous tracks, ‘Chinois’ is a compilation of trap and vintage rap. Tracks like ‘No Smoke’ undoubtedly cause mosh pits, while many blunts have surely been rolled to ‘Hall and Oates’. After ten solid tracks, the vibes become infectious.
Despite growing up in Philadelphia, Chynna admits she doesn’t hold a typical Philly flow. However, rap has always been incorporated into her life, with some of her influences including Cam’ron, Mobb Deep and 90’s era Jay-Z. Her sound is not only a combination of impressive and effortless lyricism, but it is a type of introspective rap that will drag you in for more.
After releasing ‘Chinois’ in 2013, Chynna linked up with her Baltimore homies A$AP Ant and DJ Nick to join forces with their Marino Gang label. Siblings Ant and Nick both have strong ties to the music industry. Ant is a member of the A$AP Mob and Nick is the official DJ and curator for all things Marino Gang. Chynna, the only female on a roster of five, seamlessly fit in with the team after dropping ‘Free Crack’ on Nick’s ‘The Big Payback, Vol.1’ mixtape which also featured A$ton Matthews, Butch Dawson, Retchy P and more.
Fast forward to 2014 and Chynna has already released the official ‘Free Crack Remix’ with A$AP Ant and A$AP Twelvyy plus her latest offering, ‘Glen Coco’ where her dizzying, raw flow and open honesty shines through strongly. Both tracks surfaced on the net and immediately hit numbers, with ‘Free Crack Remix’ nearing 30K plays already.
It’s evident that people have their ears open for Chynna, but she doesn’t photograph half bad either. Prior to taking the rap approach, the long-braided artist began modeling for rising fashion brands, including Babylon Cartel and AnmlHse, who are known for their strong connection to music. Outside of streetwear, Chynna has also landed shoots with H&M and New York Fashion week features for Alexander Wang, Maison Margeila, and Isabel Marant. Her ties to the fashion industry have opened doors to a variety of contacts and an even larger audience.
Words by Asia Burris
Photography by Samuel Bradley