PRINT December 2017

Music: Best of 2017

Quay Dash

1 NICKI MINAJ FEAT. DRAKE AND LIL WAYNE, “NO FRAUDS” (Young Money/Cash Money/Republic) Nicki is a badass bitch. ’Nuff said. I saw the music video for this song when I had just signed to my label, Perth Records, in London. It was so relevant to my life and what I was going through at that moment. Always been a fan.

Still from Nicki Minaj’s 2017 video No Frauds, directed by Benny Boom. Nicki Minaj.

2 PLAYBOI CARTI, “MAGNOLIA” (AWGE/Interscope) I first heard Carti on Rich The Kid’s 2016 mixtape Keep Flexin. He’s definitely one of my favorite mumble rappers right now. I love the style, the production, his choices, and his vision.

Still from Playboi Carti’s 2017 video Magnolia, directed by AWGE. Playboi Carti.

3 UGLY GOD, THE BOOTY TAPE (Asylum) Yo, I don’t care what anyone says or feels. I love this guy’s music. He’s really nerdy, too. Check out his first mixtape—it’s a real banger.

Still from Ugly God’s 2016 video Water, directed by BPace. Ugly God.

4 CARDI B Straight outta the Bronx, my hometown. Shorty always keeps it fresh and has the slickest tongue. I remember watching her early videos on Instagram. I love when she talks shit, though the thing is, it’s not shit-talking—it’s all facts. This year she had the number one song in the country. Work, bitch. I need an album.

Cardi B performing at SXSW, Austin, March 18, 2017. Photo: Carlos Gonzalez/Redux. © The New York Times.

5 TRINA, “WATCH THIS” (Rockstarr Music Group) I’ve been listening to Trina for years. I adore all her albums and music videos. She’s always on some real shit.

6 BALI BABY, “DIP DIP FREESTYLE” (Billmania) Muahhh! Gosh, this girl is so cute and absolutely fucking fashion-forward. Wigs are always on point, whether synthetic or real. Her choice of words when she raps is so precise—the vocabulary is definitely there. I would love to meet (and hopefully work with) this one.

7 PRINCESS NOKIA, “BRUJAS” (Rough Trade) This chick always makes the bops. She’s fresh out of NYC and has been on the scene and making music for quite a while. I met her at a party years ago, where she performed live over a throwback Beatnuts instrumental. She has always shown appreciation for my music, and I fuck with most of her joints hard. This song has got to be my all-time fave.

Still from Princess Nokia’s 2016 video Brujas, directed by Asli Baykal and Destiny Frasqueri. Third from left: Princess Nokia.

8 YOUNG NUDY, “SWEEP” (Self-released) I first heard Nudy on the “Air It Out” track he recorded with 21 Savage. He’s on a laid-back, chill-stoner vibe. “Sweep,” one of many singles I like from his mixtape Slimeball, is dope trap shit.

9 FAMOUS DEX, “OK DEXTER” (Video of live performance from Day N Night Fest, Anaheim, CA, September 8) Oh man got damn! I remember coming across Famous Dex’s music while browsing YouTube. His performances are super energetic and I actually think he’s kinda cute, especially in this clip, when he starts dancing all over the place. Another great song is “Rich Forever,” with Rich The Kid. I was sad that he didn’t make the XXL 2017 Freshman Class, but I am still a fan.

Famous Dex performing at Day N Night Fest, Anaheim, CA, September 8, 2017. Photo: Mark La Shark.

10 ASIAN DOLL, “I AIN’T TRYING” (Self-released) I’ve been listening to Asian Doll all year. When I first discovered her, I saw this music video and it blew my mind! She has style, body, face, and flow. I love how aggressive and hard-core she is in her lyricism and beat choices. She gave me everything.

Quay Dash is a rapper and artist from the Bronx whose work examines her experiences as a Black transgender woman living in America. Quay has performed and DJ’ed at nightclubs, concert venues, and art galleries across the United States, Canada, and Europe. She released her first mixtape, Satan’s Angel, in April 2017; her first EP, Transphobic (Perth), came out in September. Quay currently resides on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.