By: Shayla Harris
Former Co-Founder and Editor of Ballistic Sounds.
20 year old rapper Kamaiyah is heating up the Oakland rap game this summer with her debut mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto. Though the First Lady of Big Money Gang dropped her tape in late March, A Good Night’scarefree vibe makes it fit for any summer playlist. Kamaiyah delivers the perfect jams to cruise with the top down to, while hitting on conventional rap subject matters in 16 tracks. The opening song, "I’m On", is an immediate cue to the listener that this is the story of a starving artist battling their way to the top bar by bar. In addition to her account of the trials and tribulations of shining in the rap game, Kamaiyah reps her city and crew, and lustfully delineates why her sex game is as strong as her rap game.
Though the tape may be great for feeling yourself in the summer, the cliché subject matter paired with Kamaiyah’s monotonous delivery makes A Good Night feel repetitive at times. "Hoochie Hotline Interlude", which appears three times throughout the tape, does not go far enough. It provides some narrative transition and assists in characterizing the artist whereas a great rap album would add a deeper level of meaning or experimentation.
Where A Good Night in The Ghetto falls short in content and lyricism, it is redeemed by its funky rhythm and beat. The mixtape’s employment of synth bass saturation and syncopated rhythms make the album fun to listen to without straying too far from Oakland rap sounds. The tape’s final song named "For my Dawg" was inspired by Kamaiyah’s friend’s battle with cancer, and highlights the artist’s ability to broach emotional subject matters. By the end, it is clear that this is merely the beginning for the First Lady.