Chika (rapper)

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Chika
Birth nameJane Chika Oranika
Born (1997-03-09) March 9, 1997 (age 23)
Montgomery, Alabama, US
GenresHip hop
InstrumentsVocals
LabelsWarner[1]

Jane Chika Oranika (born March 9, 1997)[2] known professionally as Chika (often stylized CHIKA), is an American rapper, model, and actress. She first garnered attention on social media before signing to Warner Records in 2019. The following year, she was included in XXL's 2020 Freshman Class and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Early life[edit]

Chika was born in Montgomery, Alabama.[3] Because of her interest in music and slam poetry, she attended Booker T. Washington Magnet High School. She was accepted at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, but due to tuition costs, she enrolled at the University of South Alabama instead. She dropped out after her first year to focus on a music career.[4]

Career[edit]

Music[edit]

Chika first gained widespread attention following an Instagram post from November 9, 2016, the day after the 2016 United States presidential election. In the video, she covers herself in pale foundation, saying "African-American? Never felt that, never heard of that, never tasted that, never smelled that". Early in 2017, she created the #EgoChallenge, using the Beyoncé song of that title to promote body positivity and self-love. That year she also released a Pride-themed remix of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" as well as a poetry EP.[5][6][7]

In 2018, Chika went viral for a freestyle addressed at Kanye West over West's own "Jesus Walks" beat. The freestyle concerned West's support for Donald Trump and caught the attention of Jada Pinkett Smith, Sean "Diddy" Combs, and Erykah Badu.[8] She later released a freestyle dedicated to Nia Wilson.[9] In August 2018, she featured on Rachel Crow's single "Coulda Told Me".[10]

Chika released her debut single, "No Squares", in April 2019. The following month, at the invitation of guest host Lena Waithe, she performed "Richey v. Alabama", another of her songs, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[11] The song dealt with the state of Alabama's 2019 abortion bill and was named for a friend of Chika's.[12] That summer, she signed a deal with Warner Records.[13] Chika released two more singles as a lead artist in 2019: "High Rises"[14][15] and "Can't Explain It" featuring Charlie Wilson.[16][17] That year, she also featured on JoJo's "Sabotage", which reached number 18 on the Billboard US R&B Digital Downloads.[18][19]

In December 2019, Chika announced that she was working on an EP titled Industry Games.[20] On January 23, 2020, Chika confirmed the title and posted snippets of music from the EP, telling followers the release was two months away.[21][22] She released the EP's titular single on February 18.[23] The EP was released on March 12, 2020.[24] On August 11, 2020, Chika was included on XXL's 2020 Freshman Class.[25] She was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.[26] and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding New Artist.[27]

Films[edit]

Chika had a role as a high school student in the 2020 Netflix Original film Project Power. She also contributed the track "My Power".[28][29]

Fashion[edit]

In May 2019, Chika featured in a Calvin Klein #MyCalvins advertisement,[30] also writing poetry for the brand's S/S 2019 campaign.[13] That same year, she participated in a Business of Fashion panel at Paris Fashion Week and posed for the December cover of Teen Vogue.[3][31] She was recognized by Business of Fashion as one of the top 500 people shaping the fashion industry in 2019.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Chika is the youngest of her Nigerian-American parents' three daughters. She is of Igbo descent and was raised in the Pentecostal faith.[3]

Chika identifies as bisexual and addresses her sexuality in her music and videos.[33] In her video for "Can't Explain It", she put a queer spin on A Different World, one of her favorite sitcoms.[34]

On May 30, 2020, Chika was briefly detained by police at a Los Angeles protest over the police killing of George Floyd. She addressed the incident on social media the following day, emphasizing the peaceful nature of the demonstration prior to police involvement.[35]

Discography[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Full Bloom // A Poetry EP
Industry Games

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"No Squares" April 10, 2019 non-album singles
"High Rises" June 28, 2019
"Can't Explain It"
(featuring Charlie Wilson)
November 22, 2020
"Industry Games" February 18, 2020 Industry Games
“U Should” August 7, 2020 non-album singles
“My Power (from Project Power)” August 14, 2020
“FWB” December 11, 2020

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US R&B Dig.
"Coulda Told Me"
(Rachel Crow featuring Chika)
2018 non-album singles
"Sabotage"
(JoJo featuring Chika)
2019 18[19]
"Can't Put It in the Hands of Fate"
(Stevie Wonder featuring Rapsody, Cordae, Chika and Busta Rhymes)
2020

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director
"No Squares" 2019 Jack Piatt
"High Rises" Cierra "Sh00ter" Glaude[13]
"Can't Explain It"
(featuring Charlie Wilson)
Top Shelf Jr., Chika[37]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Organization Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
Grammy Awards 2021 Best New Artist Pending [38]
NAACP Image Awards 2021 Outstanding New Artist "High Rises" Pending [39]
GLAAD Media Awards 2021 Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist Industry Games Pending [40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Warner Records Press | Chika".
  2. ^ Chika [@oranicuhh] (March 10, 2017). "okay so, i turned 20 yesterday & i wanted to do a countdown rap from 20 all the way to 1. it was kinda hard. hope you like it, though! pic.twitter.com/sxouE3y5VT" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b c Wagner, Lindsay Peoples (December 3, 2019). "Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond and Rapper Chika on Cancel Culture and Staying Grounded in the Cult of Celebrity". Teen Vogue. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  4. ^ Specker, Lawrence (July 9, 2019). "Breakout Alabama rapper Chika shares her 'origin story'". AL.com.
  5. ^ Traore, Jacqueline (June 14, 2017). "This Nigerian-American Rapper Turned Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You' Into a Pride Anthem and We're Here For It". OkayAfrica.
  6. ^ Thomas, Chris (June 14, 2017). "Chika Transformed Ed Sheeran's Song Into a 'Gay as Hell' Pride Anthem". Out.
  7. ^ Kaufman, Gil (June 15, 2017). "Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You' Reworked by Rapper Chika as Pride Anthem: Listen". Billboard.
  8. ^ Lang, Cady (April 10, 2019). "Why Chika, the Rapper Who Went Viral for Calling Out Kanye, Wants to 'Bring Back What's Real' to Hip Hop". Time.
  9. ^ Davis, Rachaell (July 27, 2018). "Rapper Chika Pens A Tribute To Nia Wilson That You Have To Hear To Believe". Essence.
  10. ^ BWW News Desk (September 10, 2018). "Rachel Crow Releases Confident New Video COULDA TOLD ME ft. Rapper CHIKA". Broadway World.
  11. ^ Amed, Imran (October 16, 2019). "What Chika Is Teaching Fashion". Business of Fashion.
  12. ^ Elsesser, Paloma (September 18, 2019). "how rapper chika oranika turned a kanye diss into a thriving career". i-D. Vice.
  13. ^ a b c Warner Records (June 28, 2019). "Chika signs to Warner Records" (PDF) (Press release). Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  14. ^ Williams, Aaron (July 16, 2019). "Why Chika Is One Of Cardi B's Favorite Up-And-Coming Rappers — And Why She'll Be Yours, Too". Uproxx.
  15. ^ "Chika Continues to Climb With New Song "High Rises" from Upcoming EP". Gehen Press. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  16. ^ Delgado, Sara (November 22, 2019). "Chika's New Music Video Is a Heartwarming Queer Love Story with a '90s Spin". Teen Vogue.
  17. ^ CourtneyB (January 24, 2020). "Alabama Rapper and 'Kanye West Critic' Chika Releases New Video + Freestyle". The Source.
  18. ^ Aniftos, Rania (October 25, 2019). "JoJo Wonders if She'll 'Sabotage' Love in New Single Featuring CHIKA". Billboard.
  19. ^ a b "CHIKA Sabotage Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  20. ^ Teen Vogue (December 3, 2019). Chika Creates the Playlist of Her Life – via MSN Lifestyle.
  21. ^ Chika [@oranicuhh] (January 23, 2020). "The name of my EP is *drumroll* Industry Games" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  22. ^ Chika [@oranicuhh] (January 23, 2020). "a glimpse into my mind. this internet shit has been a ride and a half, but it was never my final destination. i used to post out of necessity. telling myself it would pay off. and it has. and now, here we are, 2 months out from my debut project. i hope you're still here. 💜💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/fUwT2159mO" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  23. ^ "Chika's 'Industry Games': Listen | Billboard". www.billboard.com. February 18, 2020.
  24. ^ "Chika Is Not Here To Play Any Of Music's 'Industry Games'". NPR.org.
  25. ^ Cline, Georgette (August 11, 2020). "XXL 2020 FRESHMAN CLASS REVEALED". XXL. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  26. ^ "Chika on her hometown, her competition, and her Best New Artist nomination". EW.com.
  27. ^ "Alabama is all over NAACP Image Award nominations". al. February 2, 2021.
  28. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/chika-my-power-project-power-1044825/
  29. ^ https://www.al.com/life/2020/08/chikas-impact-more-than-a-cameo-in-project-power.html
  30. ^ Hargrove, Channing (May 17, 2019). "Rapper Chika Addresses Critics Of Her Body Positive Calvin Klein Campaign". Refinery29.
  31. ^ Ford, Jennifer (December 4, 2019). "Hairstylist Lacy Redway Created A Braided Crown For Chika 'The New Queen Of The Rap Game'". Essence.
  32. ^ "Chika – BoF 500 – The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry". Business of Fashion. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  33. ^ @oranicuhh (March 16, 2020). "1.) I'm bisexual 2.) I'm not even remotely butch 3.) There is a specific dick I am referring to" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  34. ^ Daw, Stephen (November 26, 2019). "Chika Reimagines 'A Different World' to Reflect Black, Queer Love in 'Can't Explain It' Video". Billboard.
  35. ^ Peters, Mitchell. "Chika Chronicles Her Detainment While Protesting George Floyd's Death in L.A.: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  36. ^ Duboff, Josh (January 14, 2020). "The 10 Biggest Rising Talents in Hollywood". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  37. ^ "CHIKA - Can't Explain It (feat. Charlie Wilson) [Official Music Video]" – via www.youtube.com.
  38. ^ "2021 GRAMMYs: Complete Nominees List". Grammy.com. November 24, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  39. ^ Davis, Clayton (February 2, 2021). "Viola Davis, Tyler Perry and Regina King Up for Entertainer of the Year at 2021 NAACP Image Awards". Variety. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  40. ^ "2021 GLAAD Media Awards: 'Happiest Season,' 'RPDR' Among Nominees". Entertainment Tonight.