|Origin||Miami, Florida, U.S.|
City Girls is an American hip hop duo consisting of Yung Miami (Caresha Romeka Brownlee; born February 1994) and JT (Jatavia Shakara Johnson; born December 1992). The duo originates from Miami, Florida, and garnered attention after making an uncredited guest appearance on Drake's chart-topping single "In My Feelings" in 2018.
The duo signed to Quality Control Music, and later released their debut mixtape, Period (2018); as well as two studio albums: Girl Code (2018), which spawned the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Platinum-certified US top 40 singles "Twerk" (featuring Cardi B) and "Act Up"; and City on Lock (2020).
2017: Early beginnings
The duo recorded their debut studio track, "Fuck Dat Nigga", which was a diss track towards their ex-boyfriends for not giving them money when they asked. Yung Miami promoted it through social media and by paying DJs to play it in clubs. Soon the track, which features a prominent sample of fellow Florida rapper Khia's "My Neck, My Back (Lick It)", racked up hundreds of thousands of plays. The official music video for the song came out in January 2018 and featured an appearance from rapper Trina. Later that year, the track was included in Quality Control's compilation album, Control the Streets, Volume 1.
2018–2019: Period, Girl Code, and breakthrough
Shortly after the release of "Fuck Dat Nigga", JT was arrested and charged with aggravated identity theft, and was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison. The judge eventually agreed to push back her surrender date. JT began her prison term in July 2018 and was set to be released on March 1, 2020. While JT was incarcerated, Yung Miami continued to promote the group's music, by saying: "When she was in jail, I was going to strip clubs and I would pay a DJ 20 dollars to play the song. It started taking off."
After signing to Quality Control Music, the duo were ranked as the most popular developing artists of the week, according to the measuring activity across Billboard charts Hot 100, the Social 50, and Billboard 200. In May 2018, the City Girls released their debut mixtape, Period, which reached No. 16 on Heatseekers Albums the same month. Period also ranked 26th on Rolling Stone's 30 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018. In July 2018, the duo were launched into mainstream recognition after an uncredited feature on Drake's "In My Feelings", with Yung Miami appearing in the music video. In August 2018, they released the documentary, Point Blank Period.
In November 2018, City Girls released their debut studio album, Girl Code, which features vocals from Cardi B, Lil Baby and Jacquees. The album debuted at no. 63 on the Billboard 200 chart issued December 1, 2018. The two singles from the album, "Twerk", featuring fellow rapper Cardi B, and "Act Up", peaked at no. 29 and no. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. JT was transferred to a halfway house on October 8, 2019, 5 months before her scheduled release.
2020–present: City on Lock and other releases
In September 2019, Yung Miami confirmed to Ebro Darden on Apple Music's Beats 1 that the duo planned on recording a new album, expecting to release it early in 2020. On June 19, 2020, City Girls' second studio album, titled City on Lock, leaked in its entirety online. JT announced hours later that the album would be released at midnight of the same day.[non-primary source needed] The album's first single, "Jobs", was released hours before the album alongside a music video. The album includes guest appearances from Yo Gotti, Doja Cat, Lil Durk and Lil Baby. In March 2021, their viral unreleased song "Twerkulator" amassed popularity on social media application TikTok, after 20-year-old dancer Layla Muhammad choreographed a dance for the song. The song had since been used over 1,100,000 times on the platform, with creators such as Charli D'Amelio and Malu Trevejo performing the dance; however, despite this viral restore, the song remained unreleased as the basis contains a sample from "Planet Rock" by Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force, which was yet to be cleared. On May 21, 2021, "Twerkulator" was officially released.
On October 29, 2021, Yung Miami released her debut solo single, "Rap Freaks", alongside its music video. A sex-positive track, it sees her reference various rappers, including Megan Thee Stallion, Diddy, and Meek Mill. Miami explained that "the song is showing love to all the rappers right now, it's nothing personal. I [named] a bunch of the guys who are on top, that's hot, that's poppin'. Nothing is personal, nothing is literal, I'm just having fun". The song debuted and peaked at 81 on Billboard Hot 100, becoming Miami's first entry as a solo artist.
JT grew up in both Carol City and Liberty City while Yung Miami grew up in Opa-locka. JT has said "my mother was an addict" and that "drugs ruined my childhood". At 17, they were performing in strip clubs, night clubs and block parties. Yung Miami said that she loved trap music from a young age, and told Rolling Stone, "My little boyfriend used to take me to school every day, so I grew up listening to a lot of trap music." Before rapping, Yung Miami was an Instagram influencer who promoted her own fashion line.
On August 6, 2019, Yung Miami was the victim of a drive-by shooting after leaving Circle House Studios in Miami. An unknown assailant inside a car with no lights on attempted to fire shots into her vehicle, striking her red Mercedes-Benz G-Class in the spare tire. She was not injured.
Legal issues and controversies
2018–2020 JT incarceration
Shortly after the release of their 2017 debut single, "Fuck Dat Nigga", JT was arrested and convicted of aggravated identity theft on fraudulent credit card charges, and was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison. Following a pushback of her surrender date, JT turned herself in to the authorities on June 29, 2018, and began serving her sentence while being held at FCI Tallahassee in July 2018. She was slated to be released March 21, 2020. As she awaited her release, JT was transferred from FCI Tallahassee to a halfway house in Atlanta on October 8. During her stay in the halfway house, she was able to leave the house during the day to work and visit family and friends. To celebrate her release, JT released a track titled "JT First Day Out". On the song, she shouts out Yung Miami, rapping,
"I been a real bitch way before the fed case / Yung Miami held me down, that's a bitch ace / And if a bitch try her, it's a cold case".
A few celebrities showed to be displeased with the incarceration of the artist: Trina wore a T-shirt that had "Free JT" written on it, and Drake posted on Instagram "Free my shorty". JT was officially released from federal custody on March 7, 2020.
Yung Miami homophobic remarks
In 2013, Yung Miami stated that she would not want one of her sons to be gay and would beat him if she found out that he was. In August 2018, Yung Miami was among several rappers who faced criticism after the circulation of tweets she had written in the past that contained homophobic remarks. Following the resurfacing of her statements, Yung Miami publicly issued a formal apology through an Instagram post.
Though she apologized, Yung Miami found herself embroiled in controversy once more on November 13 when she doubled down on her homophobic statements in an appearance on Power 105.1's radio show The Breakfast Club. During the interview, she was questioned by radio host Charlamagne tha God in regard to her controversial tweet that claimed what she would do if she found out that her son was gay. Yung Miami replied that her previous tweet had nothing to do with the LGBTQ community and was specifically about her son. She said, "I was just talking about my son. I just said that if I saw anything gay in my son, that I would beat him". The rapper attempted to provide clarity for what she had actually meant. She elaborated, "But that's just like when your mama be like, 'If you break my table I'm gonna beat the shit out of you.' That don't mean she's gonna beat the shit out of you, she's just saying it." While she stood by her comment that as a mother she does not want a gay son, Yung Miami insisted that she does not harbor any resentment towards gay people. She explained that she spends much time around many gay people, including her cousin and hairstylist.
Commentators throughout social media immediately decried the rapper, saying that her very line of reasoning was homophobic and the comments she made on The Breakfast Club were hateful and anti-LGBTQ. It was also emphasized that such corporal punishment is still in practice among some parents who condemn their children's sexual orientation.
Awards and nominations
|Award||Year[A]||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Category||Result||Ref.|
|BET Awards||2019||Themselves||Best New Artist||Nominated|||
|BET Hip Hop Awards||2019||"Twerk" (featuring Cardi B)||Best Hip-Hop Video||Nominated|||
|"Act Up"||Single of the Year||Nominated|
|BET Social Awards||2019||Themselves||Issa Wave||Won|||
|Billboard Music Awards||2019||Themselves||Top Rap Female Artist||Nominated|||
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||2020||Themselves||Favorite Breakout Artist||Nominated|||
|Variety's Hitmakers Awards||2021||Themselves||The Future is Female Award||Won|||
- Indicates the year of ceremony. Each year is linked to the article about the awards held that year, wherever possible.
- Iannelli, Jerry (August 6, 2019). "Someone Tried to Shoot City Girls Rapper Yung Miami". Miami New Times.
- Kellman, Andy. "City Girls Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- Spanos, Brittany (July 26, 2018). "City Girls, Separated by Prison, Want to be Icons". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- Jatavia Shakara Johnson in U.S., Index to Public Records, 1994-2019. " Birth Date: Dec 1992".
- Roland, Dria (July 23, 2019). "Yung Miami of City Girls Says JT's Incarceration Is 'A Minor Setback for a Major Comeback'". Complex. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- Darville, Jordan (August 1, 2018). "Yung Miami gets in her feelings about City Girls". The Fader. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
- Zeichner, Naomi (September 2, 2018). "City Girls Are More Like You Than You Think". The Cut. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Saponara, Michael (July 2, 2018). "City Girls Member JT Begins Serving Jail Sentence for Fraud Charges". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
- Zellner, Xander (November 28, 2018). "City Girls Debut on Emerging Artist Chart, Billie Eilish Spends Fifth Week at No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
- Espinoza, Joshua (May 11, 2018). "Quality Control's City Girls Release Debut Project 'Period'". Complex. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Weingarten, Christopher R.; Klinkenberg, Brendan; Holmes, Charles; Reeves, Mosi (December 26, 2018). "30 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Drake - In My Feelings. DrakeVEVO. August 3, 2018. Archived from the original on November 29, 2022. Retrieved December 2, 2022 – via YouTube.
- Spanos, Brittany (November 1, 2018). "City Girls Announce Sophomore Album 'Girl Code'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- Gracie, Bianca (August 30, 2018). "Watch City Girls Reflect on the Male-Dominated Rap World in 'Point Blank Period' Documentary Clip: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- Lamarre, Carl (November 16, 2018). "Stream City Girls' Debut Album 'Girl Code' With Cardi B, Lil Baby and Jacquees". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- "Billboard 200: December 1, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- Trust, Gary [@gthot20] (January 28, 2019). ""Girls Like You" No. 9 / "Money" No. 13 / "Taki Taki" No. 18 / "Twerk" No. 29 / "I Like It" No. 37 / "Backin' It Up" No. 40 - becoming @lifeofthePARDI's first top 40 #Hot100 hit as an artist (& 4th as a writer)! t.co/2TZGCEl0BE" (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 22, 2022. Retrieved December 2, 2022 – via Twitter.
- "Cardi B: Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- "Top 100 Songs: June 22, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
- "JT of City Girls Celebrates Her 'First Day Out' on New Song". Rap-Up. October 8, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
- "City Girls "City On Lock" Album Reportedly Leaks In Full". HotNewHipHop. June 19, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
- "CITY ON LOCK midnight". Archived from the original on June 20, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2021 – via Twitter.
- "City Girls Drop "Jobs" Single & Visual Following Album Leak". HotNewHipHop. June 19, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
- "It's Time to Talk About the 'Twerkulator' TikTok Dance". Vulture. April 5, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
- "City Girls' JT Admits to Fame Making Her 'Comfortable' and 'Lazy' at Times". Complex. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
- "Twerkulator by City Girls on Spotify". May 21, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2021 – via Spotify.
- Price, Joe (October 29, 2021). "Yung Miami Name-Drops Diddy, Megan Thee Stallion, and More in New Track and Video "Rap Freaks"". Complex. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
- Yung Miami [@YungMiami305] (November 8, 2021). "IM CRYING!! t.co/Mxuh1iNdSE" (Tweet). Archived from the original on March 13, 2022. Retrieved December 2, 2022 – via Twitter.
- "City Girls' JT Denies Cocaine Allegations: "I Hate Drugs I Don't Even Smoke Weed"". HotNewHipHop. December 30, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
- Lockett, Dee (November 29, 2018). "City Girls Are Our Greatest Scammers". Vulture. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
- "Yung Miami Mourns Death Of Her Son's Father". June 17, 2020.
- "FATHER OF YUNG MIAMI'S SON KILLED".
- thedingydiamond (June 1, 2019). "Congratulations, Caresha! Yung Miami Announces She's Expecting A City Girls Seed". The DINGY💎 DIAMOND. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
- Saponara, Michael (October 18, 2019). "City Girls' Yung Miami Gives Birth to Baby Girl". Billboard. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
- "Pregnant City Girls Rapper Yung Miami Shot At In Miami". TMZ. August 6, 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- "City Girls' JT Released to Halfway House". Rap-Up. October 9, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
- Centeno, Tony M. (March 9, 2020). "City Girls' JT released from federal custody, no longer in halfway house". XXL. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
- Daw, Stephen (November 13, 2018). "City Girls Rapper Yung Miami Doubles Down on Homophobic Comment". Billboard. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Darville, Jordan (August 29, 2018). "Yung Miami of City Girls, Doja Cat, and More Apologize in Homophobic Tweet Uproar". The Fader. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- Orcutt, KC (November 14, 2018). "Yung Miami Faces Backlash for Saying Doesn't Want Son to Be Gay". XXL. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Williams, Aaron (November 13, 2018). "City Girls' Yung Miami Is Under Fire For Making Homophobic Comments On 'The Breakfast Club'". Uproxx. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Billboard Staff (June 28, 2019). "Here Are All the Winners From the 2020 BET Awards". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
- Warner, Denose (June 23, 2019). "Here Are All the Winners From the 2019 BET Awards". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
- "Cardi B Leads 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards With 10 Nominations: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
- "Here Are All the Winners From the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
- "The Full List of Social Awards 2019 Winners". BET. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- Lynch, Joe (May 1, 2019). "2019 Billboard Music Awards Winners: The Complete List". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- Atkinson, Katie (October 14, 2020). "2020 Billboard Music Awards Winners: The Complete List". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
- Boyle, Kelli (February 13, 2020). "Chance the Rapper to Host 2020 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards: See the Complete List of Nominations". E! News. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
- Earl, William (November 19, 2021). "Jack Harlow, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Lana Del Rey and More to Be Honored at Variety's Hitmakers Event". Variety. Retrieved December 6, 2021.