The Lady Lyricist Series: LIKWUiDity in Motion - GangStarr Girl : GangStarr Girl

The Lady Lyricist Series: LIKWUiDity in Motion

[ 0 ] January 12, 2015 |


LIKWUiD Stylez (née Faybeo’n Mickens) is a Southern Belle, the remix. She rhymes with a ferocity comparable to a boxer’s hands, has the musical ear of a skilled composer and an unapologetically unique sense of style from her signature Afro to the fresh kicks on her feet. The Columbia, South Carolina-raised lyricist, who currently resides in New York City, began turning to music and poetry as a child witnessing domestic abuse, for a therapeutic release. What initially began as therapy blossomed into the potential for a career after LIKWUiD first heard KRS-One’s “Sound of Da Police.”

“The way he was making the comparison between an officer and an overseer was just so cool to me. That’s what made me want to start recording.”


LIKWUiD made a name for herself on the South Carolina hip-hop scene but took her talents up north after enrolling in St. John’s University for business school. She began as a spectator at New York City’s End of the Weak, NYC’s longest running weekly open mic and international movement, but couldn’t resist getting on the mic, knowing she’d impress the crowd.

LIKWUiD released her first album in 2003, and has since garnered accolades from industry giants like Steve Raze and Esperaza Spalding, who says, “… I feel fortunate that her craft and beautiful spirit are rising in this decade as a contemporary. After experiencing Likwuid Stylez, I feel fully satisfied from the frontal lobe to the hip bones,” but in an age of short attention spans and myopic interests, being talented doesn’t always seem to be enough.

“There have been a few times that I’ve sat in [major record label] offices. I’ve had the talk about my look because I’m not the sexy glamorous six-inch heel-wearing model type and I just decided for me it just works to be me,” she tells
For LIKWUiD, like many artists, authenticity is crucial. Her latest album, The Likwuidity Project, which features production from 2 Hungry Bros, collaboration with Dylan Dilo and DJ Evil Dee (of Black Moon), 2 Hungry Bros, collaboration with Dylan Dillinger (yes, that Dylan), and more, is available now.

“Ultimately my message is love, whether it be self love, love of your fellow man, love of ideas, love of libation. I would say what I want people to take away from Likwuidty in depth is Likwuid is a true, versatile artist and they can be able to finally hear that emotion that I have only be able to convey on stage,” she says. I’m thankful because I have learned how to balance all of it and that’s just embracing myself; embracing Likwuid embracing Faybeo’n, embracing Shanna (family name), embracing who I am and allowing people to meet me around that. This is for folks that appreciate independent hip-hop soul.”

Twitter: @Likwuid

Instagram: @Likwuid

Likwuid is also a DJ so, don’t hesitate to book her for your next event.

Disclaimer: Last year I pitched doing a series on talented female rappers for Black Music Month to various media outlets. The idea was to feature a profile on a new woman for each of the 30 days in June to prove the point that talented and diverse lady lyricists are hiding in plain site, despite people’s myopia. I also wanted to show that there is a world beyond the typical two most popular ones who get pushed in our faces ad nauseam. As we all know, women in hip-hop, now more than ever, have it really hard, but there are women who are winning in ways that aren’t defined by rigid mainstream ideals and expectations.

My feature idea got diminished from one story a day to one profile per week (because the publication didn’t want to pay me for the full idea) and then the editor up and disappeared on me. I was obviously extremely annoyed by that, but unfortunately that behavior seems common in this industry. Initially, I was going to give up but that incident among many has made me realize that it’s better to write about music and entertainment on my personal platform. Next in this series is Nitty Scott, MC.

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Category: Hip-Hop, Interviews, Music

About the Author ()

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a recovering journalist who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine.

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