TT the Artist has always been an innovator. Her music defies hip-hop genre expectations, and she isn’t afraid of making a statement. She appeared on a 2016 anthem with Mighty Mark entitled “F Trump.” I don’t think I need to clarify what the F means, or which Trump she’s talking about. The Florida native is working to put BMore club — a localised genre of dance music — on the map with her documentary Dark City: Beneath the Beat. On Thursday, she will be joining other artists and DJ’s in Philadelphia for Red Bull Music’s United States of Bass, a celebration of this unique subgenre and the regions — Philly, Jersey, and Baltimore — that have grown it. Describing the music she’s grown to love, TT told Refinery29, “It’s raw; it's gritty; it's hard-hitting. It's party-starting music but it's also a way for people to release. You get off of work, or you need to work out... this music is very liberating.”
But it’s arguable that everything TT does is liberating. She’s been making music for over 10 years. Her tracks have appeared on Comedy Central’s Broad City and multiple seasons of HBO’s Insecure. And she’s done it all completely without the backing of any major label. “I paved my own way without having any booking agents or management, not by choice, but just by lack of people really engaging in different style of artist I was,” she told Refinery29.
Now, she wants to help other female artists do the same thing. TT recently launched Club Queen Records, an all-female record label that functions to give other women access to the same opportunities she’s experienced. All of the employees are female, all the artists are female, all music and projects are made by females, for females — with a focus on women of colour in hip-hop, dance, and R&B genres.
TT explained “[It’s] supposed to be a platform that would bring women together and show us how to be our own bosses, how to put our own music out, how to create our own wave, open our own doors, create our own opportunities, and not always have to wait for the validation of the male gatekeepers and the business.” Her latter point, about male gatekeepers, is painfully accurate. The rap game is notoriously known for its revolving door of diverse male talent — from Drake to Tekashi69 — while only propping up a couple of commercially successful female MC’s at a time. More damning still is this: While the rest of the entertainment industry — notably film and television — reckons with the treatment of women in the midst of the #MeToo movement, the music industry has been noticeably indifferent. This is especially true of hip-hop, which still hasn’t figure out ways to hold predatory, violent men accountable.
In this hostile landscape, Club Queen Records is essentially a safe haven for female artists who aren’t afraid of getting shit done themselves. “Having support would be great, but at this stage in the game and where we are, we really have to take ownership of our own narrative and make these moves for ourselves,” TT says.
There’s no one better equipped to help them do it than TT.
The first visual offering from Club Queen Records is TT’s “Girls Off The Chain,” featuring Uniiqu3. It’s an infectious, energetic song that sees TT mastering the musical genre that she’s so passionate about. She directed and edited the video; while Jose Rosero colourfully animated a 90’s party playground where twerking butts exist completely outside of the male gaze.
Check out the video below.