Eagerly awaiting part two of The Get Down, Netflix's love letter to the South Bronx music scene of the '70s? We're still over a month away from the April 7 premiere, which gives you plenty of time to catch up with another NYC-set musical drama. VH1's The Breaks is a continuation of the 2016 TV movie of the same name, and follows three aspiring hip-hop artists as they navigate New York City in the '90s. Inspired by Dan Charnas’s critically acclaimed book The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop, the series tells hip-hop's "coming of age" story through the lens of the producers, record executives, and talent who made the genre what it is today. The '90s-set series also features Teyana Taylor, playing fictional rapper Imani X — and she might just be TV's latest musical heroine.
In a new clip from Taylor's premiere episode "Blind Alley," the Harlem-raised rapper — who recently showed off her dance skills in Kanye West's "Fade" music video — reveals why no one should underestimate a woman rapper. She absolutely destroys her competition in a rap battle, catching the eye of producer Barry (Wood Harris).
Taylor told Ebony that she was excited to portray a woman crushing the game. She touched on the "sexy" standard that many people hold women in hip-hop to. In this case, it's Imani X's own mother who wants her daughter to use her body to get ahead of the boys.
"As far as her character [she] is really dope because she is just this rapper that’s kind of like that Queen Latifah, Monie Love feeling and she can really really spit... It’s no gimmicks and it’s just like hardcore spitting and she’s staying true to herself. She’s not trying to change for anyone. She has her mom that’s making her feel like she has to show body, skin or cleavage to get ahead. [But, she’s] not even on that."
Imani X may be pressured to show skin, but she certainly doesn't need to in order to prove she can spit with the boys.