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Anna Wise: The Feminist Hip Hop Star You Already Secretly Know


Anna Wise: The Feminist Hip Hop Star You Already Secretly Know

If you have not yet heard of Anna Wise, you have definitely heard her before. Anna Wise is a Brooklyn-based musician that rose to prominence because of her collaborations with the hip hop group CunninLynguists, and her work with Kendrick Lamar. She worked on six of the tracks from Kendrick’s major debut, Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. You know the girl singing backup vocals on “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”? That’s Anna Wise. Her work with Kendrick on his song, “These Walls” off his album To Pimp a Butterfly landed her a Grammy. In short, Anna Wise is not to be underestimated.

Anna Wise is a vocalist, musician and producer. While studying at the Berklee College of Music, she met Diane Orr and together they formed the group Sonnymoon. On tour with Sonnymoon, Lamar heard her vocals on a YouTube video and contacted her wishing to collaborate. The result was Lamar’s acclaimed, Good Kid M.A.A.D. City, which features Wise on six out of twelve tracks. Later, Lamar and Wise’s song “These Walls”, off the album To Pimp a Butterfly, won the Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Performance. Wise and Lamar’s most recent collaboration was “PRIDE”. Currently, Wise is a member of Built To Fade alongside Dane Ferguson, Zoe Wick, and Kno of CunninLynguists. Within the past two years, she has also released two solo albums.

Wise’s solo work truly shines. She has two albums out, although one is more of an extended play in truth. Titled The Feminine: Act I and The Feminine: Act II, both fiercely attack the double standards women face. Anna Wise’s high, sweet vocals and strong lyrics pierce the mystique society places around women. The Feminine: Act I and Act II feature sound bites from various sources that depict the feminine mystique, and how men regard it. Songs like “Precious Posession”, “BitchSlut”, call bullshit on the belief that the modern woman can embrace her sexuality without any repercussions. “Decrease My Waist, Increase My Wage”, mocks the necessity for a woman to not only build a career, but look hot while doing so. It also calls out the wage gap women face. Off The Feminine: Act II “Boss Bitch” and “Stack that Paper” do the same. Her songs are a mixture of R&B and art pop. Even if every song is not a jam, Wise’s honesty is something to be admired greatly. The music industry needs someone who is not afraid to call out disparity without watering down the lyrics. Every song she writes has purpose, and that is what makes Anna Wise great.

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