It’s no secret that being a female rapper in a male-dominated industry is a challenge, but at a time where the preconceived notions of females in rap are gradually being knocked down and replaced with seemingly more support and recognition than contempt, there’s no better time for a true artist to shine. Insert Pap Chanel: a 22-year-old rapper from Milledgeville, Georgia, who has been working hard and making waves throughout the female-rap scene while remaining unapologetically true to herself along the way. In a virtual press conference hosted by Universal Music Group’s º1824, Pap opened up about her plight to stardom while exuding the confident and outgoing personality that draws fans close.
Donning a fresh face and Gucci baseball cap, Pap (short for Pretty and Paid) kicked-off the call bumping her hit “Whoa Dere” off her newly released album Pretty & Paid 2.0. The track set the tone for the conference to follow, and her bold words and melodic flow was reminiscent of raw, southern, bad-b*tch content that is sure to make anyone want to flex on social media while bobbing their heads and singing along. It’s to no surprise that her persona brings forth confidence and originality to anyone who listens - her “Pretty and Paid” tagline dates back as far as her sixth-grade years, when she organized a movement for females to motivate and empower each other.
When asked about her experience as a female artist, Pap touched on the hardship of setting herself apart and admitted that it now comes easy because she uses her trials and tribulations as the basis for her music. When it comes to her musical inspirations, Pap immediately named Nicki Minaj, who is known for her exuberant, gritty, and tell-it-like-it-is nature. “She’s the perfect artist to fall in love with,” said Pap of Nicki, saying that Nicki talks to her “inner queen”. As a true barb who’s been listening to Nicki since her early freestyle days, Pap was inspired to push her pen and start writing freestyles over trending instrumentals in high school. Her “First Day Out” freestyle hit over 3-million views in a week, which motivated her to pursue a career in rap and resulted in her making music with artists in the likes of Future, Lil Baby, and more - all while carrying her P.A.P. tagline as she climbed the hip-hop ladder.
In addition to her original stage name, Pap has six unique personas or “Paponalities”, which she uses to embody different moods and relay different messages (think Nicki Minaj/Roman, or Beyonce/Sasha Fierce… Except with 5 additional alter-egos). These paponalities are being introduced for the first time on Pretty and Paid 2.0, and Pap challenges fans to identify which one is present in each of the songs on the album. There's Papiana, who’s loud, cocky, bold, and okay with being the elephant in the room; Papatouille, who’s the scientist, go-getter, the writer, and narrator; Papi, who’s very similar to Nicki Minaj’s Roman - the rule maker and legislator; Papillon, the healer, “Beyonce to Destiny Child”, and most relatable; Tupap, the poet and storyteller who speaks on what makes people uncomfortable; and her personal favorite, Paprika, a spicy instigator who doesn’t mind riling things up or stirring the pot. The more the merrier, right?!
With the anticipation of her new album on high, Pap plans on carrying the energy into the new year. Staying consistent and being the best at what she does are her priorities for 2022, no matter the circumstance. She welcomes collabs with other female artists, and stressed the importance of upcoming artists being their best selves and staying original, saying “you will never have any hiccups in life if you just be yourself.”
All in all, I love how important originality and believing in herself seems to be not only in her work, but her artistry as well. I truly look forward to seeing what’s next for Pap and will definitely stay in tune with her content.
Briana Imani, Writer