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Hip-Hop Uncanny Versatility!

By Eli Enis |

Like many of her peers, Ashnikko's career started on TikTok. The North Carolina artist's 2019 song "Stupid" blew up on the dance challenge platform and made her a main character in the emerging wave of pop-rappers with an affinity for metal aggression and pop-punk juvenility...

Demidevil is her debut mixtape and the ten-song project is a bundle of gooey hooks, seductive taunts, and the sort of raunchy humor that's been passed down from every generation of teenagers, albeit coded in Gen-Z euphemisms and TikTok-era brashness. Ashnikko's cocktail of pop, rap, and rock is so well-mixed that it feels pointless to try and categorize her as either a rapper or a singer. Songs like Daisy and Toxic are bubblegum trap to a tee (pastel production, Laffy Taffy hooks, and steel-toed combativeness), Drunk With My Friends and the pornographic Slumber Party call back to the steaminess of mid-2000s club composers like Nelly Furtado and The Pussycat Dolls, and then Cry and L8r Boi respectively welcome tinges of nu-metal and sophomoric 2000s pop-punk into the fold. There's also a surprisingly moving breakup ballad (Good While It Lasted) and a completely ridiculous Broadway number called Clitoris! The Musical that lives up to its title.



The only thing binding this Frankenstein's monster is Ashnikko's uncanny versatility. She has an amazing voice that works well whether she's belting, rapping, cooing through auto-tune, crooning with an R&B suaveness, or bursting into a bratty cackle. The project boasts a well-placed Kelis sample on Deal With It and a competent verse from Princess Nokia on Slumber Party, but the biggest name on here is Grimes and her ethereal presence feels completely unnecessary on the otherwise visceral Cry. Yes, Ashnikko's flipping of Avril Lavigne's Sk8er Boi into a clattering pop-trap song about a wall-punching cad is cheesy as hell, and you probably don't have to hear the aforementioned musical number more than once. Nevertheless, Ashnikko's bird-flipping, crotch-grabbing, potty-mouthing antics will burrow into your ears and find that inner teenager, no matter how long it's been dormant.

LISTEN TO "DEMIDEVIL" BY ASHNIKKO ON QOBUZ


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