‘Fuck you mean you need it?/ Fuck you mean you RSVPed?/ I don’t need a reason’ Ashnikko fires back at the retort women often get to be ‘asking for’ unwanted sexual advances through their choice of clothes. No holds barred, she spits out ‘his castration would be nice’, and the extremity and radical of her lyrics continues through the rest of her repertoire, creating both a humorous and empowering feel.
Perhaps above the age the target audience for TikTok, where the artist went viral, I first discovered Ashnikko through Spotify. Although ‘Stupid’ was what caught on with TikTok users, I believe my first exposure to her was with ‘Invitation’. I was immediately hooked to her addictive beats, rap vocals and feminist lyrics.
In the lead up to Christmas, I was fortunate enough to attend Ashnikko’s ‘Clitmas’ party at a secret location, The Glove That Fits in Hackney through the DICE app competition. After arriving at 6:15pm, and over an hour and a half waiting outside in the cold and rain, we got in (entry was first come, first served). We got wristbands that offered a free drink, so I opted for a blue vodka Slush Puppy. I took advantage of the free blue candy-floss sticks, and candy canes. As well as all the blue treats (to match Ashnikko’s bright hair), the interior was decorated with messages such as ‘eat my pussy like Xmas dinner’.
The DJ, Krystal Lake, got the crowd pumped up prior to Ashnikko taking the stage. It was impossible to see unless you were at the front, though there are flashes of her face on my very bumpy footage. Still, I made sure to be in the area where everyone was dancing, and in this intimate venue, it made up most of the room. There may have been sweat dripping from the walls, but the energy was electric.
She delivered a short set of songs from her EP ‘Hi, it’s me’ and ‘Halloweenie’ – a song that I got so into at Halloween that I tried to dye my hair blue as part of my Ashnikko costume for the R.A.P. Party (a colour I’m in the process of dying over professionally as I write this) and subsequently got a DJ to play the song through my phone when I tried to make a request a club, fake blood dripping down my face. In ‘Halloweenie’, she boasts of her sexual prowess, touching taboos like anilingus and stating ‘I like the taste of blood in my teeth’, playing with halloween references such as ‘trick or treat’. She followed this track with ‘Halloweenie II: Pumpkin Spice’, with fun cultural allusions such ‘I’m Regina George, everybody wanna be me’ and adopting different personas through different metaphors, and tongue-in-cheek imagery such as being a ‘ghost in the sheets’ in a song about sex.
Her lyrics are creative and surprise you, provoking Asknikko-style cackles at her wit, with lines such as ‘he said he’s hard but he crumble like Nabisco’ referring to the makers of snacks such as Oreo cookies. This could be a sexual innuendo, but also could refer to the ‘hard’ exterior toxic masculinity encourages men to assume. She goes on to make reference to women being made ‘pinups’, asserting that if she wants a teddy bear, she’ll ‘win one’ rather than follow the trope of men winning the prize for their partner. In ‘No Brainer’, Ashnikko tells Vents Magazines that it’s about ‘coming into my own and not letting a partner hold me back. It’s me telling myself that it is an absolute no brainer that I’m going to fucking smash it in my career.’ Taking on elements rap battle disses, she delivers killer lines that pack a punch: ‘You said your girlfriend wanna marry you / but now she’s here with me’, which could be sexual, but could also be interpreted as gaining a following for her music.
The night of the Clitmas Party was also the general election night in the UK – and it felt nice to be in this blue bubble where Ashnikko screamed ‘Fuck the Tories! Fuck Boris Johnson! Fuck Donald Trump! Fuck anyone who tries to tell me what to do with my body!’ Artists like Ashnikko are not only there to provide great catchy tracks to dance to, but they are also so important social commentators, giving voice to everything from sexual predators (Invitation) to fuckbois (Stupid) to the virgin-whore dichotomy (Nice Girl) and sexuality (No Brainer), all the while adopting the hyper-confidence that epitomises certain strands of rap, which reaches through to an audience of empowered womxn.
Featured image via Ashnikko
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