Grammy-nominated rapper CHIKA returns with the evocative “Requiem For a Dream,” her first new single since 2021. The song reintroduces the remarkable artist to the world by doing what only she can: delving into the depths of her psyche while revealing a remarkable musical versatility. “Requiem For a Dream” sounds like a soothing lullaby that’s been tattooed with lamenting lyrics. “Often I just wanna cry,” CHIKA raps over the beat—which pairs the gothic, technical architecture of drill production to a lilting melody—before she admits, ominously: “my family can’t take another goodbye.” But that emotional down point is immediately qualified by the song’s hook, where the Alabama native flexes her distinctive singing voice. In barely over two minutes, “Requiem” covers a remarkable spectrum of human emotion. Though CHIKA has been quietly cooking for a minute, the impact of her previous work still ripples through the music world. The musical maverick and media darling has been featured in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, In Style, Interview and more. Her 2020 debut EP Industry Games not only landed her on XXL’s coveted Freshman cover, but earned her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. In 2021, she followed that record with Once Upon a Time, another EP that showcased her storytelling and unstoppable kinetic energy. Now with "Requiem For a Dream," CHIKA sets the table for her highly anticipated album and continues to push hip-hop forward with another groundbreaking chapter.
[Credit: Tosin Gbadmosi]
ABOUT CHIKA: CHIKA is a self-christened truth-teller, and she’s never shied away from that role — or the challenges that accompany it. The 26-year-old Alabama-born singer-songwriter and rapper caught the attention of a particular pocket of the internet when she began uploading her freestyles to social platforms like Instagram in the mid-2010s. With an immense display of creativity, she was championed early on by hip-hop greats Snoop Dogg and Diddy and, later, President Barack Obama. Her long-awaited debut album, Samson, nearly two years in the making, is a fully imagined body of work that reflects CHIKA’s penchant for commenting on the state of humanity and how she moves through it all. CHIKA’s initial EPs, 2020’s Industry Games, which earned her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, and 2021’s Once Upon a Time, featured her combing through her thoughts and presenting the most salient among them as fan-favorite inspirational tunes. Now, she describes her sound as “violently me,” massaging together a fusion of hip-hop, pop, gospel, soul, and theatrical influences. With features from living legend Stevie Wonder and Grammy-nominated rap great Freddie Gibbs, plus guest appearances by theater luminary Lin-Manuel Miranda, hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg, and Wale, CHIKA’s debut album brims with credits that speak to her present and future status in music. CHIKA has always been a limitless dreamer and a passionate communicator, and Samson offers outright proof of that.