Farrah Boulé Burns has the best lips in hip-hop. Her sexy pout merits its own paragraph, but what spills from those lips is even more deserving. Outside of the Twitterverse (she tweets as @FarrahBurns), I first physically encountered this multidimensional Haitian-Cuban MC at Ginny’s Supper Club, downstairs from Harlem’s Red Rooster restaurant—an event celebrating owner Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir, Yes, Chef. Those lips had a story to tell and I was all ears.
A Brooklynite by way of Miami, Farrah Burns has been on her grind spitting rhymes in the NYC area since at least 1998’s “Never Look for Love in da Club,” her first single. Oval Metal came 10 years later, a first album-length taste of the gifted MC full of fluid storytelling and diversified musical backdrops. But personally, the ear-opening shocker is “The 7th Element,” the video single from her 2012 mixtape, In Pursuit of Hip-Hop: The Anthology.
Burns’s mixtape delves into different stylistic dimensions of hip-hop, and “The 7th Element” collapses the project’s macro concept in micro. Emceeing over Nas’s “NY State of Mind,” Farrah channels seven separate rap personas to represent singular waves of hip-hop: hardcore, west coast, old school, backpack rap, mainstream, abstract and, finally, east coast. Like a schizophrenic, one-woman Wu-Tang Clan, she flips her style 14 times in under five minutes as Novakane, Cadillac, Jooks, Unorthodox, Mey Mey Star, La Purrla (my absolute fav) and Knuckle Head.
Support this phenomenal rap force—INTRODUCING’s very first hip-hop pick—by scooping Farrah Burns’s Oval Metal on iTunes and her In Pursuit of Hip-Hop mixtape wherever prominent mixtapes are sold. — Miles Marshall Lewis
Welcome to INTRODUCING—EBONY.com’s showcase for the hottest independent artists bubbling up underneath the mainstream music industry! On a weekly basis, we'll feature video visuals and info on some of the most talented artists around the country. Some of these singers and songwriters craft albums via GarageBand, while others use home or professional studios; they are rocking local open mics, performing locally, nationally and worldwide to bring their music to the masses. What do they have in common? Hunger, talent and drive. Now, EBONY.com’s INTRODUCING helps these indie artists spread their voices internationally! Music acts: email [email protected] to be considered! (Indie artists with major distribution also welcome!)