Might Missy Elliott’s new protégé Sharaya J pose some serious competition for the homegirl Ciara? Not necessarily. But the daughter of a member of old-school rap group Double XX Posse—and self-described leader of her own B.A.N.J.I. Movement (Be Authentic Never Jeopardize Individuality)—is a Hawaiian-born, New Jersey-raised rapper/dancer with traffic-stopping moves and a modified blue gumby fade. And she’s got energy for days.

Sharaya’s debut video (directed by Missy Elliott herself), “Smash Up the Place/Snatch Yo Wigs,” draws direct inspiration from the mid-1990s Hughes brothers flick, Dead Presidents. In the second half of the video, Sharaya J and her crew snatch wigs and take no prisoners over Bell Biv DeVoe’s classic “Poison” beat. The visual brings to mind Missy’s iconic brand of colorful, fast-paced B-girl choreography and cartoonesque flair.—Sun Singleton

Discover more from her at sharayaj.com, and follow her on Twitter @sharaya_j.

Sun Singleton is a Virginia-born singer/journalist based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @sunsing.

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