Me, a free, I'm never choosin' compliance. Tkay Maidza is an irrepressible force. Although, few could doubt her inextinguishable fire, in the musician's newly released sophomore album, Sweet Justice, she's undergone something of a creative rebirth. It's louder, stauncher, more self-assured, with tight bars and cutting verses. Exactly, the kind of thing you'd expect from a record with tracks titled WUACV (Woke Up and Chose Violence) and Silent Assassin.
Speaking to RUSSH, our October digital cover star explains how Sweet Justice is the result of a shift in perspective from victim to mover and shaker.
"I was stuck in Berlin at the time, and it was quite an isolating experience in some ways, but it also gave me the space to realise that I didn’t want to put together an album about how someone hurt my feelings, but actually about what I did after and how I put myself back together."
In true Tkay Maidza fashion, the record is accompanied by a strong visual identity, which came to her fully realised, long before the music itself. Riffing on her love of video games, while also pointing to the heart and root chakras, the visual language of Sweet Justice is digi-forward and futuristic, with scenes showered in deep, bloody reds and earthy greens.
"I wanted a sense of comfort but I also wanted to present that I am embodying the energy," Tkay Maidza explains back in early September. She notes how in all her previous album artwork she was on the move, captured on a motorbike or in a car. This time around, the artist appears grounded, albeit on a podium – she's arrived and she's not going anywhere.
The record drops on November 3, seven years since she released her self-titled debut. To say Sweet Justice was a long time coming would be an understatement. But we know now, it was worth the wait.