In the music video for last year’s hip-hop summer hit, 23-year-old Gloria ‘Glorilla’ Hallelujah Woods is the charismatic centerpiece of a street party. She pours cognac from the bottle straight into one friend’s mouth, and spills notes on another’s hot pants. People dance around him, on the street, on hoods, hanging out of car windows. Mobile phones in their hands, disposable cups with drinks.
Glorilla from Memphis, Tennessee throws a party to celebrate, proudly rapping her smash hit ‘FNF (Let’s Go)’ and swearing defiantly. She’s finally single again and celebrates it with an inspirational club cracker.
The clip seemed like anyone could have made it, and it sparked a craze on TikTok, with the atmosphere and dance steps being copied. The song’s musical production is impressive in its own right, but it is Glorilla who transforms it into a vicious and energetic war anthem with its simple and slogan-like lyrics. It would be his first and only direct nomination for a Grammy Award.
She’s a budding artist but sounds like an old school rapper; One who is primarily the ‘Master of Ceremonies’ (MC) and quickens the beat with the beat.
unfiltered rap from memphis
it’s the weekend glorilla Ahoy at the first edition of the two-day hip-hop festival Rolling Loud in Rotterdam. A selection of national and international hip-hop acts will be performing there, headlined by Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott, who are also musically inspired by Memphis rap.
Rap music in Memphis flourished in a scene where emerging acts were sold and distributed via cassette tapes. Uncensored, straight rap over hammer beats, with Roland TR-808 drum machine drums, deep bass sound and deep vocals. It was minimal, harsh and unfiltered whipping music that was more about direct influence than perfect mixing or mastering. This gave the music its uneven, catchy sound.
Glorilla has a gruff, somewhat deep voice that fits well with the raw, fearless Memphis energy in his raps.
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Together with Cardi B, Glorilla scored a US Top 10 hit following their success with ‘2 Tomorrow’, which had a similar sound and theme to their first hit, and a clip featuring It’s a Party Outside Again. She is part of a line of commercially successful female rappers who have long refused to let themselves be cornered by the male-dominated rap mainstream.
Previously, female rap artists in the music industry were often located opposite each other, but now they often work together. In her short career, Glorilla has already worked with Cardi B, Trina, Leto (also on Rolling Loud this weekend), JT of City Girls, Savvy, Gloss Up, and Nicky the Pooh. While many commercially popular rap men have bulked up in recent years to the lilting rap style, rap women often showcase a harder rap version firmly rooted in hip-hop history.
Glorilla claims the derogatory ‘ratchet’ – dirty, vulgar, lascivious – as a nickname for herself and her entourage. Like many of her peers, she expresses her sexuality openly, candidly, and candidly in her raps, and fully embraces it to emphasize her autonomy. She is her own boss; I’m proud of myself, my scene and the street corners where it originated and grew.
on his first ep Anyway, life is great… Sometimes she shows something other than that unattainable exterior of her life, and she tells of lost friendships and internal struggles, for example. But at their core, Glorilla’s songs are oiled fuses that want to spark something in her audience. Confident and reckless. rampant and free. “Let’s go!”
Glorilla will perform this Saturday at Ahoy Rotterdam during the first edition of the two-day hip-hop festival Rolling Loud. Inl: rollingloud.nl
A version of this article also appeared in the newspaper on June 26, 2023.