Step aside! The queens are talking, and they've got something important to say!
Gay rapper Cazwell has teamed up with trans rappers Chanel Jole and Trace Lysette to deliver a searing hot new track that also serves as a much-needed wake-up call.
In the new single "Taser in My Telfar Bag," Jole and Lysette rap about the way they have to move through the world as the beautiful, desirable trans women they are. It's both a bop and a reminder of the violence that trans women face when dating men.
While the song is ostensibly a Cazwell song, he steps to the side to let the real queens of the song shine. Cazwell only shows up for a small part of the track, playing the man selling the two women their tasers. He knows that this song isn't about him and smartly steps to the side and lets these talented MCs do their thing.
"The trade sniffin for it/he got me a little wet/but if he try it with me I might have to taze him in his neck," Lysette raps, both showing off her hip hop swagger, and speaking a very real truth about the realities of being a trans woman.
"I got a taser in my Telfar bag uh, I keep a taser in my Telfar bag uh, zap zap I'll put volts in that ass," they rap in the chorus. It's both a powerful message and a deadly, smooth hook. These women are taking control of the narrative and speaking on the issue in their terms.
The track also serves as a brilliant showcase for up-and-coming trans rapper Chanel Jole, who starts off the song with a blistering verse that has touches of Nicki Minaj and City Girls. She has two other singles on Spotify, "PS2" and "Johnny Tsunami," both with the artist Lync, which I'm going to be listening to on repeat until she releases more music. (Chanel Jole is one rapper you need to keep an eye on!)
At the end of the video, viewers are encouraged to donate to Trans Defense LA, putting even more punch behind the video. 2021 is already the deadliest year for trans people in the United States, with at least 45 trans and nonbinary people being murdered this year, surpassing last year's record of 44.
We fell in love with Trace Lysette's rapping when she released the killer single "SMB," and she became all of our mothers and taught us some "real ass shit." She slays again on this song, with her sexy-and-hard-at-the-same-time flow and great punchlines.
"When a trans woman walks down the block it comes with a LOT. This one is for the overly aggressive men who do too much when you're just tryna get from point A to B," Lysette wrote on her Instagram. "And the women who used to spill my tea to the trade on my way to the bodega all those years on Nostrand Ave. in Brooklyn...and guess what? Y'all did me a favor because the trade lived anyway...tuh!!"
She added: "Most importantly this one is for my T girls. Please protect yourself out there. It's not a game. Unbothered femme queen pussy till I die." Amen Trace!
"As a Black trans woman, this is much more than a song to me," Jole wrote on her own Instagram. "After being recently involved in an armed robbery/hate crime this summer for being unapologetically me, I had to rep for my girls & let these hoes know you can get zappppped up!"