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POPSUGAR City Girls Cover Story

City Girls’ music is an ode to the celebration and liberation of black women from colorism, racism and patriarchy. Their music revolves around self-expression, financial independence and sensual ownership at a time when black women are challenged and marginalized on all fronts.

They use their platform as a vehicle to empower women around the world, both through their music and their testimonials. “So I just feel like it’s really important to uplift women, just to let them know, hey, keep working towards your dreams. Something’s gonna click,” Miami said. “Stay confident. Whatever your bag, stay in that bag. Work towards your goal, but never get lost.”

Some of the energy of City Girls comes from the women in hip-hop who came before them. There’s a long legacy of women and female rappers who completely changed the fabric and soundscape of the art form, including Salt-N-Pepa, Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Missy Elliott, Trina and Nicki Minaj. From affirming sex-positive music and black feminist theory to bridging the gap between hip-hop and high fashion, female rappers have long been the purveyors of culture.

For decades, the misogynistic powers that be have pitted black women in hip-hop against each other, but it’s clear that JT and Miami are steadfast in their respect, admiration, and standom for the gworls who paved their way. “I love Nicki,” JT says of his experience seeing Minaj take the stage at the Wireless Festival in July this year. “Seeing her perform as a kid I couldn’t understand, but now as an artist, when you look at someone from an artist’s point of view versus an ordinary person, it’s a different feeling.” JT tells me how she loved Minaj’s performance, recording the whole thing and then sending it to her phone. “She was like a bad female dog owning the scene. She just walked in, and she just brought it like she brought it — like I’m looking at her, and I’m like, ‘Yo, I gotta start owning it. the scene like this.'”

Miami echoes that admiration. She also expresses her love for fellow trailblazer, Lil’ Kim, and reminisces about some of her favorite words from the 90s icon: “I don’t want no d*ck tonight. Eat my p*ssy right,” sings Miami, followed by: “I was afraid of the dick.” “I don’t even know what I was doing listening to it, but I love it,” Miami says.