Since we last reported on the summer-bop-to-be “Flickin Shade”, ATL queer rapper Ripparachie has been steadily pumping out singles. The artist’s story of growing up and proudly making his path is not only pertinent to the hip hop queer experience, but the enthusiasm in which Ripparachie approaches songwriting, in a consistent flow of creation, is awe-inspiring. And now Ripparachie drops the latest self-released “Love Me Long Time” on his birthday (posted at 11:11 AM July 16th) as a part present to cultivating his career, celebrating entering the world from the womb, how much he’s grown and how much fun he has had along the way.
“Love Me Long Time” references Ripparachie’s conversational antidote during a phone call to quell his boyfriend’s concerns, worried about his health in LA for a Candy Ken video since partying hard prior to departing ATL. The rapper was certainly not going to turn down an opp to enjoy extra helpings of LA’s finest hedonism and we are not talking just the food - though that is mentioned, too (“it was just trap house chicken wings and fried rice, next day on Hollywood drinking Mai Tai”). Regardless of East Coast to West Coast wilding out, absorbing each city’s unique atmospheres and vibes, the endearing assurance of long life to his partner is a cute backstory of the meaning and intent in the phrase, though an unusual underlying tone to the ditty’s rambunctious sinnery.
Featuring Awful Records founder and artist Father, the collab came as a surprise as Ripparachie met the fellow-ATL rapper a few days before traveling to Los Angeles. While screwing around in the City of Angels, Ripparachie penned “Love Me Long Time” in homage to his LA adventuring via freestyling into a voice memo, promptly sent to Kaddy Kobain who produced the beat. As it went, Ripparachie linked up with Father again on a professional level and “I recorded it at his house but didn’t know he was gonna get on it until I finished my verse”.
Father’s stamp on underground rap has reached far beyond the confinements of the Southeast, though frequently links with ATLien accolades such as Adult Swim funding the recent Awful Swim LP and collabs with (personal fav) Abra. Father’s old school easy rhythm with minimal playground bounciness i.e. “Heartthrob” can easily be met with darker tougher tomes. The pink-clad “Everybody in the Club Gettin Shot” rings eerie prior to Orlando’s Pulse massacre, its lackadaisical nerdcore fantasy or subsequent commentary from either the artist or music vid director unspoken. The growth in anime-appreciating queer-friendly weirdo rap has been immensive in the past years, often so every changing there is no formal stamp of a genre, rather refreshingly. Underground rap artists have been willing to embrace different directions to create not only their own unique blends of styles and sounds, but personas and narratives as well, gradually building up the presence of trippy, edgy, playful, romantic, retro, cyberpunked and so many varied almost campy smorgasbords of inventive melds.
Rachie is part of a collective of rappers in ATL who are incredibly creative and earnest, open to more fluid artistic expression AND identity than the former rap world even five years ago had still been gatekeeping, yet the room for improvement always remains. “I feel that there is still a long battle ahead for acceptance for gays in the rap industry. Young Thug recently said that Lil Nas X shouldn’t have came out of the closet because now people won’t listen to him, which is the same reason we are in this situation in the first place: people hiding and not being themselves, then hating on the people that are open,” Rachie comments. “Being gay shouldn’t stop someone from listening when we all go through some of the same shit in the streets. Regardless if I’m gay or not, I’m going to be judged for being Black. ‘Plug fucking with me but, no, he not bi’ is a way of me saying that there is acceptance when the benefits are mutual. It’s also a slap to people’s face who aren’t even plugged in but want to discriminate and judge.”
Obviously, the realest of people look past sexual preferences; it does not matter how known or underground, successful or struggling, people can be to choose to not hate people for their sexual orientation or identity. “Love Me Long Time” is a little slice of simplicity in which gay and straight can collaborate in trap music, no apprehension or afterthought about it, yet even in its casual collaboration represents a diversity the rap world needs more of. And hopefully, mutual respect and real artistry will remain at the forefront of truly creative crews in place of prejudice in the music industry, the rap community and beyond.
Sunni Johnson is the Arts Editor of WUSSY and a writer, zinester, and musician based in Atlanta, GA.