Talented musicians are sometimes called unstoppable. It’s generally a figure of speech — a hyperbolic way of saying the artist’s appeal is hard to resist. That’s not what people mean when they apply the word to Flau’jae. They’re speaking, quite literally, about a woman who can’t be checked. Opposition guards have learned that the hard way on the basketball court. Disbelievers have been unable to halt her stratospheric rise on social media. And when she gets on the microphone, she’s untouchable.
At only nineteen years old, Flau’jae has become something millions of others have only dreamed of: a legitimate two-way threat. She’s a star player and leader on the Louisiana State women’s basketball team and a ferocious rhymer with a growing track record of incendiary releases to her name. It’s no coincidence that LSU won its first national championship during Flau’jae’s inaugural season, and it’s no accident that her recordings keep turning the Internet upside-down. The same skills that have helped her excel on the parquet are audible on “Karma,” her latest release, and all the singles that have preceded it: tenacity, dexterity, verve, irrepressibility, intelligence in action, and preternatural composure.
“Karma” is exactly the sort of song that a budding superstar might record after raising a trophy. It’s celebratory, but not completely content: Flau’jae expresses full confidence in her abilities (with good reason!) but plainly wants more. The airtight production suggests that her wide horizons keep expanding. The rapper’s delivery is pure Dirty South, but the beat draws from electronica and European club music as well as the trap sound of her native Georgia. She’s joined on the track by Philadelphian emcee 2Rare — another athlete-artist who has excelled in every endeavor he’s tried. As he matches her verse for verse, bar for bar, witticism for witticism, it’s clear this isn’t the last time these two complementary forces work together on a track.
Both Flau’jae and 2Rare are fully in their element in the delightful, colorful clip for “Karma.” With the help of lasers and a crew of dancers, they’ve transformed a brick-walled city warehouse into something resembling a disco. The wilder the floor gets, the more at home they seem. Yet there are also indications that the pair wouldn’t mind if a scrimmage broke out right in the middle of the club: bandanas, club jerseys, visible athleticism underpinning the choreography. When BMX bikers start doing tricks on the floor, it doesn’t feel like a surprise. It’s just another example of the seamless transition between the athletic and the artistic that Flau’jae has always been able to make.