Ivorian Doll has been a rising star in the UK rap scene and now may even be set for transnational success, but where would she fare better?
During an Instagram Live back in August, New York rapper DreamDoll revealed she would be collaborating with London’s very own Ivorian Doll in the near future. Whether the plans are still in motion due to Covid-19, I don’t know, but an opportunity like this would be a great move for the UK artist who has consistently been met with criticism surrounding her brand, more specifically the message conveyed in her first single “Rumours”. At face value, people interpret it as an embarrassing admission of Ivorian Doll’s sexual activity but the lyrics address the fact that these are all, as the title says, just rumours. These rumours that “she banged half the block” however concern a deeper theme around Black women and sexuality in music.
The Jezebel, Sapphire, and Baby Mama have all been common portrayals of Black women in rap. But these portrayals often come from a male perspective, a man who is applauded for the number of girls he’s slept with and who reaps the benefits of being associated with “hoes, bitches and thots”. What is considered acceptable for a man is translated as hyper-sexualised for a Black woman, they are labelled as lascivious beings who are promiscuous or have “been around the block”. This is why I don’t and won’t blame IVD for capitalising on the rumours circulating about her.
For me, Rumours has enabled IVD to simultaneously silence the lies AND secure the bag. Rumours became records and records became royalties. The video itself now has over 5 million views on Youtube. So, the question is, can IVD’s success continue? The star has had multiple successes since including her own single Body Bag and her various features with artists such as RAY BLK and Br3nya. But still, I believe her music will have a better reception in America and here’s why: The UK music scene hasn’t evolved to the inclusive and sexually liberated space that the US has.