Words by: Alina Amin
Layla Boe is giving German Rap’s conservative community a real challenge.
R&B and Hip-Hop act Layla Boe is coming for German Rap. With just singles out, the Berlin-based artist has manifested herself as one of the most sought-after up-and-coming musicians. Rightfully so: her music offers new perspectives, a fresh sound and – most importantly – challenges the scene’s traditional way of thinking. Her career had its official start at the beginning of 2020 with her song ’Choppa’. Since then, the now 23-year-old has already established a brand for herself as German Rap’s queen of Sex Ed.
Right at the beginning of her journey in the industry, Layla put out a diverse set of sounds. First classic Rap with ’Hustla’ then a smooth combination of Soul and R&B on ’24/7’. What stood out right away for her was the 2000s-inspired soundscape, her emphasis on diversity and her angelic voice. All of which were – and still are – new to German Rap that often feeds off aggressive tunes. On social media, she quickly became notorious for her unapologetic self-confidence and open way of talking about female sexuality. Soon, that projected onto her music.
Her most recent release ’Creamy’ is an anthem to sexual freedom that makes conservatives uncomfortable in all the right places. ”When he comes, it’s in my face/ everything creamy” she raps in one of the few German Hip-Hop songs that centre around the female perspective on sex. When she released the track some weeks ago, Layla explained on Instagram how men still need to learn a lot about female sexuality, especially considering the way they talk about it in Rap. That’s why she wants to give Hip-Hop and her male listeners a lesson in Sex Ed.
’So Smooth’, a single she released last year, kicked off her educational plan. Compared to ’Creamy’ the sound is more laid-back and, as the title suggests, smoother. The sensual track deals with those nights when you just can’t get enough. What these songs share is the way she confidently handles these topics. Finding new ways to describe the feelings she – and many other women – have during sex as well as expressing their own sexuality. That’s one of the main things that set her and her work apart from traditional German Rap: It’s fresh, innovative and eliminates stereotypes and prejudices prevalent in the general German society.
So far, that seems to work out for her perfectly: In her short career, she has built a loyal fan base and has gotten co-signs by major artists like OG rapper Xatar. She regularly gets criticism from hip-hop fans that don’t seem to get what she’s doing and feel uncomfortable listening to her music. But that’s just evidence that her plan is working out.