Even after the release, and the success of the project, Key kept the streets buzzing. For the next couple of months, Key will be on tour, opening up for G Herbo and Southside on their Swervo tour. That tour kicks off on October 16th.
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Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. She began rapping under her current moniker in and -- like many of her contemporaries -- relied on social media as her promo machine. I was just finding shit. Times have changed. My mama has five kids. I moved from the city when I was five and I went to high school in the suburbs. I probably lived in 12 to 15 houses. My mama moved around a lot when we were young. She was a teacher and changed jobs a lot.
Queen Key is the opposite of that person. The habit has gotten her fired from jobs; she lasted less than two days working at the American Girl store before getting sent home for laughing at a co-worker. Around age 7, she made her first mixtape using a tape deck, recordings from the radio, and a keyboard around age seven. A few years later, she was rapping as her first alias, Baby Niko, whose origin she shrieks with laughter describing. In the two and a half years since, her flow has only grown sharper — and funnier, too. At one point in our conversation, she reaches deep into her duffel bag and emerges with a box of Lunchables in her bedazzled claws. For now, she is occupying a lane all her own — a space fueled by mischief, cleverness, and girl power. When I ask about her new tape, Queen grins deviously, dimples flashing. But then I was like, you know what? I should really do that.
Emblazoned across the front of her turquoise, cropped t-shirt in yellow, pink, and blue are the letters EMP, short for the explicit depiction of oral sex that is the title of her debut studio EP. She picked up rapping with her older brother when she was seven, using a keyboard with built-in beats to make a mixtape. Even then, she already knew who she was — and the essence of her music was the same. Over the course of the next few years, she would pursue rap and quit multiple times before it stuck. In eighth grade, she picked it up again in when she and a friend started a YouTube channel. They made freestyles and songs, and recorded prank calls.