Lava La Rue is a 20-year-old Londoner who does it all. She founded underground DIY arts collective NiNE8 when she was a teenager with some of her friends, and they have built a creative community that encompasses clothing, visual art, and music.
Her debut EP Letra was released last year, and it’s a richly textured, thoughtful mixture of woozy hip-hop and R&B. Rapping and singing over warm, often funky beats, the world Letra creates is soothing, but listen carefully and she’s tackling important issues ranging from systematic racism to femme representation in hip-hop.
Inspired by unapologetic artists like Erykah Badu, Bahamadia, and Three 6 Mafia’s Gangsta Boo, Lava La Rue is writing her own story in London, building a movement in the most sustainable way possible—from the ground up. This year she has already unveiled two new songs.