Project Power Is Just a Peek at Chika's Musical Genius — Tune In to Her Greatest Hits So Far

Chika Oranika is only 23 years old, but her musical prowess is on par with rappers who have been in the game for decades. Hailing from Montgomery, AL, the rapper goes against the grain of what people think mainstream hip-hop should be, though she advocates for a return to the old-school vibes of the genre. In 2019, she told Time that she had only begun seriously rapping in recent years, but her mesh of poetry and witty lyricism is a gift that some hip-hop veterans can only aspire to.

Though she's gone viral for her political freestyles — the most notable one addresses Kanye West's support of Donald Trump over the beat of his popular hit "Jesus Walks" — but her music is more than call-outs and comebacks; Chika often uses her music to send out socially conscious messages to her fans that address all facets of identity and self-love, including body positivity, sexuality, reproductive rights, and LGBTQ+ experiences. There's a nakedness and a vulnerability to her music that's both overwhelming and cathartic to experience. Though fans never really know the artists they listen to, Chika's raw music and candidness on social media feel as close to knowing her as we'll ever get.

If you've never listened to her music, ahead are six songs to get you into the Chika fan club. From her recent hit on Netflix's Project Power to the singles she released before her EP, Industry Games, these are some of Chika's greatest hits so far.

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"My Power"

Netflix's Project Power follows a former soldier, a teenage drug dealer, and a local cop as they team up to rid their streets of a dangerous drug and save a young girl from the clutches of an evil corporation. Chika not only has a cameo in the film, but she also wrote the rap verses performed in the movie by Robin, played by Dominique Fishback. Her song "My Power" plays over the film's end credits and perfectly encapsulates a general theme of the film: we all have a unique power that no one can take away from us. Chika's happens to be her way with words, which she happily reminds listeners with the chorus, "My word is my power, power."

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"Songs About You"

"Songs About You" — the third track on Chika's debut EP, Industry Games — might seem like a boastful tune to most, but it's a little of that and a little of the artist celebrating her perseverance through past hardships. There's nothing wrong with basking in your success, and Chika is doing exactly that as she sings, "I am having the time of my life, you gotta pay me to care." Haters will not be getting to Chika, and as her dulcet tones float over those runs in the chorus, they won't be getting to you either.

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"High Rises"

A testament to her past, "High Rises" is Chika's ode to her younger self and the struggle to love yourself as you get older. Drawing on her experience as a young Black girl, Chika calls out the specific attributes that made her self-conscious growing up and muses on how "People will tell us to follow our heart and then look at us crazy when we live our lives." But just as she acknowledges her struggles to find her way, she also swears by her drive to make her dream come true, promising that she "Won't stop till I ain't got to look at the tag / Till we go out to eat and I pick up the tab." Though it's a shorter listen, "High Rises" is the perfect hopeful tune to remind you that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

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As Chika explains in the video, "Crown" is the first full rap song she ever wrote and might be her proudest accomplishment to date! It's a firm declaration in believing in her dreams and her determination to make it. "I don't argue with my destiny / And if my choices don't affect you, why you testin' me?" she raps. No one is going to take Chika's crown. As you rap along to the song, you'll remember that no one can take yours either.

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"Industry Games"

You can probably guess where Chika is going in the title track of her EP, but just in case, let's break it down. The trap-inspired beat is a heady background as Chika raps about her refusal to play those "industry games" that artists play. "Don't need a scam with a plan or to 'f*ck on they man,'" she raps, asserting that she has a vision and she's not here to bend to the will of others. If you ever thought that Chika's peaceful vibes were a sign that she's easy to roll over, "Industry Games" will definitely correct that assumption.

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"No Squares"

In the first track to drop from Industry Games, Chika makes her entrance by letting everyone know the kind of waves she plans on making in the hip-hop game. "Damn, this independent life gon' take some getting used to / Got my idols handing me the crown, they like 'it suits you,'" she raps, reminding listeners that she's already made fans in big names like P. Diddy, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Cardi B. But even though she's already made such a big impact, "No Squares" highlights Chika's desire to be the best at the game as she celebrates the meaningful relationships in her life. As she perfectly puts it, "And here's the greater picture, that's when it starts to hit'cha / It ain't about the journey, it's about who take it wit'cha."