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Rolling Stone Accused Of Mocking Black Music After Naming “SkeeYee” Best Rap Song Of 2023

BY Abena Dzaka December 22, 2023 3:58 PM EDT
Photo Credit: ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JUNE 17: Rapper Sexyy Red performs onstage during 2023 HOT 107.9's Birthday Bash at State Farm Arena on June 17, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Professionally known as Sexyy Red, Janae Nierah Wherry recently won an additional accolade for her song SkeeYee, which Rolling Stone named The Best Rap Song of 2023.

The St. Louis rapper previously went viral on the internet multiple times, most notably this summer when she sang her song Pound Town in front of the BET Awards audience, with revered gospel icon Bobby Jones seated close by.

Her most recent claim to fame, however, is SkeeYee, which Rolling Stone magazine named the best rap work of the year. The song was released on June 9, 2023, as the fourth single from her mixtape Hood Hottest Princess

SkeeYee had tremendous success and within the year became a mainstay of pop culture.

The rapper was up against Ice Spice for the BET Awards’ Best Breakthrough Hip Hop Artist nomination, but she ultimately lost even though she made it to the Billboard Hot 100 in the second half of 2023 and peaked at No. 62 on the chart. Her song gained even more popularity after the music video for it went viral.

College students appear to adore the 25-year-old, as evidenced by the Texas volleyball team, and football players from Penn State University, USC, and UCLA, who have all been spotted dancing to SkeeYee in their locker rooms or stretching in full pads while the song plays over the stadium speakers. The New York Jets even danced to the song during practice in August. 

Red’s song was at the top of the best rap Song of 2023 on the media outlet’s list of 2023 songs, which it unveiled on Wednesday, December 20. They penned the following statement endorsing the rapper:

“Her conversational delivery and almost whiny trills make her exciting flow feel casual. Tay Keith’s production is nostalgic for the simpler times of T-Mobile Sidekicks and physical mixtapes with its sinister piano loop, spacious bass, and piercing high hats. ‘SkeeYee’ spread like a contagious laugh, so silly that it’s extraordinary.”

Her inclusion on the list signified the beginning of “the era of the Regular Rap Girl, in which stars are made out of grit, not glamor,” according to the media outlet. Other names mentioned are Cardi B, Ice Spice, Gorilla, and some artistes in the description.

 The 2023 song list from Rolling Stone was released several months after the magazine’s founder, Jann Wenner, was fired for making divisive comments about black women in an interview. The rock ‘n’ roll icon said that Black and female musicians do not “articulate” as well as white male musicians, which cost him his place on the board of directors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Netizens, however, were not amused that Sexyy Red’s work was ranked the best rap song of 2023. Nonetheless, several of Red’s admirers and netizens did commend the rapper for her accomplishment.