The hip-hop landscape in Chicago is no different than American culture as a whole. The men run the show. The city is full of talented women, but they are not hailed or as acclaimed as their male counterparts. Chella H is Chicago’s self-described ratchet female rapper. It’s not in the way that you think. It’s more of a refined ratchetness. She is strong yet feminine. Bold yet welcoming. Her beauty is disarming, but her lyrics remind you that she is a force to be reckoned with.
We stopped by the listening party for her most recent mixtape No Filter. The tile fits who she is. She provides her truth straight with no chaser. As you enter her event the lead single “Options” blares from the Complex studio speakers. Chella reminds everyone that they need to be taking pictures with her and sharing them on social media. She invites her supporters to join her via Snapchat in order to spread the word. Her sister, Veronica, is her most vocal supporter reminding everyone how real Chella is and how her grind is unmatched. Observing the setup and the who’s who of the Chicago scene that are present in the building, it’s evident that she is highly respected and the anticipation of her latest release is real.
Chella invites everyone into the studio to listen to her selections and reminds everyone not to record anything so that it does not leak before she releases it. The intro starts with a simple piano riff with a driving beat. She pauses it midway and asks everyone to be quiet so that they can hear what’s going on. The intro sets the stage for the mixtape as she talks about who she is as a rapper and how her former days of selling drugs and boosting are behind her. As we listen to the project, one thing is clear. Chella is in her own lane. She said she wanted to deliver something lyrical and she did. Chicago is not at a loss for talented women and she definitely holds a top spot. No Filter drops Tuesday, March 22. Make sure to cop it.
Take a look at a few of the pics from the listening session.