Jasmine Barber’s musical mission is to do what she wants. Jamila taught her to read Tarot, Chicago taught her how to be a hustler. J Bambii teaches, does spoken word and improv, and focuses on cosmic wellness and social justice. She also has bars. Under her stage moniker J Bambii, the Southside artist has released a three song EP, entitled Retrograde. The EP features dilla-inspired, trip-hoppish beats produced by Wun Two, emune, and Norvis Junior, and is packed with bars. Lyricism is alive and well in the feminine cyphers championed by J Bambii and countless other female artists in Chicago who use their art to demand a presence of womanhood in a genre that does not readily promote female voices. Hard-headed and spitting bars, J Bambii is creating spaces in Hip-hop ran and cultivated by black women.

Retrograde brings the assonance of an Earl Sweatshirt rhyme-sceme, and the production of a Dilla record, influences of hers. As compared to the rest of her contemporaries, J Bambii is an artist who makes what she wants, rather than choosing to produce something derivative for the easy traffic it may bring. J Bambii’s lyrics are engaging, unique, intellectual, piquing the listener to a sense of discourse and a celebration of self. Her voice is strong, resonating close to the ground, with vowel-based rhymes that keep the listener in anticipation of not only the flow, but of what is going to be said next.