Daisha McBride is early enough in her career that we expect her to still be a little fluid artistically, to keep evolving and elaborating on her sound. Last year saw her dip a toe into socially conscious territory for the first time, and she’s indicated that there will be more shifts in tone and perspective to come, including slightly tougher language than she’s included in her reliably clean lyrics to date. But in her music videos, the Rap Girl has already accentuated multiple different sides of her persona.
Filmed the same night as Brian Brown’s recent, sold-out rooftop show at Acme Feed and Seed, on a separate downtown Nashville rooftop, the clip for “Adventure Time Freestyle,” premiered on WNXP last week, shows her flaunting laidback urbanity, rolling around in a Mercedes Benz G-Class.
One of McBride’s more theatrical videos to date, the clip for “Pump Fake” gives her a chance to inhabit a grittier role. She mapped it out with director Ross Bustin, who’s been filming her since she was a rhyming Knoxville teenager and, through his work on true crime productions, knew exactly where to find a motel that a fugitive might choose as a hideout. “There was some blood on the wall,” she told me. “We didn’t touch it, but it helped me get into character.”
There’s regalness to McBride’s swagger during the “Black Queen” video. She’s attired in white fur, rapping from a leather sofa and flanked by Black women and men who look steely and still — when her delivery is coolly commanding — and exult right along with her when she slices the cork off of a champagne bottle.
In “Get Ugly,” which features a guest appearance from nobigdyl, McBride brings goofy knowingness to the tawdry role of beauty contest emcee.
McBride gives her featured guest Byron Juane a chance to shine first during “Galapagos Freestyle,” and as they roam around a city park, she serves up mischievous nonchalance.