Young Swedish rapper/singer Mapei is ready to launch a newcomer assault on the music world. She quickly went from an unknown named Jaqueline Cummings to Downtown Records’ (the label of Justice, Santigold, Spank Rock and Mos Def) next golden girl.
Her bio aptly describes her sound as: “an utterly original amalgamation of the sounds that Mapei has absorbed in her travels. Raw and spare hip-hop beats live side by side with horns and propulsive live drums that sound like modern takes on the Motown sound alongside Mapei’s spellbinding vocals, right alongside her skills as a rapper.”
Reared in Sweden but born in Rhode Island, Mapei’s influences are mixed and diverse. She cites Michael Jackson, Liberian music and hip hop as some of the various sounds she grew up with. Early on, Mapei set herself apart from the country’s traditional club scene, when she began rapping in basements and underground clubs. She shuttled back and forth between Sweden and Brooklyn, where she was led to a fateful meeting in Studio B with Spank Rock, who intro’d her to Downtown Records. Now she counts Ghostface Killa and Swedish superstar Timbuktu as fans.
Her DJ Mehdi-produced EP “The Cocoa Butter Diaries” is out now on iTunes.