If you’re feeling a heavy Missy Elliott vibe from choreographer-turned-rapper Sharaya J, that’s no mistake. The self-proclaimed banji girl is signed to Elliott’s Goldmind Inc. label and clearly took notes on her cartoon-y street-but-sweet style from the late ’90s.
Moreover, the “Work It” star co-produced the upstart MC’s debut single “Banji” and directed her Dead Presidents-inspired “Smash Up The Place/Snatch Yo Wig” video (above). Basically, she’s all over this chick and this chick is all over the ’90s references.
Here’s what Sharaya J had to say when Vibe Vixen asked about her banji-ness:
‘Banji’ around the gay community means ghetto or hood –a girl that rocks bamboo earrings sucking on a lollipop. [laughs] I felt like I grew up that girl and around that girl. I related to the word and I wanted a crew of girls that will be my ‘banji babes.’ Then I had a meeting with some execs and they asked me to spit eight bars but instead I decided to perform. I called my girls to do it full out and we gave a whole performance, the next day they called and said, ‘we want to sign you but the only thing we need you to do is get a weave, wear less clothes, rock pumps, and that would be perfect.’ I can do all those things but I want the option to dress how I want to dress. I want to be appreciated for my talent first, if you think I’m cute, that’s good. So I turned down the deal, I rather take down the chance of not getting a deal and make this work than change who I am and go against the grain of everything I stood for.
So… if you’re longing for that classic Missy sound, this should do the trick. Check out Sharaya J’s “Banji” vid after the jump.