Jesswar links up with Erica Banks for venomous new single ‘Bad Like Riri’

“Rihanna’s power has inspired us all”, the Fijian-Australian rapper said

Jesswar has returned with a biting new single titled ‘Bad Like Riri’, joining forces with Texan rapper Erica Banks.

The track follows themes similar to the ones Jesswar explored on her breakout EP ‘TROPIXX’. It’s described as “a further celebration of the strong and unapologetic voices that make up Jesswar’s community”, paying homage to modern R&B icon Rihanna.

“Rihanna’s power has inspired us all”, Jesswar said in a press release. “When I see her thrive it makes me feel like everything is possible.”


Check out the lyric video for ‘Bad Like Riri’ below:

As the press release notes, Banks was brought into the fold by producers Prod R.F.P and Papertoy, riding on the high of her viral hit ‘Buss It’.

“We sent Erica a rough demo of the song, she sent her verse back in a day and as soon as I heard it, I knew the song was complete,” Jesswar said. “It’s wild to collaborate with someone on the other side of the world without meeting properly and somehow they match you creatively.”

‘Bad Like Riri’ is Jesswar’s first original track since the ‘TROPIXX’ EP was released back in March. That record – flanked by the singles ‘Venom’, ‘Medusa’ and ‘XXL’ – was named one of NME’s top picks for the month of its release, with writer Alex Gallagher saying it “makes a compelling case for Jesswar taking her rightful place in the country’s hip-hop pantheon.”

Speaking to NME upon its release, Jesswar described ‘TROPIXX’ as “a retaliation”, declaring: “I wanna be standing there tall with my head up and I’m proud of who I am and can walk into any space or anywhere and be proud of who I am.”


In May, she became the first ever woman to win the Queensland Music Award in the Hip Hop/Rap category, taking out the title with ‘Venom’. The track received a remix by Pink Matter the following month, appearing as part of the ‘TROPIXX RMXXD’ package alongside the Godlands remix of ‘Medusa’.

Also in June, Jesswar made an appearance on the ABC programme The Set, joining forces with Peking Duk and The Amity Affliction to perform a high-octane cover of AC/DC’s ‘TNT’.

Fans can catch Jesswar live at a string of festival dates throughout the remainder of 2021, with the rapper set to appear at The Grass Is Greener in Cairns, the Valley Fiesta in Brisbane, and the Backyard Sessions series in Toowoomba, Mackay and Gladstone.

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