One of the filthiest, most ferocious mixtapes of 2018 came courtesy of Reykjavíkurdætur, a 10-strong feminist rap collective from Iceland with no time for playing along with society’s expectations of women. A year-and-a-half on from ‘Shrimpcocktail’, they’ve gone through some line-up changes (they’re now an eight-piece) and rebranded to Daughters Of Reykjavík in a bid to reach more people. If you think that means they’ve toned down their straight-talking, expletive-filled, empowering brilliance, though, you’d be very – very – wrong.
‘Soft Spot’ is just as uncompromising as its predecessor, embodying the group’s IDGAF-attitude. A voice emerges on the stuttering, woozy ‘No Comment’: “It doesn’t matter what the hell we do, so why not do what we want?” That just about sums this group up.
‘Thirsty Hoes’ is powerful and fun, unashamedly expressing sexual desire in unfiltered lines like: “Lips dripping and he wanna taste it / You want it, you gotta say it / Say my name, bitch”. The band started out hosting their own open mic rap nights for women to, they’ve said, “intimidate the male-dominant rap scene” in Reykjavík. Well, the Eminem-inspired ‘A Song To Kill Boys To’ should have men shaking – and not just because of the title. The gritty track finds the group doing what women are rarely given permission to do – refusing to play nicely.
‘Mile High Club’, meanwhile, puts the collective’s warped humour to the fore, relaying a story of being drunk on a plane, riling up flight attendants and seat neighbours. “Stewardess, I’m sorry / But I need a little gin and tonic,” they rap at one point. “What, that vomit? / It isn’t mine, I promise.”
The crux of ‘Soft Spot’, though, isn’t dirty lyrics and murky trap beats – it’s a subtle message that women can be far more than just one thing; Daughters Of Reykjavík show this by being wrapped up in lust, out for revenge, reflecting on their youth and celebrating their sisterhood all in one go. They spit savage fire one minute, then deliver something smooth and sweet the next.
‘Late Bloomers’ is one of the album’s gentler tracks, the women recalling first kisses and sweet 16s over drifting synths to make something genuinely beautiful. ‘Sweets’ acts as a bridge between the two ends of their spectrum – soft and minimal, but so sultry and sexually revved-up. “My roommate’s out of town / You wanna come around?” They purr, making luring hotties home from the bar pre-coronavirus feel like a not-so-distant pastime.
Closer ‘DTR’ puts their focus on the group’s friendship, paying tribute to their bond and shared mission in a rare moment of Spice Girls-influenced sentimentality. “Through the love and the hate / We found a way to make a safe haven in the shade,” they reflect. “Don’t be afraid to make your own fate.” It’s a simple refrain, though one that reveals not only an unbreakable friendship, but also motivating words for anyone lucky enough to hear this intoxicating record.
Label: Shrimp Records
Release date: May 29