South-East Melbourne artist Mikado informs haters that she’s the ‘HBIC’ on latest single
Hailing from Melbourne’s South-East, multi-talented multihyphenate Mikado has entered 2022 with pure venom on her first release of the year entitled ‘HBIC’. Mikado displays her intricate array of natural abilities as a rapper, vocalist and creative throughout all of her work, and ‘HBIC’ is no different, with Mikado strutting her confident wordplay and lyricism against a funky and infectious beat. The track is an ode to being self-assured in who one is, in spite of the frustrations caused by the world around you. It’s also a delightfully contagious banger that’ll keep you hooked from beginning to end, and we highly recommend you check it out as soon as possible.
‘HBIC’ – translation, ‘Head Bitch In Charge’ – is an emphatic statement on self-empowerment in the face of haters, doubters, male hypocrisy and arrogance. It’s a credit to Mikado’s own range as an artist that she can deliver a rap track that speaks to the soul with as much tenacity as this with her first release of 2022. Producer Yung Pear’s use of a sultry saxophone, in tandem with the flashy drums, combine to procure a beat made purely to get your head bopping and feeling the empowering energy that Mikado is wanting to evoke. The track is braggadocious, but never big-headed, rather Mikado utilises her lyrically snappy bars to dismember the two-facedness of men who claim pride in being themselves but who then deceitfully stunt their partner’s self-growth and self-love: “You wanna be a king but you treat your queen trash”.
Mikado’s wordplay across ‘HBIC’ is enough to unearth the inner-HBIC of even the shyest listener, leaving you guaranteed to be grooving along to the beat and Mikado’s delivery. Lines like “You can call me officer cause I’m always on the beat, either way you’re getting cuffed and I’m the one who has the key, I wear it ‘round my neck like it was cartier bling” instantly leave you pulling off the most satisfied stank faces you’ll ever do.
In speaking with Melbourne’s Vibe Union podcast in 2020, Mikado acknowledged the significance of embracing the connotation of the word “bitch” – in the context of repressing and putting down one’s gender – for her. The podcast provides important insight into the inspiration Mikado had in reclaiming the word and how it came to be cathartic for her, ultimately paving the way for this track.
“I have a problem with the word ‘bitch’ when it becomes about the gender and not about the behaviour. It very much becomes about putting a label and a name to negative behaviour that you don’t like in a woman. A confident woman? She’s a ‘bitch’. Angry woman? She’s a ‘bitch’. A woman who knows what she wants? She’s a ‘bitch’… And the one thing that I found so cathartic was being like ‘let ‘em think you’re a bitch, just let ‘em’,” Mikado explained.
“What’s the harm in letting people be intimidated by you? And not necessarily being intimidated by you, but when you’re sometimes in a position like me where I don’t always feel like I have the upper-hand, just allowing myself to be angry and to feel some sort of wrath, and to be true with my feelings but to put it in a way that is cathartic.”
Photos by @chaupaemisque
Words by Matthew Badrov