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Can Akillezz’s ‘Gentleman’ be rap’s new feminist anthem?


It’s hard to ignore a rapper who drops lines about ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in his songs.

Akillezz is a 22-year-old rapper from New Jersey who caught our eyes (and ears) with his lyrics about sexism and misogyny in the music industry. At first listen, it’s easy to dismiss his newest single ‘Gentleman’ as another typical rap song about hot, loose women and the men who thirst after them with an undeniable Eminem sound, but it takes a deeper look into the lyrics to pull out a whole different meaning.

“‘Gentleman’ isn’t some vapid, insipid thing that just sort of came to be as a product of misogyny or sexism, which I’ll most likely be accused for,” he says. “If anything  the record is really written as a feminist anthem.”

Akillezz writes and raps catchy yet meaningful lines like, “Tempting fate / Maybe it’s the Maybelline on your face that makes you believe you’re great / But wait.” Our personal favorite? A subtle mention of characters and places in ‘Pride and Prejudice’: “I’m Darcy / What makes you think you’re worthy of walking Pemberley Estate?”

Akillezz is startlingly self-aware, explaining that as a heterosexual male who places his music above love interests, he unapologetically stays away from the “emotionally contaminated spaces” of longterm relationships. In a very Kanye-like quote, he says he wants his work to become “the property of mankind” and endure the test of time, breaking down the barriers of being a white rapper.

You can see Akillezz speak about ‘Gentleman’ and the ultimate message behind the song as well as insights on his career here:

Watch the music video for Akillezz’s ‘Gentleman’: