There is a new female powerhouse poised to take the rap Queen throne. Her name is Layla Boe and if you don’t know her, be patient, you will. Layla is a dangerous mix of beauty and creativity. She possesses the originality of David Bowie, the bawdiness of Cardi B., the versatility of Lady Gaga, the flow ability of Missy Elliott, and the raw sex appeal of Elvis Presley. She has also been described by NBGA Magazine as an “angelic singer”. So why haven’t you heard of her? Maybe because the “angelic singer” sings in German. The half Gambian, half German stunner works out of Berlin but don’t worry, very little is lost in translation.
Layla Boe has been on German radars since the end of 2019 but is primed to breakout across the pond. The 23-year-old (as of May) has a sultry style, shrewd lyrics, and the swagger to match. Layla’s image is carefully crafted but there is nothing careful with how she expresses herself. Self-described as “raw” and “unpredictable”, Boe is redefining the gender power structure of German pop culture. Currently, the gifted bombshell has only released singles and one EP which can be viewed through her quickly growing social media empire. She is documented here by the periodicals that know her best.
NBGA Magazine: “Layla Boe is here and she’s ready for you…The different aspects of Layla are what make her such an interesting figure; rather than caging herself in a genre-box, Layla is committed to honoring herself and all of her contrasting sides before ever allowing herself to be restricted to the most popular idea of who she should be, what she should be sounding like, or what she should be saying. She began singing soulful R&B slow jams to/for herself, and then moved into exploring rap, an intriguing world of explicitness, boldness, and moodiness. Energetic and eye-catching, Layla’s trendiness is matched with an ancient soul; she understands the inner magic of women and advocates for that magic through her own action, and through her expression, which never strays from the truth.” (Dominique Mkhonza)
From GUAP.co.uk: “R&B and Hip-Hop act Layla Boe is coming for German Rap. With just singles out, the Berlin-based artist has manifested herself as one of the most sought-after up-and-coming musicians. Rightfully so: her music offers new perspectives, a fresh sound and – most importantly – challenges the scene’s traditional way of thinking. Her career had its official start at the beginning of 2020…Since then, [Boe] has already established a brand for herself as German Rap’s queen of Sex Ed”. (Alina Amin)
“Right at the beginning of her journey in the industry, Layla put out a diverse set of sounds. First classic Rap with ’Hustla’ then a smooth combination of Soul and R&B on ’24/7’. What stood out right away for her was the 2000s-inspired soundscape, her emphasis on diversity and her angelic voice. All of which were – and still are – new to German Rap that often feeds off aggressive tunes. On social media, she quickly became notorious for her unapologetic self-confidence and open way of talking about female sexuality. Soon, that projected onto her music”. (Amin)
“Her most recent release ’Creamy’ is an anthem to sexual freedom that makes conservatives uncomfortable in all the right places…When she released the track some weeks ago, Layla explained on Instagram how men still need to learn a lot about female sexuality, especially considering the way they talk about it in Rap. That’s why she wants to give Hip-Hop and her male listeners a lesson in Sex Ed”. (Amin)
GlobalHappenings.com: “Layla, also known as Layla Boe, is featured on well-known German rap playlists…With smooth sounds and clear lyrics, she asserts herself in the otherwise male-dominated rap world…Layla’s message is self-determined, feminist and strong. At the same time, she is incredibly approachable…Her age group is branded as ‘sexy’ by the audience, which Layla promptly spreads in her Instagram story…After all, empowerment, self-confidence and sex-positive texts don’t know age, they are simply sexy. At the same time, Layla is so versatile that there is something for everyone: rap, UK garage sound, R’n’B, trap”. (Sandy)
From GUAP.co.uk: “’So Smooth’, a single she released last year, kicked off her educational plan. Compared to ’Creamy’ the sound is more laid-back and, as the title suggests, smoother. The sensual track deals with those nights when you just can’t get enough. What these songs share is the way she confidently handles these topics. Finding new ways to describe the feelings she – and many other women – have during sex as well as expressing their own sexuality. That’s one of the main things that set her and her work apart from traditional German Rap: It’s fresh, innovative and eliminates stereotypes and prejudices prevalent in the general German society”. (Amin)
Layla Boe has not begun to scratch the surface of her immense potential. With her imagination, ingenuity, and intelligence, unique brilliance is sure to follow. But it is also clear that she does what she wants and does not succumb to expectation. In an April 2021 interview, Layla was asked what to expect next from her. She responded, “Surprises. I wouldn’t recommend expecting anything from me, because I might change my mind tomorrow and disappoint your expectations”. Whatever she has in store, fans better get used to it because she is going to have a long and successful musical reign – if she wants it.