We now know that the track Hammerhead on Future Past will feature the British rapper Ivorian Doll. Let’s get to know her and the scene she comes from.
A couple of years ago Ivorian Doll was going by her real name, Vanessa. She had a You Tube channel with her mate Renee. She was doing make up, vlogging and the usual stuff, and had a following of people who liked that sort of stuff.
People heard of them when there was a falling out, possibly because someone slept with someone, the usual stuff. The next thing is there’s a video of Renee shouting and swearing and saying Vanessa has got STDs, all recorded. They then got into songs with diss tracks against each other. They got managers saying “we got to capitalise on this,” everyone was interested for five minutes, they used to be friends, they had a following and so there was a mass market who’ve seen the video and think that’s funny.
One of Renee’s diss track’s was pretty good and funny. It was exposing Vanessa for all the men she got with. But basically Renee then went back to You Tube, and that’s what she still does. But Vanessa became Ivorian Doll [because she’s from the Ivory Coast] and got into being a rapper-singer. She gets quite good views and numbers.
So IVD (as she’s known) did Daily Duppy which is alright and you might like it. That’s one of the diss tracks. [It impressively got 1 million views in a week].
This was the classic, ‘this is how you become ‘famous’. They had some stunt and made the most of it. You’d have to judge how talented she is from that. In America there are big female rapper-singers – there was Lil’ Kim in the ‘90s, who was Biggie Small’s girlfriend before he became famous. Nowadays there is Nicki Minaj (she’s been around for ages, about 10 years), she’s done stuff with Drake and Lil Wayne. Now there’s Cardi B – she’s a mad one.
In America if you’re successful as a woman rapper there’s a bigger market. It also helps to wear no clothes. Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift don’t need to do that. The female rappers do that like normal. They end up dressing the same as the women in the background of the men’s videos. They say they’re so strong and independent 'I don’t care what you think' and 'I dress how I want to dress'. That’s basically the argument.
I suppose she’s involved with Duran Duran because she’s getting paid, and maybe some exposure to the charts. [She said in her November 2020 BBC interview, “I want to be an international artist.”] I guess it doesn’t take much to go top 40 or better with the sort of loyal fans Duran Duran will have, especially with all the different versions you guys buy. That always does better than free streams and you lot will buy actual stuff. Even giving CDs away with concert tickets can count. I guess Duran reached out to her. She’s not posted anything about it, but she’s not that big – under 250,000 followers on IG.
There’s loads of female singers, and some are good rappers. Lady Leshurr was actually a lot better and more talented. She was grime, and was big about 5 years ago, and got 50-100 million views [IVD’s biggest video Rumours has 7 million views]. IVD has named herself as ‘The Queen of Drill,’ and she's doing alright. She probably won’t publicise being with Duran. It’s all a bit weird. When English rappers do things with American rappers, they never publicise it. The English guys pay heavily for the American feature. D Block Europe done a song with Lil Baby, the biggest rapper right now in Chicago. It got about 10 million views, whereas that guy gets over 200, 300 million views. So you will see how much IVD makes of her track with Duran.
Unfortunately in the course of finalising this article, this video interview dropped on You Tube last night (11th August) on the Alhan and Poet show.
It ticks quite a lot of misogynist stereotypes: the guy interviewers are pretty sleazy; Vanessa does her best to humour the men (she is their first female guest - or ‘girl’ as they call her) and asks them “Is this how you’re going to treat all your female guests?” “This is the last time,” comes the answer – with a huge laugh from the mute sidekick.
And then (19:50), unfortunately, comes a meltdown moment just after she says “I’m very wise.” She tells everyone she believes we live on a flat earth, under a dome, which is covered with water. “I don’t talk about this because people think you’re crazy. Go on Google and you’ll see. You’re all blind, you can’t see. The picture was detailed and it’s in the bible.” She’s sceptical about the vaccine as well. And she then gets into government conspiracy and simulations: “When you see ants doing their thing, we’re just watching them. They don’t know that, so someone’s watching us.” She is not, of course, the first person involved with Duran Duran to believe in stuff like that.