The Hip-Hop Artist You Need to Know About


She may only be 21 but BGR (Bad Gal Ronster) is already turning heads thanks to her bold lyrics and strong vocals. Fashion and social media editor Ellie Craig caught up with her to talk being a femcee, record deals and swag.

What made you choose BGR as your stage name?
My stage name when I first began music was Ronster as a version of my real name, the ‘Bad Gal’ was really added on by other MCs and DJs and kind of stuck with me. I shortened it to BGR and use that as well as my initials, Miss R Lee, as my stage names.

You have been described as both a femcee and an MC, do you mind that differentiation or would you rather just be seen as an MC?
To be honest, I don’t mind being called an MC, femcee or rapper if it’s what people perceive me as, but I personally class myself as a writer. I don’t stick to one genre or one type of music, I write anything that gets my attention, so if I had the choice I would be called a writer/artist.

You’re signed to legendary hip-hop artist Karl Hinds’ label Ill Flava, how did this come about?
I knew Karl through a mutual friend. When I was managing myself Karl approached me and offered help. I wasn’t looking for a deal but I accepted his help due to the creative freedom and fairness he was offering with the deal that most labels probably wouldn’t have offered. After working with him on RednBlack Rouge Edition I’ve come to find we work very well together as a creative team.

From domestic violence to anger management, you’re not shy of tackling controversial topics. Has it been a conscious decision to include them in your lyrics?
It becomes a conscious decision during writing, but no, I didn’t start writing knowing what the concept would be. As a writer it’s quite easy to fall into writing a track about something you’ve been through or that is close to your heart. I feel a lot of artists are afraid to express what they actually are. Anything that comes to mind, anything I or someone close to me has been through, even the mood I am in when I put pen to the paper, affects every aspect of my writing.

You’re releasing your new mix tape, RednBlack, this week, what were your influences when you wrote this?
Everything’s an influence! To be honest, a lot of the tracks on that tape represent the journey I’ve gone through in music as well as in life. When you’re trying to accomplish something there’s passion, hunger, frustration, a number of different emotions that allow you to be creative. Sometimes it’s hard trying to find the words to describe what you’re feeling and what you’ve gone through.

You’re set to star in your first film soon, is acting something you want to pursue?
Yes acting is something I’m interested in. I’d like to try and succeed in every area that I can and film is something I am very interested in. Any opportunities I get will be explored to the full.

You’re often spotted in caps and hi tops; how important is fashion to you?
I wouldn’t say fashion is too important to me because I like to keep myself looking unique, I’ve got my own kind of swag (laughs). I used to be very tomboyish when I was growing up and I still have that streak in me along with the femininity I’ve grown into.

BGR is releasing RednBlack on Friday 11th July. Click here for more info.

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