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03 070 Shake : the anti-heroine of US rap

070 Shake : the anti-heroine of US rap

As her first album “Modus Vivendi” is released, we discover 070 Shake’s vision, imbued with an aesthetic and vulnerable nostalgia. A raw portrait of a rapper gradually freeing herself of her mentor… none other than Kanye West.

“Guilty Conscience", excerpted from 070 Shake's “Modus Vivendi” (2020).


In her latest video, Guilty Conscience, a medley of minimalist and vintage vignettes sometimes in colour, sometimes in black and white, 070 Shake plays the bad girl. Her head-to-toe leather look underlines the delicacy of her body while she smashes a car windshield then the screen itself with a baseball bat ... The violence of the scene has the same energy as her storming entrance on the international hip-hop scene last January: Danielle Balbuena – her real name – is releasing the album Modus Vivendi on the record labels G.O.O.D. Music and Def Jam Recordings, two departments at Universal.


Born in North Bergen (New Jersey), the 22-year-old singer started out in the 070 Collective before she met the influencer YesJulz in 2016, who later became her manager. As soon as her first solo EPGlitter (2008) was released, 070 Shake began collaborating with big names, from Teyena Taylor on the album K.T.S.E. (2018) and Pusha T for the album Daytona (2008) to Kanye West with whom she shares the track Violent Crime on the album Ye (2019)


Her latest album is an extension of the themes she started exploring on her EP. 070 Shake describes her romantic setbacks and reveals the difficulties she encountered when she was younger, in building herself as an adult (and as a woman) in an environment ravaged by drugs and lacking in any viable prospects. As a response to these obstacles and contradictions, Modus Vivendi is something of a release, hence the Latin expression "way of way" for its title and echoes what she sang alongside Kanye West, PartyNextDoor and Kid Cudi in Ghost Town: “I feel kinda of free”…


With her unique aesthetic, 070 Shake plunges us into a universe lost between emo-rap and futuristic hip-hop: a nostalgia subjected to experimental electro mixed with an anxiety-provoking lyricism set against committed rhythms. As much as the young woman is inspired by Kanye West in her rhythmic treatment of bass lines and choruses, the album experiments with all kinds of deep bases saturated by the electric guitar. The diversity of beats and the contrasts offered by the rapper arouses curiosity and lulls the listener into a state of permanent imbalance. In contrast to the hovering, occasionally paranoid ambiance, 070 Shake also creates a futuristic aesthetic as with the track The Pines, which recalls Lil Ras X's Rodeo (2019). As for the retro aesthetics of her videos, she’s inspired by British rock bands from the early 2000s. By exploring such diverse registers, 070 Shake revives the pure tradition of hip-hop, all while offering a modern and highly eclectic approach. 


2020 marks the start of her tour around the USA and Europe and the rapper is part of the line-up for the We Love Green festival in Paris on June 6th.