Tkay Maidza, the first female rapper signed to 4AD presents the follow-up to her 2016 self-titled debut.
“I’m never choosing compliance,” a defiant Maidza utters ‘Ring-A-Ling’; a warning from the Zimbabwean-born, Australian-raised, Los Angeles-based rapper, singer and producer and a mantra for Sweet Justice. Produced by Two Fresh, Tkay says of ‘Ring-A-Ling’, “I wanted to make an empowering song that tells others that my biggest focus are my goals.”
The result of a dark night of the soul—and ensuing epiphany—that led to a series of professional and personal reckonings, Sweet Justice isn’t a revenge album, but it does stem from a profound sense of karma. In a traditional sense, it’s a breakup record: about Tkay splitting off from her self-doubt and warped sense of self; the toxic figures that populated the last chapter of her life; and the idea that she should stick to any one lane.
After severing ties with old friends, she found some new ones on the same creative wavelength: Canadian producers Stint and Kaytranada, and fellow Australian Flume, all of whom contribute production. Sweet Justice is an album that embodies the beautiful contradictions of Tkay’s art: it’s a coming-of-age record by someone who’s mastered the game; an album about karmic justice and accountability that’s bright, breezy and incredibly fun. In Tkay’s mind, it’s a rebirth album, a record about harnessing the feminine power that was innate in her the whole time.
Tkay Maidza says, “Sweet Justice was a way for me to channel my emotions from what I’ve experienced in the last two years. It’s a diary of things and thoughts I’ve kept to myself. Making the record was a healing experience and I’m grateful to have worked with producers who have inspired me throughout my career.” Sweet Justice follows the 3-year-long, 24 song-strong genre-bending Last Year Was Weird trilogy exploring Maidza’s own African-Australian experience. The project earned her a 2021 ARIA Awards win for Best Soul/R&B Release and an NME Award for Best Solo Act From Australia in 2022. Following on from tours with Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa, Tkay is currently in the southern hemisphere for arena shows with Lizzo with her own headline shows to be announced soon.