It is rare to find Asian American rappers, let alone Asian American female rappers. Oakland-based LEX the Lexicon Artist is an exception. Alex Sun Liu is an up and coming rapper whose lyrics are centered around humor and identity. LEX is inspired by comedic rap and rappers like Eminem, Watsky and Tonedeff, and viral internet artists like PSY and Pink Guy, among others.
LEX released her debut album LEX Is More in March 2017. The album is composed of four songs: L.E.X., Undateable, Alive, and Glasses. Each song gives the listener insight into this quirky third culture kid’s experience. Throughout the album, her lyrics are laced with an SAT-approved vocabulary that challenges the listener to keep up with LEX’s swift wit. Not only do LEX’s songs make you think, her lyrics are bound to make you laugh out loud. Case in point: her single L.E.X., opens up with, “I am a rapper / I wrote this rhyme on the crapper.”
The other songs on LEX Is More follow suit. The second track Undateable explores the intersection of race and sexuality. LEX describes feeling “worthless and ugly because nobody wanted to fuck” her. The lyrics of Undateable reveal her perspective on the modern hookup culture and how much a woman’s identity lies in being sexually attractive. From her song Alive, my favorite truth-telling line goes “people flip a shit over rappers of my ethnicity.” But the chorus of Glasses really takes the cake: “Get off your asses / I’m a rap star, hit ’em with the glasses.”
LEX recently released the L.E.X. (Remixed) EP featuring remixes of her singles off of debut album L.E.X. It is now available on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Spotify. Each song is produced by a different artist, including Kisai, Mozart von Robot, Shawn Solo and Philonius Phunk.
Given her originality and unique sound, LEX is bound to continue churning out unprecedented content. In a male-dominated market where queens with #yellownin are quite scarce in the rap game, one hopes that she’ll achieve a similar success to veteran Awkwafina. LEX the Lexicon Artist’s mere existence in the music industry helps reshape the conventional definition of what it means to be a rapper, creating a space for more Asian-Am women in the rap game.