Billboard's On the Block series returned with another episode on Tuesday (Feb. 25). Alabama's own CHIKA joined co-hosts Carl Lamarre and Bianca Gracie on the heels of her recently released "Industry Games" single. In addition to teasing her forthcoming EP, the "No Squares" rapper gave her thoughts on the public's reaction to Dwyane Wade's parenting, the emotional state of Los Angeles following Kobe Bryant's passing, and more.
With her hypnotizing single, CHIKA is happy she had the chance to get a few things off her chest. "I think I've gone too easy for a long time," she says of her brash energy on the track. "I didn't really get to have the moments everyone else did of talking their s--t, and I appeared with the first single in that exact way. It feels really good to get that off my chest for the one time."
Since CHIKA recently relocated to Los Angeles, she's had a firsthand look at the saddened state of the city following the loss of Kobe Bryant. CHIKA was especially amazed at the strength Vanessa Bryant showed at the Celebration of Life held for her late husband and 13-year-old daughter, as she dubbed Vanessa's powerful eulogy to be "the definition of a strong woman."
"The entire atmosphere of L.A. was just different," she says, thinking back to the somber January morning we learned Kobe and Gianna had died. "Surreal almost has a positive connotation to it, but it was more like a nightmare. As more news came out, it just got worse and worse. It got overwhelming, and when we heard about Gianna, it was enough for me that day. The city has been flooded with a lot of love and there are people commissioning art to honor everyone lost in it."
When Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union revealed that their child Zaya had come out as a transgender girl and that the couple supported her, the decision quickly became a polarizing trending topic on social media. Boosie Badazz even blasted D-Wade for allowing the move, but CHIKA doesn't think it's anyone's business to comment on.
"There's really no conversation to be had at this point," the 23-year-old proclaims. quot;First of all, it's nobody's business. Him being opened about his daughter's identity is his story, but that is not anyone's place to comment on. Apart from the sentiments being held, why are we talking about it? There is no opinion on it."
Watch the episode below. Look for CHIKA's EP to drop mid March.