Never Ready, Go! is the debut single from fresh new hip-hopper Kerfor.
A light look at never being ready accompanied by a skate video featuring Olympic skater Lilly Stoephasius, Kerfor’s debut drop follows the general hip hop blueprint; it’s a song to bounce around to while shouting the chorus at your friends. Born in Germany, she raps equally fluently in English and German; however it’s when she shifts to German (at about a minute in) that her voice – for me – develops a grittier flow and more brittle attack that shows her spoken style in her best and most believable light.
While the song is a confident and well-produced hip hop single and should do well, I was most taken with hip hopper Kerfor when I found an older video of her rapping the fast part to Eminem’s Godzilla. Woh. The girl can rap! I dare anybody to match this dazzling display of vocal dexterity. I couldn’t even think that fast, never mind rap that fast…I look forward to her pushing more of her amazing speed in future releases.
While I was bimbling around on youtube I also came across a comedic youtube short where she’s messing around with her musical compadre and rapping about period pain…now that’s a single! 🙂
While I was researching, I uncovered an article that was a list of the 25 top female rappers in Germany, and while there’s a wealth of obvious talent there (Die P for example), I was also kind of disappointed to see how many of the female rappers seem to feel the need to compete with their male counterparts in terms of content and presentation; pushing a female version of misogyny, odes to guns, drugs, money and expensive cars…you should sing or rap about whatever moves you to do so, but jesus, it’s all such a cliché; and I thought the female rappers might be able to help German rap break free from its wannabe south-central-LA digga homie homage (I get that it’s a little down and dirty in Neukölln but a ghetto? Hmm…).
Thankfully, Kerfor avoids this altogether; in her private life she’s a mover and shaker for the female self-empowerment cause: together with her actress mother she has been running the MaLisa Foundation (since 2016), which on an international level, campaigns to end violence against women and girls, together with an organisation in the Phillipines (MaLisa Home – since 2011, in cooperation with German Doctors and a local charitable organisation) that helps women and girls escape from trafficking and sexual enslavement.
Kerfor also comes from an illustrious family background of artists and political activists: her mother and grandmother are/were both well-known actresses (Maria Fürtwängler and Kathrin Ackermann); her great-uncle one of Germany’s most famous conductors (Wilhelm Fürtwängler), a great uncle an acclaimed film director (Florian Fürstwängler); and her great grandmother (Katharina von Kardorff-Oheimb) was politically active in the 20s and early 30s, a leading light in the push for female empowerment and an extremely vocal politician (Tucholsky wrote a satirical poem for her, An Frau von Oheimb), before she left politics when the Nazis came to power.
The declaration contained in Never Ready, Go! seems to be simultaneously a confession of being afraid of stepping out onto the stage; and a declaration that there is much, much more to come. From a young woman of such determination, social conviction and obvious talent, I look forward to what comes next – whether it’s social good, more insane-speed-rapping or songs about bodily functions, hey, I’m in 🙂
Main image credit dpa/Monika Skolimowska