The Break Presents: Cuban Doll
Twenty-five years ago, Queen Latifah landed the biggest hit of her career by singing about unity. And like 1993's "U.N.I.T.Y.," rap newcomer Cuban Doll would like to spread that same sentiment—as she put it, to “work harder and work together”—amongst the current crop of female rappers that's flourishing in an abundance that hip-hop has never seen.
"Females get so intimidated by other females,” the 740 Project / Capitol Records signee tells XXL. “They just need to put their insecurities to the side. We’re all in the same business.”
Thanks to a stint in modeling, Cuban Doll had already garnered a vast following in her native city of Dallas long before she began rapping. “I feel like I was all over the place, in and out of school. I was always into stuff,” she says. “I was always in trouble, in a fight or something, and I just overcame that. The music really separated me from being in mess and drama.”
In 2016, Cuban Doll dropped her first song, titled “On Point.” But it was her debut tape Cuban Link that propelled her career. Her flow, reminiscent of a Midwestern artist, has been well-received since the drop of her latest mixtape Aaliyah Keef, inspired by the sounds of her two favorite artists, Chief Keef and the late R&B songstress Aaliyah Haughton. The 2017 tape, Cuban’s most successful to date, includes features from Mozzy, SOB x RBE and OMB Peezy. She’s currently finishing up Cuban Link Pt. 2, which includes her longtime friend Asian Doll, Yhung T.O., Young Lyric, and a notable feature from Gangsta Boo on “W.A.B. [Wack Ass Bitch].” Cuban has also hinted at a track with YBN Nahmir and Asian Doll that has yet to see the light of the day.
Now residing in L.A., the “Bankrupt” rapper is preparing to release the official remix to the track while on a West Coast tour with SOB x RBE. In May, Cuban will hit the Rolling Loud stage for the first time—on her 20th birthday at that—which she calls "a blessing."
Learn more about Cuban Doll in XXL's The Break.
I grew up listening to: “Chief Keef—he’s my favorite rapper. And I listened to a lot of Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Lil Kim, Trina and Nicki Minaj, of course. I watch Nicki Minaj the most."
My style has been compared to: “Right now it’s being compared to a lot of Detroit rappers, like Sada Baby. And Chief Keef, too. Chicago and Detroit artists."
Most people don’t know: “I’ve only been rapping for a year. Before I was rapping I had a following because I used to try to model. It didn’t work out for me, it was moving slow and it wasn’t really paying the bills. Modeling is hard work."
My standout records or moment to date have been: “My standout record right now is ‘Bankrupt.’ It just hit two million on YouTube, and we just dropped it [in January]."
My goal in hip-hop is: “To be successful, definitely get radio play and commercialize it up."
I’m going to be the next: “I don’t wanna be nobody next. I wanna create my own lane so fans can be like, ‘Oh, that’s Cuban,’ instead of being compared to everyone else."
Standouts: Aaliyah Keef
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