Hip Hop Acts
Montgomery, AL, USA
Chika first gained widespread attention following an Instagram post from November 9, 2016, the day after the 2016 United States presidential election. In the video, she covers herself in pale foundation, saying "African-American? Never felt that, never heard of that, never tasted that, never smelled that". Early in 2017, she created the #EgoChallenge, using the Beyoncé song of that title to promote body positivity and self-love. That year she also released a Pride-themed remix of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You". On June 4, 2017 she released an independent EP of poetry called Full Bloom.
In 2018, Chika went viral for a freestyle addressed at Kanye West over West's own "Jesus Walks" beat. The freestyle concerned West's support for Donald Trump and caught the attention of Jada Pinkett Smith, Sean "Diddy" Combs, and Erykah Badu. She later released a freestyle dedicated to Nia Wilson. In August 2018, she featured on Rachel Crow's single "Coulda Told Me".
Chika released her debut single, "No Squares", in April 2019. The following month, at the invitation of guest host Lena Waithe, she performed "Richey v. Alabama", another of her songs, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
The song dealt with the state of Alabama's 2019 abortion bill and was named for a friend of Chika's. That summer, she signed a deal with Warner Records. Chika released two more singles as a lead artist in 2019: "High Rises" and "Can't Explain It" featuring Charlie Wilson.That year, she also featured on JoJo's "Sabotage", which reached number 18 on the Billboard US R&B Digital Downloads.
In December 2019, Chika announced that she was working on her debut extended play titled Industry Games. On January 23, 2020, Chika confirmed the title and posted snippets of music from the EP, telling followers the release was two months away. She released the EP's titular single on February 18. The EP was released on March 12, 2020. On August 11, 2020, Chika was included on XXL's 2020 Freshman Class. She was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding New Artist. On March 11, 2021 Chika announced that her second EP Once Upon A Time would be released at midnight.
On April 10, 2021, Chika posted a widely publicized note to her Twitter account explaining her decision to retire from music while reflecting on the "mental toll" that life as a musician in the spotlight had taken on her health. In an Instagram Live session in which she interacted with fans following her initial retirement announcement, she criticized "trolls" or "stans" who "dogpile on top of people's other mental problems and make them worse." She specifically cited the effects of online abuse on her ongoing battle with depression on her decision, although she left a small possibility for a comeback in her final statement.