San Francisco-born, Oakland-dwelling rapper Rocky Rivera has a somewhat atypical origin story, as rappers go: She started out as a music journalist. In 2006, she won a contributing editor position at Rolling Stone magazine via the MTV reality show/competition I'm From Rolling Stone.
In the decade since, however, the MC -- whose real name is Krishtine de Leon -- moved from interviewing the pillars of underground hip-hop to becoming one, at least among those in the know in the Bay Area. Her lyrics are saturated with feminism, explorations of racial and ethnic identity, and the fierce local pride of a born-and-raised Bay Area native. (For the record, this was the track that first hooked me.)
Rivera dropped her third record, the EP Nom de Guerre, last summer, but she took another year to issue a music video for its most focused feminist anthem, "Turn You." The rapper recently told the East Bay Express that the song represents her attempt to be "more straightforward in my messaging, for all those young men and women who are still hesitant to call themselves feminists."
Check it out below -- and if you see the MC on Muni while you also happen to be reading your copy of Roxane Gay's excellent collection Bad Feminist, give her a shout.