Queen T Did Not Come to Play: Kawi Bawi Bo

Yoon Mi-rae is back, and this time she’s going after throats.

Once again, the undisputed queen of Korean hip-hop has displayed why she’s had the throne for twenty years.

“Kawi Bawi Bo” is an anthem, point blank. It’s a song that speaks of revolution, of finding your place, standing your ground, taking no stuff from nobody. It’s fitting Queen T would bestow this blessing upon us. In the wake of powerful social movements in South Korea (including sweeping support for the #MeToo movement, using #WithYou as their slogan; and greater visibility of the brutality of people of color, particularly black men, women, and children, at the hands of law enforcement in the States) it’s natural that Tasha, a woman openly embraces her Korean and black American heritages, would take to the airwaves with her own cry of revolution.

The imagery represents power: powerful women (Han Buckey and her dance crew and Feel Ghood family member Ember), powerful imagery (fire in the streets, a common symbol of civil disobedience to protest oppression), power stance (every woman in the video standing, fists raised to the sky). Tasha even dons a classic Adidas track suit. Though many newer fans will recognize Yoon Mi-rae from her chart-topping OST ballads, Natasha Reid is a child of old-school hip-hop and wears it on her skin like a birthmark.

It’s always a blessing to hear Tasha sing, make no mistake about that. But it’s so good to hear her rap again. She brandishes those skills around whenever she pleases, and without trying she snatches every soul in the vicinity.


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