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Have you met Sypher Lady X?

Laura Dyan Kezman

Sypher Lady X is an artist, a rapper, a hip-hop activist, a mother and a woman who is making an imprint on her community by tracing back her roots. "There hasn't been a strong presence in the Latin hip-hop scene here in Milwaukee," explains Sypher Lady X, one of Milwaukee's only Latina hip-hop artists.

Sypher Lady X began creating music as part of the hip-hop group the Sypher Squad in 2008, for which she was the only female member. In 2012 she ventured on her own as a solo artist while gradually figuring out where she fit in the city's music scene. Being one of the only artists repping the Latin hip-hop scene in Milwaukee presents its challenges, but also offers opportunities to do something different. She explains that once artists stop trying to fit into a box of what hip-hop music commonly sounds like, it creates space to inject their own identity into the sound. A Milwaukee hip-hop duo that she points to as being an example of creating new sound by embracing their Latin roots is Browns Crew.    

"This is music that's in us. we grew up with, we were raised with. It's home."

This is what excited Sypher Lady X most about Riverwest FemFest: Its mission is driven by the need to create spaces for underrepresented communities in Milwaukee's art scene. FemFest 2019 runs from May 26 through June 2 and features a spectrum of femme, trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary, women and POC artists who will showcase their work at events throughout the city.

This will be the third year Sypher Lady X is performing at the weeklong festival. "This is awesome; a movement with all women," she says. "I've mostly been around places where it's mostly male-dominated." Sypher Lady X will help close out this FemFest 2019 with a performance at Company Brewing in Riverwest at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 2. Get to know Sypher Lady X by watching our conversation in the Butterfly Park in this week's Community Stories video above.