Meet Ingrid Burley, Parkwood Entertainment's Resident Rapper

Meet Ingrid Burley, Parkwood Entertainment's Resident Rapper

V & D K N Y present Ingrid Burley, a Texas-native fresh off the release of her debut EP 'Trill Feels'

V & D K N Y present Ingrid Burley, a Texas-native fresh off the release of her debut EP 'Trill Feels'

Photography: CHAD MOORE

Styling: Havana Laffitte

Text: Whitney Mallett

Texas rapper Ingrid reps hard the Third Ward, the historically black Houston neighborhood where she grew up, marked by beautiful old housing stock. There, she says, everyone knows everyone. Keen to establish a lineage of strong female artists from home, Ingrid notes that actresses Loretta Divine, Debbie Allen, and Phylicia Rashad all grew up in the Third Ward. “My grandfather has lived in the same house that he bought with my grandmother since they got married when they were like, 15 and 16. He’s 83 and still lives in that house,” she explains. “It’s very nostalgic for me to be there.”

After spending several years in Brooklyn hustling paintings to make a living, the 29-year-old moved back home to work on her EP Trill Feels, out on Beyoncé’s new label, Parkwood Entertainment. Ingrid has known Queen Bey and the entire Knowles clan since childhood. Like Beyoncé’s more recent work, her tracks convey female empowerment and black pride with a distinct regional flavor, but Ingrid’s employ a butch MC swagger.

You can hear that Ingrid grew up listening to a lot of Southern rap in her syrupy vocal patterns. “My biggest influence was Houston Screwed Up Click culture,” she says, referencing the Hip Hop collective led by DJ Screw who pioneered the genre Chopped and Screwed in the ’90s (and made Purple Drank notorious). By high school, Ingrid started getting into Jay-Z, and notes that Kanye West’s 2004 debut LP, College Dropout, changed everything for her. In West she saw a rap icon that suited her style, which was always more artistic than thuggish or raunchy. “He really paved the way for people like myself and for college graduate rappers like J. Cole,” she contends.

CLOTHING DKNY JEWELRY HER OWN

When Ingrid was only six, she lost her mother to cancer and was largely raised by friends of the family. “My mom’s friends were very successful and had a lot of money,” she says, meaning, a different class than her own family. “I grew up in the middle of two different worlds.” Navigating those contrasting realities and the prejudices that came along with each is the impetus behind her single, “Double Pedigree.” Growing up in Houston, Ingrid experienced classicism more than racism, which she attributes to the oil and gas industry’s moneyed elite. Today, she likes to dress in a way that purposely confuses class signifiers, pairing a grill with a bolero hat. “Aesthetically,” she says, “I don’t look like I match.”

This past spring, she opened shows on the famed #Formation tour. “It was awesome. It was, like, 55,000 people, which is the most people I’ve ever performed in front of in my life,” she says. Ingrid emphasizes that growing up around Beyoncé has made her realize more than anything else the effort that’s gone into the pop star’s unmatched success. “It was great that I was able to see the actual work that was put in. I don’t think I’d be sitting here with you today if I hadn’t been able to see that work because I wouldn’t understand the value of it,” she insists. “I probably would have dropped the ball a long time ago.”

Credits:

Makeup Maud Laceppe (Streeters)  Hair Kei Terada (Julian Watson Agency)  Manicure Holly Falcone (Kate Ryan)  Set design Orly Anan  Photo assistant Adam Levett  Stylist assistants Rochelle Adam and Jay Hussa   Makeup assistant Aya Watanabe  Hair assistant Mario Sisneros  Retouching Vision On  Location Root Studios

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