When we think freestyles, Lupita Nyong’o is, admittedly, not the first celeb who comes to mind. Obviously, we love the girl—she’s mega talented, super intelligent, drop-dead gorgeous and gets real about issues close to her heart—but we didn’t think she had the goods when it came to dropping rhymes. We were wrong.
On top of her day job as Queen of the Big Screen, our girl also has a bit of a hidden talent that requires a bit of prodding to properly share. And last night, the Black Panther (and Us and Little Monsters) star swung by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (weekdays at 11:35 p.m. ET on CTV2) to bless us with a few beautiful verses about her new book (oh yeah, she’s an author, too) and the fact the Carters just can’t get enough of her.
Before getting into the beats, Jimmy asked her about the singular honour of being name-dropped in both Beyoncé and Jay-Z lyrics. Nyong’o gets a mention in Queen Bey’s “Brown Skin Girl,” where Bey sings “she need an Oscar for that pretty dark skin / Pretty like Lupita when the cameras close in.” Jay-Z referenced Nyong’o in “We Made it Freestyle” shortly after she won her Oscar for 12 Years A Slave in 2014. An Oscar is cool, but you know you’ve really made it when both Carters sing about you.
Lupita may be starstruck by the mentions, but she’s no slouch when it comes to musical talent. She explained that she’s been “baptized” with the moniker “Troublemaker” by fellow Oscar-winner Common (“So I feel like it’s legit”) and whipped out the ultra-hip, shades-wearing rapping alter ego with a few verses dedicated to the Carters and her new book.
“Much love to the Carter’s, HOV and Beyoncé / They always bring me up in a big way / I’m a brown skin girl so that means a lot,” she freestyled. Ok, where can we buy Troublemaker’s EP?
If you follow Lupita on the socials, then her talent as Troublemaker wasn’t hidden to you. About three years ago, she took Troublemaker out for a spin on her Instagram and her flow was impressive.
It turns out Bey and Lupita aren’t just aligned on the musical wavelength, they’re also both creating art to encourage an upcoming generation of girls who don’t see themselves commonly portrayed in media. Like Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl,” Lupita’s new children’s book, “Sulwe,” explores themes of colourism in media and how it impacts young dark skinned girls.
Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on CTV2.