Maiya the Don: Pioneering a New Era in Hip-Hop Solidarity

by Barbara

In an era where sisterhood within hip-hop was once a mere aspiration, Maiya the Don is ushering in a new dawn of camaraderie within the genre. A departure from the past when female voices grappled for recognition amidst the founding male figures, today’s scene tells a different story—one of support and mutual upliftment. Emerging talent Maiya the Don, at the age of 21, finds herself at the epicenter of this women-driven renaissance, with fellow female rappers rallying behind her every endeavor, a rare luxury for burgeoning artists in the industry.

In a candid conversation with POPSUGAR, Maiya shares, “Everybody that I’ve engaged with has been nothing but sweet and welcoming.” Maiya’s trajectory began as a beauty content creator on TikTok, but her breakthrough moment arrived last October with the release of “Telfy,” a masterful reimagining of Sisqo’s “Thong Song.” As her distinctive bars reverberated through social media, her name became synonymous with the iconic Telfar handbag, and her ascent was unstoppable.

Despite her rapid rise to fame, Maiya remains grounded, acutely aware that celebrity status necessitates adjustments. “Sometimes I realize, all right, I can’t do this or I can’t say this,” she reveals, acknowledging the perpetual evolution of her public persona.

Central to her stability within the ever-shifting landscape of the music industry is her close-knit circle of women rappers, with whom she shares more than just musical aspirations. Maiya emphasizes the support she receives from fellow artists like Monaleo, who imparts invaluable advice, and Coi Leray, who bestowed a subtle tribute to Maiya at the 2023 BET Awards. Collaborator Flo Milli holds a special place in her heart, being the first female rapper to genuinely embrace her. “She’s so supportive of everything. Every time I turn around she’s there, you know?” Maiya effuses.

In a realm where women supporting women was once a rarity, the sight of contemporary luminaries like Lola Brooke and trailblazers like Lil’ Kim championing each other’s achievements is nothing short of heartening. “Everybody has supported me in some type of way and I really appreciate it,” Maiya enthuses. She marvels at the transition from being an avid consumer of her peers’ music to being embraced as a fellow artist, a transition marked by recognition and applause.

Surprisingly, Maiya’s foray into music was born out of a desire to combat boredom. While her roots in poetry and instrumental music ran deep, her venture into rap was driven by an inexplicable yearning for something more. The studio became her sanctuary, and her passion for creating music remains unwavering. Despite potential doubts about her future in the industry, her love for music fuels her determination. She notes, “The moment that I stop having fun is the moment that I’ll just decide to walk away, but I genuinely love it. I think my fans wanting more music from me and just that alone is all that I need.”

Maiya’s connection with hip-hop veterans has fortified her resolve. She recounts surreal encounters with fellow Brooklynite Fabolous and a phone call from Busta Rhymes, who expressed his admiration for her artistry. The presence of these icons, she believes, underscores the significance of her predecessors, shaping the path for her and countless others.

As she continues to carve her path in the industry, Maiya remains grounded in the legacy of those who paved the way for her. She cites women like MC Lyte and Cardi B, acknowledging their impact on her journey. The prospect of collaborations with industry stalwarts like Cardi and emerging talents like Lakeyah and Brooke is a tantalizing one, reflecting her eagerness to contribute to the collective growth of women in rap.

Undoubtedly on the ascent, Maiya is conscious of her ongoing evolution, both as an artist and an individual. While her future endeavors remain veiled, her focus on maintaining her sense of self and her passion for music remains unwavering. In the vibrant tapestry of hip-hop, Maiya the Don’s emergence serves as a vibrant thread, weaving together a narrative of unity, camaraderie, and collective triumph.

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