Linqua Franqa: Of Hip Hop, Politics And Life

Jun 19, 2018

You probably saw the photo. 

A woman with her right hand raised in a fist, her left on the autobiography of Malcolm X. That was Mariah Parker. 

On her Bandcamp artists page, Parker calls herself a linguist by day and a lunatic lady rapper by night. In fact, she's a doctoral candidate in linguistics.

The "lunatic lady rapper"? That's her Linqua Franqa persona: a woman who holds down the top seat in the Athens hip hop scene. Her songs are about grassroots politics, feminism and the proverbial keepin' it real, though in her case that means honing your wounds into weapons.

Parker says all of that informs her third job as a recently elected member of the Athens-Clarke County commissioner. That's why she swore to serve on Malcolm X's autobiography.

In this video, you'll hear Parker in three songs ("The Con and the Can," "11 Names" and "Up Close") and hear her talk about how hip hop and politics inform each other.