Ashnikko’s new mixtape, Demidevil, brings her trademark bad bitch attitude while also delving into softer styles. Although promising, if you expect all hard-hitters, most songs won’t deliver. However, the less trap-y tracks still possess strength in their subtlety.
The South Carolina-born artist has risen in popularity over the last two years, especially with the help of Tik Tok using her tracks for trends. She’s known for her long, bright blue hair, grotesque & sexual imagery, and hard beats. She’s previously described her music as “angry, punk, hip-hop, sad-girl-feminist, bubblegum, poo-poo music” in an interview with NME. A line from her biggest hit so far, “Daisy”, explains her perfectly: “I’m crazy but you like that.”
Three tracks on the Demidevil tape have been out since earlier in 2020: “Daisy,” “Cry (featuring Grimes),” and “Clitoris! The Musical.” “Daisy” and “Cry” are some of her best known songs. New songs like “Toxic,” “Deal With It (featuring Kelis),” and “Slumber Party (featuring Princess Nokia)” successfully follow Ashnikko’s usual persona as a sexually confident girl who recognizes her own power.
While “L8r Boi” and “Little Boy” also express similar attitudes in their lyrics, the actual music styles differ. Rather than being hard, deep bass PC songs, they’re chill beats. “L8r Boi” is interpolating—or re-recording the melody of—Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi. Instead of treating the boy as the missed-out-on prize, Ashnikko twists the lyrics into a woman-empowering song that acknowledges that maybe the boy was not such a big deal, and the girl is probably better off without him. These two songs have less ‘oomph’ than her previous songs, but are still undeniably Ashnikko.
“Good While It Lasted” is certainly the song in Ashnikko’s discography that differs most from her other work. Not only is it softer, but the lyrics also express her own mistakes. Thematically, it is not about confidence or the problems of an ex. In it, she admits her own immaturity and errors. It asks forgiveness, closure, and peace. The song still carries strength, but this strength comes from her vulnerability, not her ability to destroy you.
“Drunk With My Friends” is the weak link in the mixtape. It is a fine song, but ‘fine’ is not Ashnikko’s style. Her songs are typically full of powerful verses, rhymes, and beats. While there are some good lines, such as “I’m a dеvil with the halo / Hit it for a minute, then I dip likе mayo (Then I dip, dip, dip, dip),” the lyrics and the beat just don’t hit as hard as Ashnikko has shown she can. However, Demidevil is definitely hinting at some new avenues she might venture into in the future—an exciting possibility.
The closing song of the mixtape, “Clitoris! The Musical,” is actually a skit from a Youtube video Ashnikko posted in February of 2020, Ash Wednesday, commemorating the artist’s birthday. It comedically laments boys not being able to locate the clitoris. It’s a quick switch from the previous ‘serious song’, “Good While It Lasted,” and only serves to highlight the many-sided talent she has in store for us.
Overall, Demidevil is a fun debut mixtape that includes some true bangers as well as some less strong deviations from the artist’s usual style. However, it’s a very promising start to Ashnikko’s further artistic development. Hopefully Ashnikko’s next project will be a full-on demon of hell.