Princess Loko, aka Andrea Summers, the pioneering Memphis rapper, has died at the age of 40. Summers’ cause of death has not been made public.
Summers’ cousin was among the legions of Princess Loko’s fans who paid tribute to the artist on Facebook. One Twitter tribute to Summers read, “Rest In Peace Princess Loko!! One of the best out of Memphis and one of the best female rappers. Saddened by this one.” Another Twitter tribute read, “Princess Loko was a god damn firecracker. That woman could f***ing rap her ass off like nobody’s business. It was incredible hearing her.”
Summers Grew Up Across the Street From Tommy Wright III
Summers was a native of the Blackhaven neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee. Summers is well known for her collaborations with fellow Memphis legend Tommy Wright III and the Manson Family during the 1990s. Summers and Wright grew up across the street from each other in Blackhaven. An online profile says that Wright would sneak over to Summers’ home with recording equipment to lay down songs in her bedroom. Summers was one of two women in the Memphis rap collective, Ten Wanted Men. The other was La Chat, aka Chastity Daniels.
Summers’ Debut Album Was Released in January 2012
According to Summers’ Last.fm biography, Summers “split with Tommy in the late 90s.” That profile says that Summers’ debut album, Long Ovadue, was released in January 2012. A bio from that time says that Summers “parted ways” with Wright’s label, Street Smart, in 2003. Summers signed for Hy Lyfe Inc.
Despite the split from Wright, the pair performed together in December 2016.
One review of Loko’s track, “Loko-4-Real,” read in part:
Loko effortlessly switches between choral chanting and versatile verse science, the samples crowd cheers speaking to the stadium-sized beat that crumbles beneath her.
She doesn’t even really start ‘rapping’ in the non-repetitive sense until close to the second minute and trust when I say you won’t even notice.
Summers Helped to Inspire a Fashion Collection in 2014
In May 2014, fashion designer Isabel SK released a collection based on Tennessee hip-hop music. Isabel SK told Vice that part of that collection was a skirt with hand-painted Summers and Tommy Wright III lyrics. Isabel SK said:
The handprinting on the skirt that says ’45 in my pantyline,’ we sat for hours painting it. I knew I wanted to make a schoolgirl skirt because I love that look.
I wear a lot myself and go to Goodwill and chop them off. I was listening to the Princess Loko and Tommy Wright III song where she goes ‘Blow away your brains with this 45 in my pantyline,’ and I thought that’s the hardest line for any female to say.
It’s so badass. And I wanted to put it on a skirt. Then I have the jeans that say ‘On da creep’ on the side which is a reference to Tommy Wright III who always said he was on the creep at night.