Backxwash has won the prestigious 2020 Polaris Music Prize for her metal-infused hip-hop album, God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It. The award is presented annually to the best Canadian album, as decided by a jury of music journalists and broadcasters.
The Montreal-based, Zambia-born rapper had some steep competition this year, beating out records from Jessie Reyez (Before Love Came to Kill Us), Kaytranada (Bubba), Lido Pimienta (Miss Colombia), and more. Backxwash, whose real name is Ashanti Mutinta, also makes history as the first Black transgender woman to take home the grand prize in the award’s 15-year run. Prize winners receive $50,000 CAD.
In an interview with Complex Canada last month, Backxwash noted that while she’s gained a following among metal heads and experimental rap fans around the world, she’s felt largely ignored by Quebec’s hip-hop scene.