She's not afraid to be original, and create music outside the box. She can sing, rap, make beats, and rock a crowd. She's what I call a triple threat.”

— Darren Vegas, Death Row Records Head Producer

Empress Kush is fearless with her female powered lyrics. She's transparent, real and has her own sound and style. Her verses have an organic 90's vibe that make you want to get up and dance!”

— Rachele Royale, Artist

I love her music... She's the female version of Eminem of our generation.”

— Karla Cordova, Host of Kah De Life

Empress Kush

Empress Kush is an alter ego of American rapper, singer, songwriter and producer Christel South; now produced by Darren Vegas (the Head Producer at Death Row Records).  Her unique style and standout personality attract fans from around the world.

Empress Kush began playing live music around Los Angeles starting in 2003, posting her earliest releases on Myspace under her birth name, Christel South. 

She first experimented with producing music in 2008, developing her unique sound in Garageband on a tiny Macbook laptop.  The music video for her first rap song, “Holla 818” (2009), went viral on YouTube and remains a cult classic among Christel South fans to this day. 

The character Empress Kush was created for the “OH NO, THE 5-0’s COMIN!” music video (2010), but Christel South would go on to release a 3-song EP called Rock Hard Juicy (2011) before transitioning into using Empress Kush as a stage name with her debut release “We Smoke The Blunts” (2014). 

An album called "Crazy Bitch" that was due to be released in 2017 was shelved when the producer threatened to murder Empress Kush.  Not to be deterred, the Empress continued writing and producing, looking for the next opportunity. 

2018 saw the release of two more self-produced Empress Kush songs, “High & Dry” and “4:20”, before Darren Vegas entered the scene and revamped her style with their first track together, “Ghetto Boujee” featuring rapper $horty.  “Go Hard” and “Live It Up” dropped in 2019. 

At this point Empress Kush was having an identity crisis and went back to releasing music as Christel South in 2020, dropping “Push You Away” and “The Rona”.  After working through some intense personal issues, she came to the conclusion that she should stick with Empress Kush.  Inspiration struck in December 2021 and she began recording a new album with Darren Vegas, due out in early 2022.  Stay tuned!


Press Photos


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    4:20 3:48
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