KC Ortiz Credit: Jon Wes

Rapper KC Ortiz grew up in Mobile, Alabama, and fell in love with Chicago after her drag mother showed her a video of local female-impersonation pageant Miss Continental. As she told Windy City Times last year, “I hadn’t transitioned at that time and didn’t know that world existed. When I saw that video, I wanted to go so bad. I visited Chicago and knew I had to move here.” Since relocating to the city in 2006, after a stint in the air force, she’s become ingrained in a hip-hop circle that overlaps with the city’s LGBTQ+ community; celebrated queer Chicago collective and label Futurehood released her great 2016 debut, Beach Street. On her new self-released EP, The Campground, Ortiz’s blunt verses are simultaneously voluptuous and tough as nails, and her southern twang gives even the severest beats some swing. She drops meaty, assertive rhymes with a triumphant punch, and her frisky performances can make any instrumental sound better.  v