As if she couldn’t get any better, this Lupita Nyong’o rapping video is here to prove her literal perfection. Last night, the 36-year-old Kenyan-Mexican actress paid a visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she talked about all things from halloween plans to her new children’s book, Sulwe (which means “star” in her mother tongue, Luo,) set to release next week on October 15. Yet somewhere during all that, Lupita broke out “Troublemaker”: her freestyling, rapper alter-ego. And let me tell you: “Troublemaker” is trouble—she could put some of today’s rappers out of business.
The Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon, opened Lupita’s freestyling segment by reminding us all that this newly-minted author has been on a serious success journey. Among winning an oscar, starring in major blockbuster films like Black Panther and Star Wars, and getting nominated for a Tony award—Lupita was also name-dropped in Beyonce’s song, “Brown Skin Girl,” and Jay Z’s “We Made It.” Talk about fans in high places.
“I love the Carters and they seem to love me. I’m not mad,” the actress said. She couldn’t bear to say whose song—Jay Z’s or Beyonce’s—she liked better. “I couldn’t choose between the two!”
This was prime opportunity for Jimmy Fallon to grill her about her rapping skills. “I’ve heard you rap before,” he said, “What do you rap under? A different name, right?” Lupita couldn’t help but open up about her alter-ego, “Troublemaker.”
She explained, “The thing about Troublemaker is [that] I was baptized Troublemaker by Common, so I feel like it’s legit.” When Jimmy Fallon asked that she perform for the audience, she offered, “It’s something I do in a car!” She also added that she’d need sunglasses and a microphone—which, of course—were readily supplied to her. (Cue The Roots’ ba dum tss!) She had no choice but to flex.
“Troublemaker in the building, hey/ I feel some bars coming, bars coming,” she rapped. “Much love to the Carters/ Hov and Beyoncé/ They always big me up in a big way/ I’m a brown skin girl so that means a lot/ Hov said we made it, got an Oscar for my props/ Much love to Jimmy and The Roots ’cause they hot/ Wrote a book about self-love, Sulwe’s ’bout to drop October 15th/ On time, to come/ Better go to commercial or these bars won’t stop.” OK. Stunt on ’em, Lupita!