Backxwash Album Wins 2020 Polaris Music Prize


Montreal-based rapper Backxwash was named the winner of the 2020 Polaris Music Prize on Monday night for her album God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It.

The 29-year-old, who came to Canada from Zambia at 17, is the first Black transgender woman to win the prestigious award, which honours the best Canadian album released in the year that ended May 31, 2020. 

“It's trippy. It's awesome,” Backxwash told reporters after her win. “It’s symbolic because this is the most myself that I've been ever since I've started… it's very symbolic of the world just telling me to be myself.

“I'm still shocked at it because I have so many self-esteem issues so it's hard to know if people actually like the work.”

Backxwash, whose real name is Ashanti Mutinta, receives $50,000 and each of the nine finalists – including Caribou, Kaytranada and Jessie Reyez – gets $3,000.

God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It is described as hip hop-meets-metal.

“The most important thing is to make the music that you want to make and I felt like I was making the music that I want to make,” Backxwash said after learning of her win, “and that’s how it came out.”