Interviews

Mykki Blanco: Gender-fluid rapper takes her brand of art-rap to Singapore

By Anjali RaguramanEvents - 25 September 2013 12:07 PM | Updated 9:45 AM

Mykki Blanco: Gender-fluid rapper takes her brand of art-rap to Singapore

Mykki Blanco has been dubbed rap's latest phenomenon and she is certainly not your average rapper.

The 26-year-old was born Michael Quattlebaum Jr in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was raised on the streets of Harlem, New York City.

She is no A$AP Rocky or Juelz Santana, even if the transgender's many talents include poetry-writing and acting.

The entertainer channels her sparky spirit through her outrageous fashion sense, complete with wigs and all. Just like her transvestite persona, her experimental hip-hop is polarising, eccentric, and she is known to put on quite a show.

With the release of mixtape 'Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss' last year, first single 'Wavvy' proved to be her breakthrough. Ace producers Flosstradamus, Brenmar and Le1f also feature on the project.

Here's 'Wavvy', to provide an indication of what could be in store for her audience in Singapore.

 

From the stream of consciousness on her Twitter feed to her cross-dressing fabulousness on instagram, you quickly get the feeling that you’re not dealing with someone who is run-of-the-mill. 

We speak to the rapper before her Thursday showcase at Home Club. 

Who is Mykki Blanco? How did you arrive at that name?

Mykki Blanco is a direct reference to famous rapper Lil' Kim. On Lil' Kim's mixtapes, she had a character "Kimmy Blanco", so the name comes from Kim. I also loved the idea of a feminine name on a punk guy, much like the name "Dee Dee Ramone" of the Ramones.

You’ve been labelled multi-gendered, queer, transgender, cross-dresser – do you identify with any of these labels at all? 

I'm a cross-dresser, and I'm a transvestite. I mean, those are just labels, but they are a part of my personality. I just enjoy being pretty when I'm pretty! Who doesn't love the idea of inner beauty made outward?

You’ve been called the hip-hop version of Marilyn Manson, but how would you describe yourself?

That is a huge compliment as I was a big Manson fan growing up, but I'm Mykki Blanco. Manson did a lot of s*** but I do a lot of s*** Manson never did, but I'm new, ya know? I've only been in this business one year.

When did you decide that you wanted to perform as a career?

I was a child actor, I've been performing my entire life and it just comes naturally to me to be in front of large crowds, the attention, the love, the intensity. It feeds back into my energy and it creates this wonderful organic space between me and my audience.
 
Who are your biggest musical influences?

Kathleen Hanna, Missy Elliot, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Eminem, Wu Tang Clan. 

Describe your music in three words.

Wild. Trippy. Sexy.

What was it like working with big names such as Flosstradamus and Le1f on your mixtape?

Flosstradamus I've known since I was 19, so working with them was awesome. It was a fun mixtape track and it flowed effortlessly.  Le1f is a very good friend of mine and an excellent producer, so working with him was just like working with family. 

What can we expect from your live show?

The most unique hip-hop experience you have ever seen in your life! 

Are you excited about coming to Singapore?

I am more excited than you could ever believe! The people of Singapore, I am with you!

Mykki Blanco | Date: 26 September 2013| Time: 8pm-11pm| Venue: Home Club, 20 Upper Circular Road, The Riverwalk | Pre-sale tickets at $38 (available at http://www.riottix.com/EVENT/732), $48 at the door