Want to have your mind blown this Monday morning? Check out Mykki Blanco, PQ’s pick for today’s New Music Monday.
“Standing a cool six foot three in boots, Michael David Quattlebaum Jr. is the male counterpart to Mykki Blanco’s frenetic feminine fury,” explains Io Tillett Wright of the New York Times. “A poet, writer, performance artist and social media prophet, Quattlebaum is a throwback to the rawness and creativity of a long-dead New York — one in which any random hustle was better than a day job, and compromising vision was not an option.”
Raised in California and North Carolina, Quattlebaum moved to New York in their teens and through their engagement in the performance art scene began to embrace a trans identity that transgressed the boundary of gender. In a truly marvelous conversation with Alex Chapman of Interview Magazine (no really, go read the whole thing, it’s lovely), Blanco explains what her coming out as a transperson meant for her creativity, her sexuality, and her soul:
It was like a flowering. In my heart and my mind, that two-spirit side of myself—all of my feminine energy and power—flowered, and that’s a really mystical and ancient concept that’s mirrored in many cultures, both indigenous western and eastern. I shouldn’t oversimplify it and say just because I received positive sexual attention from men I continue to cross-dress—it was literally all the chakras aligning, and that sexual energy is a part of life.
Blanco’s resultant creative output is thrilling in its innovation, incorporating hip-hop, gothy psychedelic rock, spoken word, and the sort of raw artistry that transcends genre barriers. “Blanco’s lyrics drip with wit and style,” notes Wright, “betraying a well-read mind, and his prowess in stilettos gives Sissy Bounce a run for its money as hip-hop’s most controversial new boundary smasher.” It simply has to be heard to be appreciated — so, check out clips of “Wavvy” (potentially NSFW due to drug usage), “Join My Militia (Nas Gave Me a Perm),” and “Cosmic Angel.” Pretty cool, isn’t it?