Chances are you a familiar with the name Mykki Blanco, already. Any queer kid out there should know their name already – if you don’t, it’s time to wake up kiddies! Class is in session, and Blanco is nothing short of a person who is equally as inspiring as they are talented and noteworthy.
As a queer kid myself, something I identify with is separating my queerness in different personas. In my case, this was a time in my life that I look back on with weary eyes. It was a defense mechanism for me.
Mykki Blanco is more than a performer – she is an inspiration to any person who struggles with their persona or identity – for whatever reason they do, personally.
Mykki Blanco – the performance persona of Michael Quattlebaum Jr. was born in New York.
Initially developed as a video-art character, Quattlebaum Jr. brought miss Blanco to the live stage. Since 2011, a vividly idiosyncratic hip-hop discography, laced with acid-house beats and a riot grrrl style has been built. As a queer performer with some layers — Blanco is the feminine persona of the cis- and gay-identified Quattlebaum — her music tends toward the impolite, the messy, and the unabashedly alive.
In 2015, Mykki Blanco opened up a line of communication in a way that no other Hip-Hop artist has ever done or done since. Candidly speaking with the utmost transparency, Blanco disclosed her POZ status and was later featured in an in-depth interview with HIV Plus Magazine.
After a lifetime of transparency, the thought of staying in a closet about his HIV status, when he was perceived as so out and proud, was untenable. Moreover, he felt like it violated a trust with his fans.
“How shitty and how deceived would they feel if, 20 years from now, they found out I was HIV-positive but I was too afraid of the stigma to come out about it?” he asks. “What kind of fraud would I have been to all the people that supported me? All the people that are trans and positive? Who are gay and positive? Who have supported me and bought my music and come to my shows? I couldn’t be honest with myself enough, to love myself enough, [so] that self-love could then be encouragement or inspiration to them? No, no, no. Honestly, truthfully, I think I have too much integrity for that.” – taken from HIV Plus Magazine exclusive interview.
The Stunt Queen Tour – with Mykki Blanco & Cakes Da Killa
September 2016 saw the release of Mykki Blanco’s debut studio album – Mykki.
The album is a non-stop trip through heavy topics with heated musicality and productions from Woodkid and Jeremiah Meece.
Amongst the album’s 13 tracks, the gender-fluid rapper sashays between distress and empowerment. Between drug use and the normative desires – intimacy and monogamous love. Between the naked Snapchatting and soul-baring, Mykki was one of the years’ most riveting and grabbing musical self-portraits.
Mykki Blanco returns to the Montreal stage this month on their Stunt Queen Tour.
This is one for the books, Montreal. Let’s come together with Mykki Blanco and celebrate open transparency, gender-fluidity and awareness, love and some damn outstanding musical talent.