Live Reviews — October 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm

LIVE REVIEW: Mykki Blanco in Singapore

by

mykki blanco

Mykki Blanco
September 26, 2013
Home Club, Singapore
Reviewed by: Erny Melissa

 

“It was like Pandora’s box opened,” Mykki Blanco describes her debut into the downtown New York City art scene as a poet, writer and performance artist. The female alter ego of transgender rapper Michael David Quattlebaum Jr. made it big in the alternative scene in the summer of 2010 with her fierce rap skills—not in passé late-nineties way. 

The underground phenomena’s fan base grew steadily over time, and the admiring crowd includes the formidable Azealia Banks who announced that Blanco’s Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss was her favourite mixtape of 2012. The California-born musician also received multiple praises for her live performances from publications such as Spin Magazine and The New York Times. 

In the first stop of her Asian tour, Blanco performed an exclusive live set in Singapore at Home Club on September 26, with opening act RAH (Darker than Wax). Touring with Blanco is 22-year-old Larry, her personal DJ, who opened the set with Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” (an obvious choice) and hip hop/grime anthems before Blanco joined him onstage.

Stylistically, Blanco has been described as an apt offspring for her outer-borough predecessors, like she was raised on a strict diet of Wu Wear with accessories inspired by the Harajuku girls. This time, she completed her plaid schoolgirl skirt drag outfit with patent gloves and a ponytail wig. Her sexual ambivalence and flamboyant outfits are anything but a stage ploy, as Blanco gets the crowd moving and swaying to post-apocalyptic industrial tracks such as “Join My Militia”, a desolate gothic track with a video that The Guardian describes as a “ritualistic beach nightmare video featured the semi-erotic use of a dead octopus” (yikes!). Some other popular tracks played were “Wavvy” and “Angggry Byrdsz”. 

During the crowd favourite “Kingpinning”, she danced and strutted across the stage with the mic on the stomach before screaming, “I just gave birth to the devil’s baby!” She swung back and forth between being a vogue pouting diva in the spotlight: crawling on the floor, mic-in-mouth, in a zombie-like routine.

In a tweet, Blanco once claimed that her aggressive stage persona came from “years of being yelled and [getting] abused on the street for being gay.” She then linked a copy of Audre Lorde’s The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action, underlining the phrase: “Learning to put fear in perspective gave me great strength.”

The self-proclaimed “Black Sailormoon” kept us entertained and definitely impressed us with her emotive verses and incredible high energy throughout the set. The performance pulled the audience through a surreal experience and psychosis that Mykki Blanco’s words and works aim to evoke, both as a rapper and performance artist. “A good Mykki Blanco song is hard-hitting, combative and aggressive but also the lyricism is psychedelic and trippy and spaced out,” she mentions in an interview with Dummy Mag. That is exactly what she achieved in this sassy, glam rock-inspired show.

 

Watch Mykki Blanco’s full live performance earlier this year in Villette Sonique, Paris here.

Mykki Blanco Villette

 

Erny Melissa is a marketing manager. In her free time she traces poetry on paper & travels to music festivals.