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Hey Mykki: Mykki Blanco

The gender-queer rapper quit music last year at the height of his buzz. But now he's back to lay himself bare on his debut album

  • Charlie Case
  • 20 October 2016
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This was an energy that Mykki gained long ago. Crashing into New York’s legendary Don Hill club in 2010 and screaming into the microphone under a bed of industrial noise, Michael was setting the groundwork for what would later become Mykki Blanco. Having started making music at 25, Mykki, now 30 years old, could be deemed a late starter in the music world. After publishing a poetry book in 2011 (From The Silence Of Duchamp To The Noise Of Boys), he began experimenting with music, forming the no wave-inspired (a short-lived avant-garde music scene from New York City in the late 70s) No Fear project to perform his poems. This, over time, morphed into what became Mykki Blanco, combining it with a video art project on social media in which Michael would dress in drag to transform into a teenage wannabe rapper. “It was just another random idea I had one day – to have a teenage girl want to become a famous female rapper – and then it spiralled,” he says.

It’s a spiral that has now led to his debut record. Having released two mixtapes prior to his retreat from music, the speed-induced, manic ‘Cosmic Angel’ and the noisy ‘Gay Dog Food’ – both now deemed a little too conceptual by their creator – on his debut proper he has trimmed the fat and made a streamlined album with vocal versatility and lyrical depth. The record’s 13 tracks, made with the help of Woodkid and Jeremiah Meece (of The-Drum), together fall just short of 35-minute mark, giving listeners a pure slice of glisteningly melodic, electronic-influenced hip hop that feels closer to a true Mykki sound than ever before. “The music on this album, this vibe – this is how I am as Michael, as Mykki. This is how I am.”

Mykki’s dream to travel and write has now been postponed. For now, he is solely focused on his music. “I know it can’t last forever. One day I’m going to get old. One day it’s going to be different. But right now, especially after last year going through my emo shit, I just really want to go hard and I really want to push myself for the next couple of years.” After the defeated place he found himself in last year, it’s understandable to see why he’s lost none of that energy when up on stage. Faced with his own mortality, Mykki is ready throw his all into everything.

'Mykki' is out now on !K7 imprint Dogfood Music

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