By Kim Reynolds, Contributor
[Dogfood Music Group; 2016]
Key Tracks: “I’m in a Mood,” “Loner,” “Hideaway”
Mykki Blanco is a name that has been uttered with excitement, intrigue, and great frequency. Mykki is a gender non-conforming and Riot Grrrl inspired queer musician whose music is full of urgency, rage, vulnerability, and braggadocio. She rose to prominence after both her publishing a book of poetry in 2011 and her second mixtape Gay Dog Food, released in 2013.
Mykki navigates through party songs, to R&B pop-infused tracks with two time featured Chicago vocalist Jean Deaux, to hardcore braggadocio raps, to spoken word poetry about wanting to deeply know love but also needing to loves oneself first.
The intro track, “I’m in a Mood,” sets the tone for the album, an electronically infused and dark soundscape. This track demonstrates her skills as a melodic rapper as well as her ability to articulate a hazy feeling in a polished manner.
The third track, “High School Never Ends,” is rather self explanatory in content, however this song is accompanied by a very poignant music video that can best be described as a queer Romeo and Juliet. Mykki stars in the video as it follows a childhood romance to a dangerous adulthood, but the greatest takeaway is depiction of violent persecution of queer people, something trans women of color are too familiar with.
The last highlight track is “Hideaway.” Here, Mykki demonstrates her hardcore and braggadocio style. She raps about a salacious love affair she has with a drug kingpin. However, following this track is “Interlude,” in which Mykki bares her soul in poetry saying “In my soul I have an idea of love. Want to be in love want to know intimacy / But perhaps I’m going to have to love myself first. Really learn to respect myself. Really learn to value myself, treat myself good.”
Overall, the album has a great amount of diversity in lyrical content and music. Mykki’s music is important because she both understands the platform she has to speak truth to power about LGBT oppression, but also simply speaks her truth which normalizes her voice, visibility, and experience as a queer, gender non-confirming, HIV positive artist in rap.