GIG REVIEW: Mykki Blanco 15/05/2013

Anyone familiar with the New New York hip hop scene, the most prolific since the 1980’s some say, ‘golden days’ of hip hop, now speak of the new talent emerging. From the urban gritty eastern spit of Action Bronson, to the ‘Beast Coast’ Collective of Brooklyn fantastic four, Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era, The Underachievers, Flatbush Zombies and loosely affiliated ASAP Mob headed by global pretty boy flaka ASAP Rocky. Adding to this group, it would be hard not to argue Mykki Blanco deserves to be amongst the players.

NYC based Mykki is an enigma figure, unique in that from out of the streets of New York and quite possibly the whole of the hip hop scene, there is no like her. She is the alter ego of one Michael Quattlebaum, indeed a poet and performance artist, in the small group of openly gay rappers, also including Le1f (song ‘fuckin the dj’ featuring Le1f both as contributor and producer) and…..and her ability to freestyle with such power, force and potency.

Ever since 2012 hype has surrounded her. Blanco has built up an already extensive repertoire and heavy mixtape, collaborating with many established names including Flosstradamus and Sinden to name but a few. Like an angry wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing, Blanco has eaten up, chewed and swallowed every opportunity, her lyrics devouring like a lamb to the slaughter. Cutting teeth on tour under Sacramento noise terrorists Death Grips gave her a taste for blood, now Mykki Blanco, unbelievably on the strength of one mixtape, is currently spreading the message on her ‘Initiation’ World Tour. The Betty Rubble EP out in less than a week, MB brought her show to the UK, fresh from a show with New York primetime boys TV on the Radio at said band’s curated ATP festival, Mykki brought her intimate show to Scotland, one day and one year to the day the first music video dropped, Join My Militia (Nas Gave Me A Perm) a packed out dirty basement in a faraway land were lacing up the big black boots and standing for orders from General GI Jane.

The dirty basement in Glasgow seems even more dirtier tonight for Militia maestra Mykki Blanco, as a pre-pre warm up DJ tested out the sound and maybe the crowds patience with Mykki Blanco’s ‘Wavvy’ adding to the anticipation or a WTF ironic statement. Like wearing the band t shirt to the gig, just seems kind of weird. A trap remix of Eve, Ruff Ryder’s female flag bearer’s ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’ blasted out as drunk as fuck girls and boys enjoyed the 2 for 1 cocktails. Cries half an hour later than scheduled of “he’s not even here yet” came, La Blanca Elvis hadn’t left the building; she was not even in the fucking building. This was soon swept away as tour DJ and slinky haired sleuth DJ Open1one, opening up the cans of red stripe, and bringing out the G PEN. The pen shaped looking electric cigarette/joint a staple of other New York freshman Action Bronson. Mr Open1one a can of whoop-ass didn’t seem to be the only one in the crowd with a jazz pen, as a puff puff give pass round had everyone on ‘Let Me Blow Ya mind’ blissfulness.

Blanco soon appeared and after a short hello got everybody bouncing along to first song ‘Haze.Boogie.Life’. The Mykki Mantra with its bouncy ball beat and lyrical address “DJ, DJ, prime club minister, play my track cos the beat is sinister” a fine intro to get everyone turned up. Impossible to take your eyes off for a second, Mykki arrived in her Alice Glass black haired bob of a wig and leather stomp. Slaying it and feeling right, gyrating, soldiering, and soaking with sweat the girl gave it her all and the crowd responded, the cats were out to play tonight. Blanco the 6 foot tall supermodel, as a stagewoman is truly devastating and needs to be seen to believed, imagine a club scene in the ‘Fifth Element’ and centre stage Mykki Blanco mixed with a stomping Daryl Hannah in the film ‘Attack of the 50ft Woman’ and GG Allin spittin shit and not actually spittin shit, all guzzled down with an under the counter cocktail of sweary ‘Death Grips’ MC Ride chest beating demonic put downs, bravura and showomanlike power. Lyrically spellbounding and production on top of a frightening stage performance and it’s hard not be perplexed.

A brief pause and rendition of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and ‘Kingpinning’ rolled out to knock everyone 7 and 10 split strike out. Sounding like entering the Haunted House of Horror only discovering it’s 5am and your jumped on an illegal warehouse rave played over a Purity Ring brain resonating repetitive in a good way pounding dead Atari/trap/skiffle minimal beat, with drops and bombs such as “my dick stutter like Danny Glover”, its nothing short of fucking sensational, soon Blanco will be spitting gold over our empire it must seem only a matter of, one world tour at a time. Next up ‘Riot’, sounding like a demonic Method Man ‘Judgement Day’ era beat over “fucking this club up” lyrics, fucking it up he definitely was indeed. Whether it was engaging the crowded basement believers by jumping in the crowd, or hiding away behind the velvet curtains, to speaker climbing and mike stand assisted sex simulating to simulating crucifixion, this had it all. Marilyn Monroe singing, stripping, to even a whole song screamed in Latin in British boy Sinden produced title track of EP ‘The Initiation’, bringing a performance art feeling to tonight. Songs seemingly cooked up bubble, bubble hoil and trubble with witchy chanting into the air with help from producers Nightfeelings not sounding too far away from local gods Rustie and HudMo. More highlights of ‘Join My Militia (Nas Gave me a Perm)’ and ‘Wavvy’ closed out with latter spitting about self-confessed ‘mothafuckin rookie of the year’ and strongest song of the night as she showered herself in beer, coming back out for a final encore. Mykki Blanco killed it.



WRITTEN BY: Michael Williams