Mykki Blanco rips up every hip hop rulebook and ‘doesn’t give a fuck what you think’. Watch Mykki Blanco perform Fendi Band, I’m In A Mood and Hideaway from his mesmerizing new album Mykki released in September 2016.
Heavily inspired by the Riot grrl movement and homocore, Blanco is considered one of hip-hop’s queer pioneers alongside Le1f and Zebra Katz, although he chooses not to identify with the label ‘gay rap’ or as a “drag artist”. Instead, Mykki questions our own insecure need to label and categorize him in order to absorb his elusive and gritty music. The art of Blanco is that he is who he is – volatile, fluid and compelling. What you see is what you get.
Blanco is not a persona or a gimmick either, Blanco is an in-your-face artist, an activist and an advocate for LGBT rights. Blanco is not here to make you pop bottles of Crystal in a club, because his life is not about that kind of success, it’s about pain and acceptance. Mykki is fearless and fascinating.
This emotional honesty which oozes out of his new album began in 2015 when he revealed on Facebook that he has been HIV positive since 2011. Believing this would kill his career, Mykki was, in fact, propelled into the limelight thanks to overwhelming support from fans and co-artists (like Woodkid, who features on the single High School Never Ends).
This very freeing move has led Mykki to speak out about multiple issues such as the inadequacy of the American health and political system. He especially advocates the life-changing power of eating well, stating in an interview with Fader, “I believe in wisdom, you don’t just want to survive, you want to live, you want to thrive”. But how can people thrive when the American healthcare system leaves people behind Mykki wonders. He is also very aware of the fact that it is easier to be healthy and vegan in a wealthy environment. He targets the government for maintaining and even encouraging nutritional racism and classism, citing that places like Detroit, New Orleans don’t even have proper grocery stores in some neighborhoods.
By embracing his queerness and taking a huge jab at the thinly veiled illusion of the American dream, Mykki has rapidly become one of the most confrontational, passionate and riveting rappers of his generation. Don’t lose sight of him because Blanco bites where it hurts.