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Transgender rap star gets raw on Dundas West

Posted by Guest Contributor / November 19, 2012

Mykki BlancoSporting a tight weave and knee-high combat boots Harlem's transgender rapper Mykki Blanco grabbed the mike at Bambi's for her second performance of the night after her opening set for Death Grips at Wrongbar. This was an afterparty that was announced just a few days earlier, but the crowd was lined up and ready for the self-proclaimed "rookie of the year."

Blanco's short set featured songs from her new mixtape Cosmic-Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss. The highlight was watching Blanco crawl the walls thru a never-ending acappella freestyle that had her clawing the air and sent her eyes rolling to the back of the skull. It all ended with the Brenmar produced single Wavvy. The crowd was hanging on her every word, every twitch of a wrist--they were living.

Blanco's performance was a hip-hop exorcism: a little grungy, unapologetically raw and a maybe more than a little fucked up.

What more could you ask for on a cold Sunday night on Dundas West?

Mykki BlancoWriting and photos by Alejandro J. Santiago who came for the music but whose real mission was to snap some shots of Ms. Mykki (she was more than willing). Check out the photos on his blog.



... / November 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm
Can you please change it to "transgender"?

"TransgenderED" is not a proper term. You can't be a verb and being trans is not an action.
Keith / November 20, 2012 at 08:15 am
Why, in this day and age and a city like Toronto, is there a need start the headline of this article with the sexual orientation of the artist? Is it a freak show? Is that at the top of the list why fans go to see Mykki?

Imagine headlines for other artists:
"Bisexual Madonna take to the stage at AC Centre"
"Gay Rufus Wainwright brings class act to Massey Hall"
"Heterosexual Billy Joel and Homosexual Elton John at Rogers Centre"

AJ / November 20, 2012 at 09:43 am
yeah I agree with the above commenter, plus more people would read this anyway if it just said Mykki Blanco.
wish i made it out to this
ugh. / November 20, 2012 at 09:43 am
um because visibility is important, that's why. i don't know what world you live in but in the one that i live in, gay/trans identities in the black community (particularly in hip hop) are woefully underepresented and are all too often silenced or victims of violence. straight white guys, privileged white gay men and straight women who "dabble" in lesbian imagery are not. you are the one who is equating the trans identity of this performer with being a freak, not the article. check your politics.
>>>>> replying to a comment from Keith / November 20, 2012 at 10:51 am
Billy Joel's Bisexual...just saying.
Keith replying to a comment from ugh. / November 20, 2012 at 07:37 pm
I think you missed the point of my post. I hardly isolated the transgender performer in any "freak"ish way since I followed up with the various headlines of how other performers' sexual orientation might appear similar to the headline of this particular article. I have no politics to check - this wasn't a political statement merely an editorial observation.
And BTW... I live in the world of one of the above minority groups you feel needs to be made more visible by labels than by talent alone.
Lilian replying to a comment from Keith / November 22, 2012 at 08:42 pm
Yeah, sorry, but no, "ugh" is 100% correct. Self-styled allies who arent even comfortable articulating what makes minorities...well, "minorities", dont make very good/effective allies when incidents of real oppression happen.

What you're doing is rather reminiscent of way too many ill-informed white progressives who 'white-wash' discussion of race with "Im colorblind!/"I dont see colour!" cliches.

Just as pretending that race doesnt exist never did racial minorities any favours; cis people pretending "not to see" trans persons' identities (let's call it "cis-washing") is condescending/ridiculous.

The very root of equity/equal treatment is being able to matter-of-factly acknowledge the existence of people who are clearly minorities, especially when they are under-represented or marginalized in certain narratives (music, scholarship, any given career sector, etc.).
wallasswells replying to a comment from Keith / November 26, 2012 at 01:48 pm
1. Transgender is not a sexual orientation. Your gender identity is entirely unrelated to who you're attracted to.

2. Madonna's not bisexual.

3. This performer's gender identity is relevant because of the scene she is in... when was the last time you saw someone transgender in the rap game? That's what I thought.
Kate replying to a comment from wallasswells / December 15, 2012 at 01:15 am
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