Mykki Blanco w/The GTWElectronic/DJ
In no other genre is the fixation on identity as pronounced as it is in hip-hop. For decades the genre has centered on tales of street life, and emcees who assume a persona are often viewed skeptically or outright disdainfully (looking at you, Rick Ross). That strict either/or dynamic seems to be crumbling at the moment, though. The rapper Michael Quattlebaum Jr. maximizes the power of role-playing when he becomes Mykki Blanco, his voguing, brash female alter ego who fits perfectly within hip-hop’s current amorphous landscape. And though it’s tempting to get excited about so-called “queer rap” as a balm for the genre’s notorious antagonism toward the gay community, the slippery slope of identity-as-distraction can have unintended consequences. Blanco and her peers, like the hotly tipped Le1F, should be respected first as artists — identity politics aside, both are incredibly compelling emcees — lest their movement be relegated to novelty status far too soon.
The High Watt
Show: 9:00 PM
18 and over