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Mykki Blanco

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Mykki Blanco
Mykki Blanco performing at Rhinoceropolis
Mykki Blanco in 2014
Background information
Birth name Michael Quattlebaum Jr.
Born (1986-04-02) April 2, 1986 (age 29)[1]
Orange County, California
Genres Alternative hip hop, hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper
Instruments Vocals
Labels UNO
Website MykkiBlancoWorld

Michael David Quattlebaum Jr. (born April 2, 1986), better known by his stage name Mykki Blanco, is an American rapper, performance artist, poet and activist.

Early life[edit]

Quattlebaum was born in Orange County, California. His father, Michael Quattlerbaum Sr., was an IT specialist before becoming a psychic. His mother, Deborah Butler, was a paralegal at the North Carolina Patent and Trademark Office. His father's side is African-American Jewish.[2] Quattlebaum's parents divorced when he was 2 years old.[3] As a child, he lived in San Mateo County, California, near his paternal grandparents, before moving to Raleigh, North Carolina.[4]

At the age of 15, Quattlebaum won an Indies Spirit Award for the performance collective he founded, Paint In Consciousness Experimental Theater, in Raleigh.[5][6]

When Quattlebaum was 16, he ran away from home before moving to New York City. He then spent time in California,[7] before winning a full scholarship to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but dropped out of college after two semesters in 2006.[3] He also briefly attended Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.[6]

Blanco has used different pronouns throughout his career.[8]

Career[edit]

Quattlebaum's book of poetry From the Silence of Duchamp to the Noise of Boys was published on OHWOW's imprint on June 17, 2011.[3][4]

In 2012, Blanco made his debut with Mykki Blanco and the Mutant Angels EP.[9] Then in November 2012, Blanco released the mixtape Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss.[10] The mixtape was produced by Brenmar, Flosstradamus, Gobby, Le1f, Matrixxman, and Sinden.[7][11] He makes an appearance in the album Junto by Basement Jaxx.

In 2013, Blanco dropped his second EP Betty Rubble: The Initiation.[9] May 2014 saw the release of the Spring / Summer 2014 EP,[12] followed by his second mixtape Gay Dog Food in October.[13] Gay Dog Food features a spoken word track with Kathleen Hanna, and contributions from Cities Aviv, Cakes Da Killa, and more.[13]

Blanco's debut album Michael is due in Spring 2015.[13]

Artistry[edit]

Quattlebaum's persona Mykki Blanco began as a teenage girl character for a YouTube video in 2010, but evolved into a musical and performance art piece. Blanco's name is inspired by Lil' Kim's alter ego Kimmy Blanco.[14] His influences include Lil' Kim, GG Allin, Jean Cocteau, Kathleen Hanna, Lauryn Hill, Rihanna, Marilyn Manson and Anaïs Nin.[6][15] He is also inspired by the riot grrrl movement and queercore, namely the director Bruce LaBruce and the drag queen Vaginal Davis.[3] [16]

Blanco has been called one of hip hop’s queer pioneers, although he does not identify with the label of "gay rap" or "queer rap".[17] Blanco also disagrees with those who portray him as a drag artist, saying "You can't tag me as the rapping transvestite. I never vogued in my life. I'm from a punk and Riot Grrrl background."[17] Blanco describes himself as transgender and multi-gendered.[4][17]

Personal life[edit]

In June 2015, Blanco revealed via his Facebook page that he has been HIV positive since 2011.[8][18]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Michael (2015)[19]

Extended plays[edit]

Mixtapes[edit]

Singles[edit]

Song Year Album
"Head Is a Stone" 2012 Mykki Blanco & the Mutant Angels
"Wavvy" Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss

Music videos[edit]

Song Year Director
"Join My Militia" 2012 Mitch Moore[20]
"Head Is a Stone" Nick Hooker[21]
"Wavvy" Francesco Carrozzini[22]
"Haze.Boogie.Life" Danny Sangra[23]
"Kingpinning" 2013 Clarence Fuller[24]
"Feeling Special" Danny Sangra[25]
"The Initiation" Ninian Doff[26]
"She Gutta" 2014 Jude MC[27]

Published works[edit]

  • From the Silence of Duchamp to the Noise of Boys (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael David Quattlebaum". California Birth Index. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ Schulman, Michael. "From Runaway Teenager to Hip-Hop Queen". http://www.nytimes.com/. The New York Times Company. 
  3. ^ a b c d Sauers, Jenna (10 April 2013). "The Making of Mykki Blanco". The Village Voice. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Chapman, Alex. "The Multiplicities of Mykki Blanco". Interview. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Hornburg, Mark. "Michael Quattlebaum". Indy Week. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Schulman, Michael (17 July 2012). "The Evolution of Michael Quattlebaum Jr., a k a Mykki Blanco". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "The Come Up". XXL. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Flanagan, Jack. "Queer artist Mykki Blanco reveals he is HIV positive". Gay Star News. 
  9. ^ a b "The Wind Up Series of After-Hours Events Presents Performance by Mykki Blanco" (PDF). thejewishmuseum.org. The Jewish Museum. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  10. ^ Battan, Carrie (16 November 2012). "Mykki Blanco: Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Battan, Carrie (9 November 2012). "Listen to Mykki Blanco's New Cosmic Angel: Illuminati Prince/ss Mixtape". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Minsker, Evan. "Mykki Blanco Shares "She Gutta" Video, Releases New EP, Announces Tour". http://pitchfork.com/. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c Camp, Zoe. "Mykki Blanco Releases Gay Dog Food Mixtape". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media, Inc. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  14. ^ "New World Order - Mykki Blanco". Clash. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  15. ^ Empire, Kitty (3 February 2013). "Mykki Blanco - review". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  16. ^ 12/02/2013 (2013-02-12). "Mykki Blanco | This is not Queer Rap | Music | New sounds, behind the scenes interviews, playlists | District MTV UK". Districtmtv.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  17. ^ a b c Moa, Johnsson. "Werkin’ girls: a critical viewing of femininity constructions in contemporary rap" (PDF). http://www.diva-portal.org/. Sodertorns University. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  18. ^ Allen, Samantha (16 June 2015). "Mykki Blanco, The Rapper Challenges Rap’s HIV Stigma". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Twitter / MykkiBlanco: The debut album from rapper". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  20. ^ Chapman, Alex. "Exclusie Video Premiere: 'Join My Militia,' Mykki Blanco". Interview. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Catarinella, Alex (23 July 2012). "Backstage Pass: Mykki Blanco". Elle. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  22. ^ Michelson, Noah (24 August 2012). "Transgender Rapper Mykki Blanco Premieres 'Wavvy' Video". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  23. ^ Friedlander, Emilie (12 October 2012). "Video: Mykki Blanco, "Haze.Boogie.Life"". The Fader. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  24. ^ Zeichner, Naomi (25 January 2013). "Video: Mykki Blanco, "Kingpinning" (Prod. by Brenmar)". The Fader. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  25. ^ Hogan, Marc (18 April 2013). "Watch Mykki Blanco's Noir-Nodding 'Feeling Special' Video". SPIN. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  26. ^ Battan, Carrie (5 June 2013). "Video: Mykki Blanco: "The Initiation"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  27. ^ Minsker, Evan (28 May 2014). "Mykki Blanco Shares "She Gutta" Music Video, Releases New EP, Announces Tour". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 

External links[edit]