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It finally seems like the Queer Hip Hop scene has had enough of keeping things on the downlow. We’ve recently seen Mykki Blanco, Nicky Da B and Zebra Katz hit the headlines while our friends Big Dipper, AB Soto and Rica Shay continue to tour sell-out venues across the US. (When are you heading this way, guys?)
QBoy was the UK’s first openly-out MC and has been making music since 2001. He was also a founder of the genre ‘homo hop.’ He released his debut LP, Moxie, in 2009, and a Remix Edition in 2011. Right now he’s fronting two London club nights. There’s PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH, 80s/90s RnB/Hip Hop and also GULLY, Hardcore Rap - both happening next week. QBoy also tells us he’s working on something special with Larry T. Let’s see what else he has to say…
Which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle did you want to be?
Turtles were not my era. I wanted to be He-Man…or She-Ra…or her winged unicorn Swift Wind…but mostly Cheetara from Thundercats ;-)
What’s your favourite Tina Turner lyric?
"A church house, gin house, School house outhouse, On highway number nineteen, The people keep the city clean" because as someone said to me once, you can never be stuck on what to write a song about, just look at Nut Bush City Limits. It’s a song about a place with simple lyrics explaining it’s contents…and it became a hit song.
It’s our first date. Where are we going?
Date? Oh, I’m far too efficient for dates. We staying at home and getting to the point.
Which group were you in at High School?
I guess you didn’t see the Channel 4 documentary I did about being bullied at school - I was in a group all on my own (wha wha wha)
If you got arrested for stalking anyone who would it most likely be?
I never get caught stalking. Far too deft on my feet. Oh by the way, I got those naked Bieber shots you asked for.
Who is your favourite supermodel?
Beth Ditto - she’s unique.
What is the most expensive item of clothing in your wardrobe?
My trainers. Some kind of multi-coloured Nike affair.
Which song do you wish you could hear again for the first time?
The intro to Lil’ Kim’s debut HARD CORE album. The first time around, being so young and used to more commercial pop rap, it was quite shocking and I almost took the CD back to the shop! Of course, I didn’t, it stayed in the CD player for months. Deep inside I love a slut.
Would you sleep with Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock?
Finally, tell us a secret…
It wouldn’t be a secret then would it?
A few weeks ago we featured our interview with upcoming MC Rica Shay. He’s just written us this exclusive piece about the state of the Gay Hip-Hop World today. See what he has to say and then check out some of the performers below…
"It’s really exciting how queer hip-hop has taken off in the past year. I feel like we’re an army of boys in booty shorts and girls in baggy t-shirts changing the heteronormative thoughts of today’s society. The queer community has been a huge inspiration when it comes to my lyrical content. I’ve been influenced by; drag queens, gay activists, the ballroom scene, leather daddies, and club kids. It’s nice see other artists that have been effected in the same way doing their thing. Personally I’ve had my eye on AB Soto, he’s a cute little thing that puts on one fierce high-energy show. I was also really impressed with Le1f’s performance in his video for “Wut”. The song is incredibly catchy and Le1f was on point with his rhymes, moves, and fashions. I look forward to see who else comes out of the woodwork in the years to come.”
Rikki Crowley, aka Rica Shay, is part of the queer hip hop movement that’s currently taking over the US along with AB Soto, Sissy Nobby, Zebra Katz and of course, “Beyonce’s BFF”, Cazwell.
Although Rica Shay is fashionably late to the party, he’s made a big splash with his summer hit ‘Summer Realness’ alongside Big Dipper and there’s lots more to come….
What’s ‘Summertime Realness’ about?
I was thinking of past summers spent wrangling friends together for bbq’s and days at the beach. Short shorts, subway stations that feel like the inside of an oven, meeting sexy tourists and cutting all my t-shirts into tank tops…
Did you style the video?
I was the head stylist but I had a lot of help from the cast. I was lucky to have such a stylish group of kids to work with. Shay, one of the drag queens in the video, and Big Dipper were a lot of help…
AB Soto wants to bring colours, class and cuntpower to music. The word ‘banjee’ may have been tossed around before but it’s taken AB to dress it up in some homemade threads and make it his bitch. He’s just released his mix tape FAG OUT Vol 1 - available as a free download here and is currently touring the world, having just played East Bloc, Bootylicious and Dalston Superstore in London.
The new video for ‘THAT’S FASHiONZ’ drops 13th September.
How would you explain ‘banjee realness’?
BANJEE is a vibe. BANJEE is a strong & independent street attitude. REALNESS is about being the real deal.