Mykki Blanco continues to evolve. Post-gender and art rapper Mykki Blanco was originally created by her male alias Michael David Quattlebaum Jr. for a Haul video performance. Mykki Blanco, in turn, then founded Riot Grrrl Rap. In it, musical retro influences merge with themes of fashion, street crime and drugs, love and digital life. Quattlebaum’s own poetry, painting, preoccupation with communist literature and his past as a drop-out, run-away and go-go boy became conceptually part of an emotionally direct but at the same time abstractly futuristic double identity of a Mykki Blanco.
After several EPs, the debut album Mykki, produced by Woodkid and Jeremiah Meece, was released in 2016 – glamorous art-pop for freaks from the streets. Mykki’s early sound blended rave, trap, grunge and punk influences into a swirling pool of experimental hip-hop that celebrated queer and trans experiences. Nearly five years later, the next official release came in 2021 with “Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep,” a collaboration with producer and multi-instrumentalist FaltyDL that allowed Mykki to create new soundscapes with lush live instrumentation.
Now “Stay Close To Music” is released, an album that continues the path taken. Opener “Pink Diamond Bezel” thrives on flutes and distorted guitars; “Steps” offers the swell of an orchestra and the calming presence of understated, flowing piano; “You Will Find It” features Devendr Barnhart, with woodwinds melding with funky synth bass and trap beats; “Your Feminism Is Not My Feminism,” built around the warm warble of a Rhodes piano, strikes back against the weaponization of trans identities; and “Your Life Was A Gift,” a collaboration with Diana Gordon and Buck, fuses new wave guitars and trip-hop beats. Everyone is excited to see how Mykki Blanco and band bring the metamorphosis of an art person to the stage.