Mykki Blanco is just being herself but when she first emerged on the scene in 2011 audiences were quick to pigeonhole her into categories, namely as either a ‘gay rapper’ or ‘drag queen.’ But it’s not as simple as that. The American artist is a “multi-gendered, multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary artist” who is consistently pushing both musical and aesthetic boundaries. Fast forward to the present and Mykki Blanco has returned after a hiatus with a dark and controversial new music video for her latest single, “Coke White, Starlight.” In the new seven-minute-plus visual interpretation, the viewer is taken on a dark, twisted and beautifully cinematic rollercoaster of imagery. From getting drugged in a decrepit hotel room, to undergoing a transformation in an eerie forest, to stabbing an octopus, director Tristan Patterson has constructed a picture of Mykki’s psyche that is at times captivating and in other instances quite distressing.
However, whether you’re comfortable or not with the fluidity of Mykki Blanco, one thing is for sure: she is reshaping rap culture. Having faced years of reluctance from the music business to embrace her both professionally and personally, she was signed to !K7 Records earlier this year and admits that she is no longer concerned about seeking validation from the industry. You can read excerpts from the interview with the artist below, and head over to DAZED to read the full article.
What most inspires you to be creative?
It’s all I’m good at. I’ve had depressive moments in the four years that I’ve had the ‘Mykki Blanco’ career. There have been dark times, homophobia, but also my own self-doubt, being thrust into the spotlight and not being ready, having a platform but being extremely self-destructive. In the past year, I have really worked on my inner peace. It’s a lifelong thing for anybody, but I have tackled a demon or three so I’m good right now.
Why did you choose to shoot in Greece specifically?
What’s happening in America with the dismantling of white supremacy is one of the most important things to ever happen in American culture – it’s changing the course of history, but it is also exhausting and painful and abusive. You’re a black American and you feel like you’re escaping America and all of its ugliness, only to realise Europe has a refugee crisis teeming with xenophobia. This character wants to escape but has nothing – where can she/he go? Paris? London? Out of the question, too expensive.
This ‘other Mykki’ has to go where she can thrive. It’s akin to a very warped reality in which you’re only escaping yourself but also re-creating yourself in this other society that is financially crumbling (I mean that in a cinematic way, in the way the media portrays Greece). I personally do not feel Greek society is crumbling at all. If anything, it is thriving and it is going to be magical seeing what the new Greece becomes.