New York rapper Michael Quattlebaum Jr., aka Mykki Blanco, is as much a performance artist as a musician.
A published poet and art school dropout, Quattlebaum’s alter ego Blanco is inspired by teenage girls and drag queens — mixing the right-now youth culture of Rihanna, the decadent gutter of the New York art world, queercore and Riot Grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna.
The result is something almost entirely unclassifiable, like a bombastic street poet performing on a subway platform accompanied by lo-fi boombox beats — you’re not sure what it is you’re watching, but you can’t look away.
On tracks like “Angggry Byrdz” and “Feeling Special,” from 2015 album Betty Rubble: The Initiation, Blanco’s sound is reminiscent of music producer and rapper Le1f.
Blanco’s track “Vienna” best typifies the sound. Over a pulsing, minimalist techno breakbeat that recalls legendary New York band Suicide, Blanco half raps, half recites a lurid tale of excess and debauchery.
“I got into Vienna from Copenhagan,” Blanco raps, “and was pleasantly surprised at how unamused the Viennese were by the six-two black glamazon that is the American rapping sensation: Mykki Blanco.”
“I got loaded in Vienna,” he continues, “Boy, I was a mess, I got loaded in Vienna deep down in the discotheque.”
Violence, Georion and MAC Music join Mykki Blanco 9 pm Friday, March 13, at the Campbell Club, 1670 Alder St.; $3-$5 suggested donation. All ages. — William Kennedy