Feminist artist Boyfriend blends rap music and burlesque dancing
Wearing your grandma’s lingerie and hair rollers, rapper Boyfriend wants to talk to you about the birds, the bees, and everything in between.
Boyfriend uses music as her way of exploring social issues that her conservative Southern upbringing left her to discover on her own, but the sex-positive activist does so much more than just spit rhymes.
Her live show, which she calls “Rap Cabaret,” is an outrageous Burlesque performance showcasing a landscape that is equal parts fishnets, crowd surfing, and witty cultural commentary.
Check out our Q&A with Boyfriend below to learn more about her upcoming EP titled “NEXT” that includes a total banger featuring Cindy Wilson of the B-52s.
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Can you tell us a little bit about Rap Cabaret?
Rap Cabaret is the term I use to describe my live show, and approach to music overall. I am rapping, yes, but the aesthetic and format of it all is very much Cabaret-inspired: variety, commentary, great costumes & martinis.
What’s your favorite tour you’ve been on so far?
Probably touring with Big Freedia, because the energy was always so high! There’s a great ritual element to bounce — worshipping and celebrating the booty, as we should.
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If you could collab with anyone, who would it be?
You’re definitely known for writing about gender and sex issues in your songs. What are some messages you’re trying to get across to listeners?
I just hope folks engage more actively with their environments – listen closer to what’s being said in their favorite song, think about why they shave their legs and examine themselves during that last glass of wine. I’m not on a mission to change anyone – evangelicals of all types are a bit icky to me, but I do think that actively engaging with life and all its stimuli can only serve to benefit us all.
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What are your tour essentials?
All sorts of wipes! Face wipes! Hand wipes! Booty wipes! Individually packaged is ideal, although horrible for our home planet. It’s a guilty pleasure.
What have you been working on recently?
I spent the past year working on my “NEXT EP” with Pablo Dylan and several New Orleans-based musicians. Those four songs are special to me, but I also have several more up my sleeve.
How is the NEXT EP different from music you’ve made before?
This EP takes the cabaret quality that’s always been a part of my live show and brings it to my recorded music. There’s variety there – I sing, I holler, I rap. It’s an opening up from the more abrasive niche I was in before.
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Your wardrobe is a work of art. Where does the inspo come from?
My mom, aunts, and grandma. At least half of what I wear is straight from their closet. Also, shapewear. I live for shapewear.
How would you describe your pre-show beauty routine?
A long bath, cucumber, coconut, and rose. I use Smoke Perfume’s Rose Oil, it’s the ultimate pampering, and I always keep a bottle of lavender water (that my mom makes) in my purse for a pre-show calming spritz.
What’s your favorite social media outlet? What’s your least favorite?
I love Instagram. Probably because even though words are my instrument, at the end of the day I’m a visual person, that’s why the theatrical elements of my show are so important to me. And I’m pretty over Facebook, I never leave Facebook feeling better than when I first visited.
What are your thoughts about social media regarding feminism?
It’s great! At some level, social media doesn’t make us better, it just makes us louder, the good and the bad, but I still love how easy it is for people to find content that speaks to/celebrates them!
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You recently started a line of underwear that was featured in High Snobiety. Can you tell us a little about that?
Undies For A Cause! Every month I release a new design and each design is linked to a nonprofit or cause. January’s “Period Panty” is my best seller and benefits Planned Parenthood. This month I’ve released the “NUNYA BUSINESS” Panty to benefit the Trans Assistance Project. Check it out here.
West Coast or East Coast?
Tupac or Biggie?
Heels or sneakers?
Where can we find your music?
Anywhere you listen! Or RapCabaret.com.
Check out the NEXT EP:
Photo/Styling by Jacqueline Kulla