Let me tell you ’bout pride, the struggle to survive, living everyday with our lovin’ under fire. Questioning the ways that you self identify, but who you choose to date isn’t ever on your mind. But people so fascinated, they passive hating, they all repeat the rhetoric like a class they’re taking.”
Since posting a clip of the video on Twitter, it’s been re-tweeted more than 20,000 times and liked almost 45,000 times.
The newest arrival is the spitfire Niña Dioz, a rapper who hails from Monterey, Mexico. She just moved to the US and released a hit music video for her song Dale.
However, although she now lives in LA, her heart belongs to Mexico. She holds the notable, and perhaps dangerous, honor of being Mexico’s first openly lesbian rapper.
When she was a child, her inspiration came from many different sources. She sat in front of MTV for hours at a time, watching everything from Beasty Boys to Missy Elliot to the Fugees to TLC.
She said in a recent interview, “It really blew my mind!” One of the most awe-inspiring experiences was when her friend brought a Dr. Dre album back from the US in 2001. When she wasn’t marveling at the marijuana leave on the cover, which she called “artwork,” she was listening to Metallica, Madonna, Cypress Hill and Nirvana.
When she entered the rap scene on her own terms, she didn’t face much blowback or bullying for being a woman, but her sexuality made men uneasy. Men felt territorial about a queer person encroaching on their heterosexual machismo culture. That’s why Dioz is Mexico’s first rapper, male or female, to be openly gay.
Since coming out, Dioz feels more open about herself and more determined to create safe spaces for people like her. “Where I’m from,” she says, “women are getting killed just because they’re women. It’s necessary to keep fighting for equality, and I can use my music as a tool.”
She has some advice for young women hoping to follow in her footsteps. This could apply to any queer woman trying to break into the arts:
Do the music (or art) that is real to you.
Be unafraid of being different.
Don’t worry about what other people say.
Dream big and remember that everything is possible.
If you love it enough, it will become a necessity.
While she’s in the US, Dioz will be touring, so catch her at a concert hall near you. Get connected with her music here.
That’s the description of the hot new music video Who Dat? from queer rap duo HYM and Kalypxo, who are self-described “young ambitious humyns intent on changing the music industry.”
HYM is unabashedly queer and gender non-conforming, while Kalypxo is a fierce feminist full of self-assurance. Together they make queer, alt-punk rap that challenges gender norms, heterosexuality and everything you thought you knew about hip-hop.
Kalypxo takes her name from Calypso of Homer’s The Odyssey. In The Odyssey, Calypso is a nymph who dwells on the island of Ogygia and falls in love with hero Odysseus. Calypso held Odysseus captive for years until Zeus eventually intervened. According to Posture Mag, this story represents the inextricability of pain and pleasure.
These two themes are vital to Kalypxo’s work, which addresses love, power and the struggles of being a black woman today.
HYM’s name comes from the genderqueer Powerpuff Girls villain who wore stilettos and make-up. While Powerpuff Girls has been called a sucker punch to transgender women, HYM has found empowerment through the androgynous character. HYM replaced the “I” in “him” with a “Y” in order to give the name “a more feminine feel.”‘
Kalypxo and HYM teamed up in order to challenge the largely masculine, largely heterosexual, largely cisgender hip-hop industry. HYM says,
It’s time for the industry to have more openly gay people and more women in the spotlight. I feel like it’s time to understand that ‘gay rappers’ and ‘female rappers’ are just rappers.”
Together, they aim to bring complex lyricism back to music and revive the feel of the old school ’80s and ’90s music. They spend hours poring over each lyric and every detail of their music videos. Says HYM,
We dissect everything. We want to evolve and create.”
For queer-positive, gender-bending hip hop, check out the official Who Datvideo.
However, beyond her music, Young M.A was also making waves in the industry by succeeding as an openly lesbian rapper in the male-dominated world of hip hop.
In an interview with The Fader, Young M.A revealed that growing up in New York helped her come to terms with her sexuality.
Life is too short. I need to just be myself, express myself.
In New York City, it’s popular. I used to think to myself, Man, there’s a lot of gay people out here. And it had me comfortable, it was like, I can be myself! I used to still try to hide it, until it was really overwhelming — there were just too much girls attracted to me!”
She also shared that she hopes that while she’s comfortable being open about her sexuality, she doesn’t want it to pigeonhole her as an artist, preferring instead that people focus on her music and how it makes them feel.
I hear from all different people, not just people like me, or lesbians. It be straight people, it be grown men, it be grown women, people that have been sick or depressed that say, ‘Oh, you made me want to go do what I want to do for myself and chase my dreams.’ That’s my purpose.
… If I change people’s lives, that’s all that matters to me,” she says. “I don’t want to be the first ‘dyke rapper,’ ‘aggressive rapper,’ you know what I mean? I don’t care for that.”
I rep the Iroquois nations / For the next seven generations – Dio Ganhdih
Dio Ganhdih’s Indigenous Lyricist is an anthem for aboriginal artists.
This Native American artist is taking the music scene by storm. She got her start as a preteen by writing lyrics in her journal, and really took off when she began freestyling in college. She completed a course called Intro to Hip-Hop: A Philosophical Discourse and got an A+ in freestyle and battle rap.
That was the moment when she switched from writing poetry to writing lyrics.
Dio’s identity is a complicated one. She was born on Haudenosaunee Territory in Upstate New York on a reservation on the Onodaga Nation, which is a major nation of the Iroquois Confederacy.
However, her father is Mohawk and her mother is Cherokee and Armenian. Despite her Eastern European heritage, she identifies most strongly with her indigenous roots.
Dio’s popularity skyrocketed after she released Pussy Vortex, a song about unhealthy relationships and the celebration of queer sexuality. The otherworldly song is both syrupy sweet and endlessly transcendent.
Through music, Dio hopes to rewrite the narrative of Native Americans. She told Bitch Media,
The narrative I want to re-write and gain control of is, one, we [Native Americans] are not extinct, and two, we exist in many forms. Through my lyricism and performance, my artistry creates a new story of what indigenous folk can be and do (which is anything!). My narrative decolonizes by celebrating my heritage while still proclaiming my individuality. But that’s just my narrative; obviously I cannot speak for all natives.”
She’s passionate about decolonization and does so by working with other indigenous activist-musicians, such as Chhoti Maa, who describes herself as a migrant, artist and witch. Dio loves working with her because when they team up,
You can expect a fuck ton of indigenous pride, community building, decolonizing everything from sex to gender to food, sharing of medicines and a supreme collection of feminine energies.”
“When you’re tired of your man, give me a call,” raps hip hop’s hottest new star, Young M.A, in her breakout hit OOOUUU.
In between shots of Hennessy, she rhymes about oral sex, throws money in the air and gobbles Chinese food.
It’s not hard to see why women, gay and straight, have found Young M.A irresistible. The young stud rapper rocks long, silky braids and spits rhymes harder than many of her male contemporaries. “Yeah, I’m pretty, but I’m loco,” she says with a cocky grin.
From the OOOUUU video alone, you can tell that she’s genuine. The video is rough and low-budget. There are no special effects. The first fifteen seconds chronicle Young M.A’s pregame with an entourage of studs, a rare occurrence in rap videos where women are always the objects, never the subjects. As soon as the video starts, it’s obvious that you’re not at some flashy party that Young M.A staged just to look rich.
No, you’re hanging out with her crew on a regular Friday night – if you’ve ever drunk too much alcohol and bragged about your romantic exploits, you’ll feel right at home in this song.
Young M.A has been rapping for years, but in recent months OOOUUU has skyrocketed off the charts, and received remixes from stars such as Nicki Minaj and 50 Cent. The single has been streamed on Spotify over 37 million times alone.
She’s the first openly lesbian rapper to cross over to mainstream music in recent years.
Angel Haze (pansexual) and Azealia Banks (bisexual) have had mild mainstream success; their respective hit singles, “Battle Cry” and “212” have had 8.6 million and 62 million Spotify streams. However, both women present as feminine. Young M.A is anything but. “Mama wondered why I never liked to wear a skirt,” she raps in “Quiet Storm.”
The OOOUUU video features her wearing a snapback, rocking sweatpants and flashing a grill. She’s not going to conform to gender roles, and she’s proud of that.
Despite her reluctance to be the face of the LGBT hip-hop movement, it’s hard to deny that she’s paving the way for other queer rappers. We can only hope that Young M.A capitalizes on the success of OOOUUU in order to keep making music about the black lesbian experience.
In a new video interview, Somaya Reece of the original Love & Hip Hop clan, and rapper Lady Luck talk about their relationship.
In the post,Reece explains that her relationship with Lady Luck is her first public same-sex relationship, but she has been in several long-term, same-sex relationships in the past.
Both women told DJ Vlad that they do not like labeling their sexuality as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, but there was no denying that they’re happy in their current situation.
During the conversation, Somaya also spoke about dating men, in particular, the late actor Paul Walker. She explained that they first met when William Morris Talent Agency was managing her, and she thought he was cute, so she decided to talk to him.
Afterward, Lady Luck said she couldn’t be mad at Somaya for dating Paul, whom she also thinks is cute.
Angel Haze is no stranger to controversy. The openly pansexual rapper has gotten into Twitter spats with fellow MC Azealia Banks (which Haze has since apologised for), they’ve hit back at the media for referring to them and their girlfriend Ireland Baldwin as “gal pals” (when they are anything but platonic) and Haze has even took their own record label on after they delayed their album release by several months. Now, Haze is using their outspoken nature to help inspire and uplift in a new MTV show called Truce.
In Truce, Haze partners up with Nev Schulman who some may know as one half of the team behind Catfish (the show which looks to expose whether online relationships are real or fake). The duo take on tough situations and act as mediators to help sort people’s problems out. The idea of course, is that not only will these people be able to see a opposing viewpoint to their own, but that viewers at home will learn something new too.
That was the case in a recent episode where Haze met a woman named Chiquina who was having difficulty accepting her bisexual daughter Briyonza’s sexuality. Chiquina told Haze that:
“You wanna know my thinking of guys dating guys and becoming gay? I think they got molested when they were younger…Girls, I think they just try stuff and I’m not gonna sit there and say if I let a girl lick on me that I wouldn’t like it. I mean, I know how I like to be licked. You know what I mean? So, this is how people get hooked on drugs: they try things.”
While Chiquina is certainly not alone in her opinion (unfortunately), her homophobic views meant that her relationship with her daughter was suffering. So, after a meeting with Chiquina, Briyonza and Briyonza’s girlfriend Advani turned sour, the rapper took Chiquina aside and explained that they haven’t spoken to their mother in 5 years due to similar views.
While Chiquina initially told Haze that they should be ashamed of themselves for not talking to their mother, Haze responded with “No, she ought to be ashamed of herself for choosing that over her own child” and it was then that Chiquina saw the error in her ways. Later in the episode Chiquina tells Briyonza that “You should always be happy. Even if you think it’s not going to make me happy…well, you should care, but your happiness is more important.”
With Angel’s help, Chiquina (and Briyonza’s grandmother) said that they accepted Briyonza and that their “hearts were touched”. Hopefully viewers at home felt the same way too.
Cyndi Lauper’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ charity concert has helped gain awareness for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth homelessness as well as raise money for the singer’s True Colors Fund.
This year her star-studded concert will be held at New York City’s Beacon Theatre and co-hosted by Lauper and Rosie O’Donnell.
“For the fourth year in a row, Home for the Holidays will feature an amazing night of performances in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth experiencing homelessness.
I am astounded by the artists who continue to give of their time and talent each and every year and I am so excited by the line-up who are joining us in December. The concert plays such an important role in supporting the True Colors Fund’s work to ensure that no young person is homeless again because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
What is interesting about this news piece, is 50 Cent set to perform – a rapper who has not always been a fan of the LGBT community.
Back in 2005, 50 Cent said:
“Being gay isn’t cool – it’s not what the music is based on. There’s always been conflict at the centre of hip-hop, because it’s all about which guy has the competitive edge, and you can’t be that aggressive if you’re gay.”
In 2010, 50 Cent he also suggested that men who do not sleep with women should “just kill” themselves. It is not clear whether he was referring to gay men or straight men who don’t like oral sex.
However, he says President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality as an influence on his own opinion, saying:
“Obama is for same-sex marriage. If the president is saying that, then who am I to go the other way?”
He has also attempted to make amends for his anti-gay remarks. In an interview with Perez Hilton, 50 Cent spoke about growing up with a lesbian mother and how he came to understand her sexuality.
The rapper said:
“My mom was a lesbian. Yeah, she liked women. My whole childhood was like that. It’s two different things too – from a female perspective, when you see two females together, you think, oh, they’re just girlfriends, they’re close. But, with my mom, the male was missing. When you’re that small you don’t see things that would indicate there are other things going on. [My] grandmother would say things like ‘That kiss was little different from all the other kisses you saw’.”
Other stars set to play at the concert include Laverne Cox, Salt-n-Pepa, Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines and Sufjan Stevens.
The media and the LGBT community seem to be very smitten with Angel Haze and Ireland Baldwin new found relationship.
However, they aren’t the only ones. According to Ireland Baldwin’s cousin, Alaia Baldwin (daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin), the Baldwin clan are cool with the relationship and welcoming to Haze – taking time out to get to know her.
In a recent interview with independent.ie, Alaia praised Ireland – the daughter of Hollywood stars Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger – for the relationship and admitted she has ”grown a lot as a person” over the past 12 months.
‘‘I’m really proud of her. The past year through everything she’s been doing with modelling and relationships, she’s grown a lot as a person. Having supportive friends is something wonderful, but being able to rely on your family, even if it’s only some of your family, is really important. I have some very special cousins who have been the fiercest allies in my family, especially as I have no siblings.”
Yeah to acceptance.
Ireland and Angel first sparked romance rumours when they posted pictures on Instagram. The rapper then confirmed their relationship in June, but admitted some people were still struggling to accept them as a couple.
“There are still certain limitations for women. If we were two guys, it’d be insane, negatively insane with the attention. With us it’s all being very positive, the media are like, ‘Oh they’re so cute, they’re best friends.’
An interracial gay couple, I mean that’s just weird for America right now. We f**k and friends don’t f**k. I have never f**ked one of my friends. Once I see you in that way, it doesn’t happen. But we do f**k and it’s crazy and that’s weird to say because I think about it in terms of an audience reading it and them thinking, ‘What the hell?’ But it happens.”
Rapper Angel Haze told the UK paper the Independent she is often annoyed that coverage of her relationship with Baldwin often refers to the couple as “best friends”. Ireland Baldwin is the golden haired daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin.
I don’t know if there’s like some confirm or deny thing with the way relationships work in the media, but everyone just calls us best friends, best-friends for life, like we’re just friends hanging out. It’s funny. It’s rad in some ways, it sucks in others.”
The rapper has accused the press of being uncomfortable with her interracial lesbian relationship with Ireland Baldwin.
There are still certain limitations for women. If we were two guys, it’d be insane, negatively insane with the attention. With us it’s all being very positive, the media are like, ‘Oh they’re so cute, they’re best friends’. An interracial gay couple, I mean that’s just weird for America right now. We f**k and friends don’t f**k. I have never f**ked one of my friends. Once I see you in that way, it doesn’t happen. But we do f**k and it’s crazy and that’s weird to say because I think about it in terms of an audience reading it and them thinking, ‘What the hell?’ But it happens.”
Kitsch Mix, is a rapidly growing social platform developed to promote the diverse creative ventures of women in the LGBT community. It aims to chronicle and celebrate the stories, people and voices that are emerging and inspiring all of us, ranging in topics from pop culture and style to politics and news, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ community.
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