IGGY AZALEA: GOES FOR GLORY
CHALLENGING MASCULINE IDEALS
ON HIP-HOP CULTURE
S T H IG
L H G FEATURE HI
FEATURE ARTICLE: CHALLENGING MA SCULINE IDEAL S
FEATURE ARTICLE: IGGY AZALEA GOE S FOR GLORY
We take a look at the changing faces of hip-hop that are evolving the stereotypes:
She explains her struggle in the hip-hop industry as a white female rapper:
“There are too many cultural consumers who love rappers and who love blondes to keep a collision of the two from occurring, especially when the dominant hip-hop consumer is the young white suburban male.”
“I felt like they wanted me to fail and I thought, I'm not going to go anywhere. I'm going to get my glory. I'm going to get my shine.”
FEATURE ARTICLE: CHALLENGING MASCULINE IDEALS
FEATURE ARTICLE: IGGY AZALEA GOES FOR GLORY
6-9 BREAK DANCING
ART THE FEMALE BANKSY
ICON: BROOKE CANDI
HISTORY LADIES FIRST: WOMEN’S HIP-HOP MILESTONES
C I S MU ALBUM REVIEWS
RUNDOWN M.I.A. Matangi Interscope
By Will Hermes
Iggy Azalea Change Your Life Island Def Jam
By Monica Herrera scrubbed floors as T.I.’s 23-year-old protege tick et to Mi am i, a tee n to aff ord a pla ne les with her 2011 eventually shaking up rap circ answered doubts mixtape Ignorant Art, which could rhyme with about whether an Aussie girl boutin heels. This EP lines as pointed as her Lou s. “Change Your aims to conver t more skeptic -on-up hook and T.I. Life” offers a sturdy movin’ es dollars into the suppor t, and “Bounce” toss e glee. But it’s on nightclub air with Pitbull-esqu personal heft to the “Work” that Azalea adds chick on that ‘Pac underdog narrative: “White and my dre am s shi t/M y pas sio n wa s iro nic bshell-next-door were uncommon.” It’s a bom n. move that demands attentio
If Ma ya Aru lpra gas am has a per secu tion complex, she’s earned it. “Let you into Super Bow l/Yo u tried to stea l Mad onn a’s crow n/ What the fuck you on about?” she spits on “Bo om Skit ,” con jurin g her hate rs: gen eric raci sts, criti cal mag azin e pro filer s, and the NFL litig ator s repo rted ly suin g her for $1. 5 mil for her bird-flip during her 201 2 halftime performance with Madonna. It’s a telling moment on her four th LP, a mix tape -styl e mas h-up of political provocations, ripostes, toug h-gal love son gs, neo n DJ mem es and asswho opin g South Asian-spiced beats. Like Kan ye West, M.I. A. seem ingl y nee ds hate rs for fuel . On Matangi, her tank’s full. The standouts are rewinds: “Ba d Girls,” the Ara bic- flav ored club anth em from the 201 0 Vicki Leekx mixtape, and “Come Walk With Me,” a lover’s proposal teased last year in a video post, here reworked with echo es of her signature “Paper Planes.” It furthered the rumor Mat ang i wou ld be a “po sitiv e” LP, but eve n her bed roo m-R &B atte mpt s “Ex odu s” and “Se xod us” are skep tica l inte rrog atio ns. She shows little need to resolve contrad ictions or mak e her daz zlin g scra ps coh ere. But the magic is in the frisson. “Preach like a priest/I sing like a whore,” goes the quilt-like , Switchpro duc ed title trac k. And the con trad ictio ns kee p com ing.
. ERS FOR YOU.. T T E L O W T T O I’VE G
I S U ” F.U. R E H T O E H T D N A F S ONE I - MILEY CYRUS
Miley Cyrus Bangerz RCA Records
By Mikael Wood star’s four th “Bangerz, is the onetime Disney ter of her mas the as first her studio album, but already les sing lead two with own destiny and ter in eset pac a ” 1 No. and landing at No.2 w revie ing glow a in s write cci music,” Nick Catu , fresh ly utter also “It’s kly. Wee for Entertainment f proo and t, prin blue op hip-h a a pop blitz from king us. ... that Miley won’t settle for just shoc with hipnow t righ d tuate infa [S]he’s obviously exotic and new for e driv l etua hop and its perp and up king brea ut abo be may sounds. Bangerz e.” futur the for ates agit also it wilding out, but d at making “Cyrus at 20 is already an old han of calling nce erie exp the to records, she’s new since ect proj first her on her own shots, and ed rmin dete ars appe she se Mou exiting the House of e mor ty plen re’s The nse. lice to break in that from y awa es mov h whic erz, provocation on Bang Cyrus’ earlier the glossy electro-pop sound of nspired vibe. op-i hip-h ier, gritt a records toward e’s also “Do ... Yet for all the attitude here” ther roduced co-p jam club it-up My Thang,” a liveus isn’t Cyr that als reve gerz by will.i.am Ban te.” titilla to med ram prog just a twerk-bot
MUS TOUR DATES
Beyonce A self-described “modern-day feminist”,Knowles’ songs are often characterized by themes of love, relationships and monogamy, as well as female sexuality and empowerment. On stage, her dynamic, highly-choreographed performances have led to critics hailing her as one of the best entertainers in contemporary popular music.
Tour Dates 2013 - 2014 Wednesday Nov 06, 2013
Friday Dec 13, 2013
Adelaide Entertainment Centre Adelaide, Australia
United Center Chicago, IL
Friday Nov 08, 2013
Saturday Dec 14, 2013
Perth Arena Perth, Australia
Scottrade Center St Louis, MO
Saturday Nov 09, 2013
Monday Dec 16, 2013
Perth Arena Perth, Australia
Air Canada Centre Toronto, Canada
Saturday Nov 30, 2013
Wednesday Dec 18, 2013
Rogers Arena Vancouver, Canada
Verizon Center Washington, DC
Monday Dec 02, 2013
Thursday Dec 19, 2013
HP Pavilion San Jose, CA
Barclays Center New York, NY
Tuesday Dec 03, 2013
Friday Dec 20, 2013
Staples Center Los Angeles, CA
TD Garden (Fleet Center) Boston, MA
Friday Dec 06, 2013
Sunday Dec 22, 2013
MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas, NV
Barclays Center New York, NY
Saturday Dec 07, 2013 US Airways Center Phoenix, AZ
Monday Dec 09, 2013 American Airlines Center Dallas, TX
Tuesday Dec 10, 2013 Toyota Center Houston, TX
Thursday Dec 12, 2013 KFC YUM CENTER Louisville, KY
e n i l u c s a M l a e Id By Toura
is primarily a celebration of black masculinity. Sure, there have long been significant black female and white male figures, but the majority of the conversation in hip-hop is and has always been about the actions, thoughts, feelings and ethos of black men. But this hegemony cannot last forever. Eventually the throne will have to be shared. The world of hip-hop has some diversity: Eminem, Mac Miller and Nicki Minaj now; the Beastie Boys, Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott in the past. We have respected rappers of South Asian descent: M.I.A. and Heems from Das Racist. But what about the American white woman? Could she ever rock the mic for real?
The cosmology of American celebrity requires several blond white women be major planets at all times. From Marilyn Monroe to Madonna to Britney Spears to Paris Hilton to Lady Gaga, our culture refuses to allow a void in the job called America’s Favorite Blonde. (Some might say the woman currently holding that office is Beyoncé.) Given that cultural law, how long will it be until some blonde — or any white woman — rises to fame through hip -hop? I daresay it’s inescapable. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already. Well, it may happen soon. We now have a small movement of white female rappers who want to be taken seriously, including Iggy Azalea, Kreayshawn and K.Flay.
There are too many cultural consumers who love rappers and who love blondes to keep a collision of the two from occurring, especially when the dominant hip-hop consumer is the young white suburban male. Imagine if Pamela Anderson could flow, allowing him to get his hip-hop fix and his soft-core pornography fix at the same time. That would blow his mind.
As soon as white women start rhyming, no matter what they say, it’s seen as cute and comical, like a cat walking on its hind legs. Seeing them try to embody the attributes of hip-hop’s vision of black masculinity is a hysterical gender disjunction: they wear it as convincingly as a woman wearing her husband’s clothes.
There is nothing about the skills required to be an M.C. that makes it impossible for white women to rhyme. It’s not that their mouths can’t do it. The true barrier to entry is that there is an essence at the center of hip-hop that white women have an extraordinarily hard time exuding or even copying. For many Americans, black male rappers are entrancing because they give off a sense of black masculine power — that sense of strength, ego and menace that derives from being part of the street — or because of the seductive display of black male cool.
Even when a talented vocalist like Lykke Li tried to make Rick Ross’s song “Hustlin” her own, she simply could not rise to the level of the song. The sense of danger or cool that black male rappers manifest so easily is hard for white women to display. Of course that won’t stop those who want to rhyme from trying.
Black women and white men who have been successful in hip - hop have found ways to embody those senses and make them their own. But hip-hop coming from a white woman is almost always an immediate joke. Take Gwyneth Paltrow, for example, showing how much she loves hip-hop by earnestly rhyming the lyrics to N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton” on a British television show or Natalie Portman furiously spitting rhymes in gangsta-rap style on “Saturday Night Live.”
If a group of white teenage boys conspired to construct their dream white female rapper t hey might come up wit h I ggy A zale a, 21, a sex y rapper with long blond hair, a model’s enticing looks and the detached, hyperconfident air of a dominatrix. She has an aggressive vocal approach and a silky flow. There’s nothing cute or comical about her rhyming. She lives in Los Angeles and grew up in a tiny Australian town idolizing Tupac and Grace Kelly. Now she’s a highly sexual M.C. in the tradition of Lil’ Kim and Trina. If the white women of the world can possibly produce one superstar rapper, Iggy Azalea could be it.
MUS FEATUR ARTICL E E
The best song on her mixtape, “Ignorant Art,” is all about her sexual power. It’s title is unprintable. There’s an ominous tone to the song, as if she could kill you in bed or turn you into a hopeless addict. “Hook ’em like crack,” she rhymes. “After shock/Molten lava drop/This should be outlawed/ Call me Pac.” Linking her bedroom potency to the power of the most important name in hip-hop is a bold statement but a familiar gesture in modern hip-hop. The video features Iggy Azalea in yellow skin-tight, high-waist pants and high heels, flinging her ponytail and licking ice cream suggestively. It was shot in the same sort of South Central Los Angeles neighborhood we saw in the movie “Boyz N the Hood” and in Snoop Dogg videos, placing her in an area that is recognized by longtime hip - hop fans. She raps as she sits on a stoop and dances in front of an ice cream truck, surrounded by black people. The video begins with her eating breakfast as an older black woman watches. Although their relationship is not clear, all this proximity to blackness characterizes Iggy Azalea as a person who is no stranger to black culture and communities, suggesting it’s no anomaly for her to rock the mic. Strangely, for a video so overtly sexual, she spends a lot of time with a black boy, maybe 6 years old, sweetly draped on her back or playing at her feet or making sexually suggestive moves on a toy horse. Is she bad at baby-sitting or does he represent a man she’s been with and dominated so completely
she’s inf antilize d him? I ggy A zale a is unsigned, but she has high-powered management, so she won’t be for long. Expect a lot of noise to surround her 2012 debut album. Where Iggy Azalea works at establishing her hip-hop bona fides, Kreayshawn, a 21-yearold from Oakland, Calif., plays with hip-hop signifiers but sees no need to establish her cred. She has black men in her video for “Gucci Gucci” but spends most of it with her white female D.J., who oddly looks like her twin, at her side. The first time I watched “Gucci Gucci,” which has become an Internet
sensation with millions of views, my primary thought was “interloper.” Does she really understand or respect what hip -hop’s all about? I doubt it, but if her audience doesn’t, then it won’t hold her back.
and in her songs she repeatedly refers to women she loves as “bitch,” making certain we hear her doing what black rappers routinely do, using a pejorative slur in a transgressive way.
She rhymes, “I’m lookin’ like Madonna, but I’m flossin’ like Ivana,” tying herself to rich white women as well as childishly simple rhyme patterns. The song is about a rejection of label worship. She says she doesn’t wear Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi or Prada because everyone does, explaining that she’s liberated from the fashion establishment and able to create personal style without buying it from them. But in the video she hangs out on Rodeo Drive and at a party in a room at the Standard Hotel in Hollywood dancing in front of Warhol-print curtains. She wears a large Minnie Mouse-inspired bow on her head as well as the door-knocker earrings that were stylish decades ago in hip-hop, making her look like a retro caricature.
At one point in “Gucci, Gucci” she says, “I got the swag and it’s pumping out my ovaries,” which is intended to sound hard core but is kind of gross and self-satirical. She attended film school, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this were part of a guerilla documentary making fun of hip-hop.
The song basically attacks a central tenet of hip-hop: Many rappers embrace labelism as part of their celebration of upward mobility as well as a postmodern sentiment that you are the brands you wear. Her rejection of that reeks of white-girl privilege. But similarly privileged people may find her message refreshing. Kreayshawn has that slow, nasal, staccato, cutesy approach to rapping that you might expect if a white girl was making a rap song as a lark. She doesn’t come across as sexy or even very sexual. She’s more nerd chic. She calls her crew the White Girl Mob (as opposed to Iggy Azalea’s White Girl Team),
be t i l l i w g “how lon blonde until some e woman t i h w y n a or h g u o r h t e m rises to fa hip-hop?”
More skilled and perhaps more interesting is K.Flay, 26, a Stanford graduate and a talented vocalist who uses rhyming as a sonic technique. Culturally she is not trying to push her way into hip-hop; she’s more of an indie rock chick. Her rapping is melodic and semi-sung, and on her most recent mixtape, “I Stopped Caring in ’96,” she samples indie groups like the xx and the Vines and talks about alienation:
Mind in a permanent state of flux Mental double Dutch Had a bag of Cheetos ate ’em up 3 p.m. and I’m still waking up Wishing I could save myself, but I’m not brave enough. She dresses like an un-self-conscious hipster, wearing T-shirts and Nike high-tops, little makeup and barely styled dark hair. K.Flay has no black people or hip-hop signifiers in her videos. She represents a generation of white kids who grew up with hip-hop but who weren’t obsessed with it so they feel rhyming is theirs to use without needing to pay homage to the culture. Does the slight rise of white women pose a threat to the soul of hip-hop? Will this moment be recalled years from now as a crucial step toward the whitening of hip-hop, toward a world in which hip-hop looks the way rock ’n’ roll does: a neighborhood that’s been so completely gentrified that the kids have to be reminded that rock was once a black space? I don’t think so. It will take a lot more than a few white women to fundamentally impact hip-hop, which remains unbreakably connected to the spirit of black masculinity, for which America continues to hunger.
S T S I RT
Y G IG
A E L A Z A
Y R O L G R O F S E GO By AIMEE O'NEILL
bombshell MC Iggy Azalea invited listeners to "taste my skittles" in breakout video "Pu$$y"(a track whose chorus is solely the word "p*ssy" on loop), tongues wagged as she swagged out in a pumped-up technicolor suburban â€˜hood. An Australian white girl (now L.A. based) with a raw, no-nonsense delivery, a penchant for dir ty talk, and a string of stylized, provocative music videos, Azalea whizzed into Internet fame. But the 22 year-old also became cause for criticism: Is she authentic? Swinging her signature blonde-ambition ponytail along the way, Azalea ponytail-whips,
rather than pistol-whips (glam, not guns), all her yak-happy haters in their collective face â€” she won't crumble. After a much-publicized last-minute decision to not sign with Interscope Records in favor of T.I's Grand Hustle Records earlier this year, the raunchy rapper is finally ready to share her highly anticipated debut EP Glory. For a newcomer, it's been a very public year: she released a free mixtape Ignorant Art last year, was the first female ever selected for XXL's Freshman class of 2012, has been criticized by Azealia Banks, and is potentially involved in a hush-hush romantic
relationship with it-boy rapper A$AP Rocky. All of this piled on top of preparing the several-time delayed Glory EP, a trap-electronic project Trap Gold, and her debut album, The New Classic (likely out early next year.)
the fired up MC is sexin' to Pandora radio. The rapstress shares the mic once again with T.I. and label-mate B.O.B. in "Million Dollar Misfit," a commercial gangsta ode to being the hottest "anywhere they land".
Glory lauds the luxury of being fresh, rich, and sexy, spitting out anthems to the blissful sin of living-so-large. "Murda Business," featuring T.I., is a southern, click-click, bang-bang club beat, where Azalea boasts being "the baddest bitch" in the club. The song comes hand-inhand with a Toddlers and Tiaras parodythemed video. "Flash" featuring Mike Posner, is an old school hip hop/ R&B jam, in which
Interview spole on the phone with Azalea (real name: Amethyst) about how "Murda Business" could amp up your vocabulary, what nice skin T.I. has, and the underrated wardrobe of The Nanny's Fran Fine.
Y $ $ PU 7
s s e n s u o i l l e b e r a s a “There w about it. I
” . t a h t h t i w d e t c e n n co
AIMEE O'NEILL: As a teenager growing
O'NEILL: Were you a tough girl growing up?
up in Australia, how did rap speak to you?
Beating up everyone on the block?
IGGY AZALEA: I always thought that there was
AZALEA: There was never anyone to beat up.
something in hip-hop culture that was the misfit of all the musical styles, where they didn't really belong. They're kind of like, "No, we're a real culture! We're not going anywhere, you can't get rid of us!" I really liked that there was a rebelliousness about it. I connected with that. Also, I liked the flashiness of it and the way everybody dressed— all the crazy chains and crazy style. Everything about it, I was interested.
[Laughs.] I'm a pretty chill and easygoing person; most people in Australia are, as well. I don't think I ever really saw a lot of fights growing up. I think it's hard to get people in Australia angry and want to fight, minus one or two people in the media...but we won't say any names. [Laughs.]
O'NEILL: I want to talk to you about "Murda Business." First of all, I want to say "Stack of hunneds, bunch of fifties" all the daylong; I never want to say "hundred" ever again, strictly "hunned" from now on. Unfortunately, I rarely have the occasion.
AZALEA: [Laughs.] There's always room for it in your vocabulary, you should shout it at a meeting. [laughs] It's so funny because my friends and me always say "Murda Business" now. My friend bought a pair of shoes, she text me a picture, and it said: "Murda Business". We say it how Tip [T.I.] says it, it's so funny. We just say it for everything now, like it's some kind of slogan or something. [Laughs.]
O'NEILL: The video is a Toddlers and Tiaras parody—what sparked the idea for that concept?
AZALEA: Watching it, I thought, Here are these moms and toddlers just taking this so seriously, this is the fiercest of competitions I've seen in awhile. They're so flashy and they want crowns, rhinestones, diamonds, and bright outfits. The flashiness and competitiveness reminds me of rap. A lot of people heard "Murda Business" and thought it was about killing people, trying to be tough and hardcore. If you actually listen to the lyrics, it's kind of silly and playful. It's about being in the club, being a bad bitch. You have your outfit and you're like, "You bitches should've stayed at home because I'm killin' it!"—You're in the murda business! [Laughs.] I don't think
FEATUR ARTICL E E
O'NEILL: What was your first impression of
AZALEA: I think its funny when people say
T.I.? The first thing you noticed?
a female rapper is too sexually charged, maybe the way we do it is a little more in your face but that's because we have to be aggressive and masculine to make it in the industr y. If I talk about sex blatantly, w he n [ the m a instr e am medi a] says i t metaphorically ever y day, it's not okay? It's hypocritical. To me, Britney Spears in a nude rhinestone bodysuit rolling around is just as sexual as me saying "pussy, pussy, pussy" sitting on a doorstep. If I dressed in a bedazzled bodysuit and sung basically the same message but sugared it up a bit, I'm sure people would let their kids watch it, and there would be toddlers in tiaras dressed up in it in the talent competition on TV.
AZALEA: "What kind of face cream do you use? Because you have very good skin."
O'NEILL: Did you ask him about his skincare regimen?
AZALEA: No, but I said it to my friend in the
people understood that. With the video, I wanted to have the juxtaposition and have people think, "Why would she put Toddlers & Tiaras in it, what's the connection? What's the song actually about?"
car. And she said, "I thought the same thing!" [Laughs.] At the time, I felt like I was just floating around in a big ocean. I got picked up and caught by a label [Interscope], and it was very impersonal. It felt like I was a product. When I met him and everybody else over at [Grand Hustle], it felt like I was with real people again. He cared about me as a friend, not just as a check. I want to know that when I make mistakes, I have a label and a family who won't desert me. I think a lot of people looked at it like, "Why would you do that? It's Interscope! It's a giant!" but you also have to be happy in the place that you work. I was in a bunch of studios that cost way too much money and I was getting served warm cookies when I walked in the door. It was too far out of my comfort zone.
O'NEILL: The lyrics do spell it out for you:
O'NEILL: When you hear or read negative
In the club, my outfit, murda business.
AZALEA: Yeah, exactly! I never said I'm from the hood and I have a gun. It's not the message I'm trying to say. Sometimes people take art too literally, like, "How can you have all those toddlers in the video?" Even so, would you not say the word "murder" around your children? It's not like they've never heard the word "murder" before. When we filmed, we played the clean version. If you look closely, you'll never see us mouth any of the bad words, it's always a shot of something else.
O'NEILL: Glory is a pretty bold word to title your first EP. AZALEA: I was in this weird place where it felt like everyone was shitting on me, like, "She didn't get that deal with Interscope. She got dropped! She won't get another project!" making it so much worse then any of it really was. I felt like they wanted me to fail and I thought, I'm not going to go anywhere. I'm going to get my glory. I'm going to get my shine. So many people in the industry are like, "You can't really write records." It's to prove to myself that I can write songs. It's not easy to make a song that the whole world relates to, and to do it over and over again. When I got in the studio I realized this is really, really hard. It's easy to do whatever the hell you want to do but everybody can't connect to that. I was just trying to find a different way that I could do it with Glory. I don't know if it's successful but I did learn a lot about songwriting while I was doing it.
O'NEILL: It's a growing process, right? AZALEA: Yeah. People criticize you for trying new things. I think, "I'm new! I'm 22!" I don't know exactly what my sound is or what I want my album to sound like so I'm not releasing it yet. While I'm experimenting, I'll let you in on the journey and you can hear it for free.
O'NEILL: I dressed as Fran for Halloween one time, sequins and big hair. I also got to live out my Nanny dream.
AZALEA: Oh my god! I don't know why I've never done that for Halloween! I need to get somebody to make me a burgundy two-piece suit with a leopard skin fur collar and cuffs. I'm going to have this Halloween costume and probably will end up wearing it in one of my videos. [laughs]
O'NEILL: Your looks are often discussed, as well. Do you think they ever overshadow your music?
AZALEA: Yeah, I do. I guess it's my fault. I guess I should make better music so it doesn't overshadow it. [Laughs.]
comments, or you find yourself in a "beef" with another artist, does it fuel you to go harder?
AZALEA: You know, sometimes I have to catch myself. There are always days where you think, I'm going to show them. It's like what T.I. always says, " You can't let others be motivation to do stuff. You can't just go because everybody else is going. There's a time that's right for you." When I look at other artists who came up at the same time as me, sometimes I wonder why I'm not [getting the same opportunities]. Everybody's time doesn't always occur at the same speed. I try to be more relaxed about it, and go when I feel like it's the right time to go. It's not a race. O'NEILL: Your latest single "Flash" with Mike Posner is a straight-up sex jam. The press often focuses on and sometimes criticizes your sexually explicit lyricsâ€”what's your take on that?
O'NEILL: I hope you don't think that's what I was implying.
AZALEA: No, but that's what I think. Shit. Maybe that's what's more interesting to people, maybe I should work on that. [Laughs.]
O'NEILL: Speaking of appearance, I read that Fran Drescher in The Nanny influences your style. Growing up I always thought she was such a beautiful, stylish lady. I was pleased to find I was not alone in this. [Laughsl]
AZALEA: [laughs] Me too! I feel like she gets so overlooked! I didn't have cable television growing up; there were only six channels you could watch then. The only really good channel was channel 10, and they would play The Nanny Called Fran every night for years. I've seen every episode 100 times. I would get my Grandma to make me leopard skin dresses on her sewing machine. I would go with her to the fabric store, pick out the patterns out of the little bins, pick out the leopard skin fabric, and be like "Please, can you make me this?" [laughs] She would and I'd wear it around the house.
E C N DA ARTICLE
By Teddy Wayne
to Your Parents
child dreads this day: sooner or later, your parents will come to you, innocently wide-eyed, to ask you about twerking. How you handle this difficult conversation is extremely important and could have a significant impact on the way your parents think about twerking for years to come. You may prefer to put off the big ‘twerk talk’ but remember that it’s far better for you to be the one to explain than for them to learn on their own by searching YouTube.
spotlight, but, in the end, who are we really to judge? I mean, when you’re not ready for it isn’t a real friend, and that you it can’t be a picnic being Billy Ray’s daughter, and remember think it’s just as not to twerk but instead to do, say, the jitterbug. that Vanity Fair picture of them? That was just ...weird. They may ask if you twerk with your significant other. Tell Though they won’t comprehend the Billy Ray references, they them that when a young man and young woman love each will nod, understanding that Ms. Cyrus’ motivations to twerk other very much and are in a packed, sweaty nightclub are complicated by a raft of personal, socioeconomic and playing commercial hip-hop, yes, they sometimes twerk to third-wave-feminist issues. express their affections. Assure them that just because you twerk Upon hearing what twerking is, it is natural for your parents with someone else and not with them doesn’t mean you love to want to experiment with it. They may even proudly announce, them any less ” just that you show your love for them in a A critical first step is to acknowledge that twerking is a normal ‘Look at us, we’re twerking!’ not recognizing the inappropriateness different way; for instance, by having strained three-day visits part of life and that there is nothing shameful in their questions. of their actions and words. Try to resist the urge to chastise over Christmas. They’re parents, after all, and this is the sort of thing they hear them; doing so will only increase their desire to twerk in With a no-nonsense yet empathetic approach, you can create about on NPR, and, well, they’re curious. defiance, perhaps in private. a safe space in which to discuss twerking with your parents. Explain that twerking is a dance move typically associated It is also possible that your parents may suggest twerking at their If handled sensitively, a positive twerking dialogue will prepare with lower-income African-American women that involves the next dinner party, after the radicchio salad with caramelized them for future conversations concerning a host of other topics rapid gyration of the hips in a fashion that prominently pears. Adopt a strict no-tolerance policy for group twerking they’ve heard about but don’t understand, such as grinding, exhibits the elasticity of the gluteal musculature. unless you are there to supervise, other parents™ children Ecstasy dance raves and the Instagram. They will reasonably wonder why Miley Cyrus, who is white and wealthy, does it at every opportunity. Patiently respond that, for Ms. Cyrus, twerking is a brazenly cynical act of cultural appropriation being passed off as a rebellious reclamation of her sexuality after a childhood in the Disneyfied
are informed beforehand and have given permission, and everyone in attendance is invited to participate, including the Pearlsteins. There’s a chance some of their peers are already twerking most likely the younger parents. If they feel pressure to twerk to feel accepted, point out that anyone who forces you to twerk
“ The art flows through my body and the music and it eventually takes shape.”
By Bianca London
Damien Hirst sacrificing 9,000 butterflies to Millie Brown regurgitating paint onto a canvas, some artists have intriguing ways of creating their work. Now one urban street performer is selling her artwork for thousands of pounds, having created it by covering herself in paint - and breakdancing on a canvas. Hanifa McQueen-Hudson, 43, aka B-girl Bubbles, produces the striking pieces of art by pulling jackhammers, windmills and kick-outs at her studio in Wolverhampton. She submerges her feet and legs in colourful paint before putting on hip-hop music and using her body as a paintbrush as she spins across a plain white canvas. Hanifa - who shot to fame in the 1980s as Britain's first female breakdancer - has now completed over a dozen pieces and has sold her first three to anonymous bidders for up to £5,000. Speaking about her talent, the mother-of-two said: 'I mainly make pieces using different spins, with my feet or my back or even my head. 'I start not knowing what it is going to be and I just go with the flow and the expression of the dance.Then it might start to look like something like a sunset or a river or a mountain and I will work with that.The art flows through my body and the music and it eventually takes shape.’
'It's a very fun way to paint. I've sold three so far and the most somebody has paid to date is £5,000.'Hanifa shot to fame in the 80s when she became part of dance troupe 'The B Boys' and starred in Britain's first breakdancing music video 'Electro Rock'. The group were sponsored by firms including Adidas and Puma and took the performing world by storm until the hip dance style died out in the early 1990s. But it wasn't until 2006
that she stumbled across her unusual painting talent when she scuffed a friend's floor with the black soles of her trainers. And inspired by her young son coming home from nursery with hand and foot prints, the former professional breakdancer decided to see if the moves worked on canvas. Hanifa, who lives with her young son and daughter in Wolverhampton,added: 'I went to the studio of a graffiti artist called Temper and while we were messing around I scuffed the floor with the soles of my trainers while I showed him some of my moves.
'It made a pattern on the floor which looked pretty cool and at the time my son was always coming home from nursery with hand prints and foot prints and I wondered what it would look like. ‘ 'So I just tried it and showed my friends and they loved it. I call it Artbreaker or b-boying on canvas - b-boying being the original name for breakdancing. I used to be a graffiti artist when I was younger and I am familiar with paint, so it just comes to me naturally.'
ART FEATURED ARTIST
In Search of a
Aiko and Faith47 Take on a Male-Dominated Street Art World
By Daisy Wyatt
art has always been a male-dominated scene, but an increasing number of female artists are helping to change that. In the past three years, street art by Bambi, dubbed the “female Banksy”, has appeared in London, and in Paris, Princess Hijab has scrawled burqas on to the faces of adverts on the metro. Martha Cooper, an American photographer who has been documenting graffiti since the late 1970s, and who is widely thought of as
the “godmother” of street art, says she has noticed an increase in the number of women participating in the scene. “There’s definitely more women now. Before, women might have made up one 10th of a per cent, and now maybe it’s one per cent. Street art is very democratic in that anybody can do it, and quite a few women that do it are good at it.”
Cooper names Japan-born Aiko as one of the rising female stars of the street-art scene. After collaborating with Banksy in his film Exit Through the Gift Shop in 2005, her work has appeared in Los Angeles, London, Shanghai, and Stavanger, Norway, where she is currently exhibiting at Nuart street-art festival. It is clear from her murals of glamorous pin-up girls painted in pinks and purples with glitter that Aiko is not afraid of creating overtly feminine art. She says she enjoys being able to make a statement about women in a way that her male contemporaries can’t.
ART FEATUR ED ARTIST
“I have one subject that guys cannot talk about. Guys can paint sexy ladies that they want to fuck but the female figure is ours; it’s also for us to enjoy. It’s nothing against boys; I’m just celebrating female energy,” she says. Despite her clear female aesthetic, Aiko says she has never experienced any prejudice for being one of the few women street artists. “I’m treated really well on this scene,” she says. “I’m working hard so the men have started to recognise me as one of the top five women street artists on the planet. I have to keep going and showing them I can paint.” Although she is aware her petite frame can have physical limits when painting on a
large scale outside, she says she is only spurred on by watching her male peers.
she says. “It’s all about the work so I intentionally don’t see my gender as an issue.”
“These guys are hardcore. They go into tunnels full of dust and dirt, and they still paint in heavy weather. I went to an all-girl Japanese high school where we were taught good manners and how to sew – it’s a totally different world. I was painting outside a few days ago and there was tough rain and wind, but I still wanted to paint.”
Faith47, who first started doing traditional graffiti on the streets of Cape Town back in 1997, says that she has never felt excluded from the male-dominated scene.
Despite being one of the most successful women on the scene, Aiko does not want to be labelled a “female” street artist. South African artist Faith47, who is exhibiting at Nuart alongside Aiko, feels similarly. “My attitude has always just been that I focus on my work and not what race or gender I am,”
“I think in a way actions speak louder than words. Women need to take the steps to become street artists if they want to, and it’s not like they can’t. It’s not just street art, if you look at other sectors, a lot of things are male-dominated.”
In addition to the art world, audiences have also been receptive to their work. When Aiko became the first woman to paint the Bower y Wall, a long-running street art project in Manhattan, she was greeted with cheers from passersby. “All these girls were saying, ‘Aiko, keep going girl! Ahh, that’s so good. Only boys have painted on this before, we need some pinks and purples!’ It was pretty awesome. I want to keep hearing that.”
It is a positive sign that neither Aiko nor Faith47 have never felt ostracised from the scene for being in the minority, and perhaps it’s an indication that the world of street art is becoming more inclusive.
“But now a new generation of women graffIti artists are making a name for themselves..”
N O I SH
candy By Vincent Urban
Brooke Candy opens the
door of her hotel room and it’s love at first sight. Long blonde braids, pale skin, dark lipstick and an amazing orange and pink outfit. The controversial Californian stripper and rapper is best known for her role in the video for Grimes’ hit single ‘Genesis’ and has also supported Azealia Banks. However, having recently releaesd her third music video, she is being noticed in her own right. These are the photos (and words) of one crazy hour with Candy before her show in Madrid. G e t r e a d y b ecau se, like sh e would say, “Everything is so f**king next level in CandyLand”.
How did you get started in the
What is Brooke Candy about right now?
Who’s your biggest influence?
Well, right now I’m touring in Europe, and I love to visit my fans out of the United States. I’m travelling a lot, so I can be seen in different countries, perform there and make myself and my music known, spreading the of word of my modern version of feminism. I’m shooting my next video in March, with a very special secret director, very big deal.. but I can’t say anything yet. It’s gonna be amazing!
Lil Kim, for sure – especially in the beginning of her career – because I’m a strong feminist and she has always been that too, kind of without even acknowledging that. I remember the big scandal of her banned cover of the New York Times where she was wearing nothing but a tiny bikini. She challenged what people thought about feminine and masculine. One of her songs was “suck my d**k”, so…you know. I love her wild style too, her mix of design and trashy.
I have always loved rap music. I started rapping as a teenager, not seriously in the beginning, but then, with time I realised that this was what I was good at and that I could help people with my music. I still receive everyday a lot of emails from people telling me, “Thanks for inspiring me. I was bullied and went through very hard times, but now I don’t give a f**k!”
As a performer I really love Beyonce. She’s just great. She’s modest and polite and she’s the best on stage and I’d love to be as good as her one day…I have high hopes!
Sephora’s new x formula sparkly nail polish is a perfect node to Brooke’s crazy nails.
Manic Panic brings the noise to your hair by adding loud colour.
Bandana’s are a signature piece to Brooke. Get creative with the endless possibilities of a bandana.
Do you have any fashion icons? I like old school icons, but I even like Christina Aguilera’s style, in her Dirrty-LaChapelle’s look, with her sweaty body and lots of facial piercings, or Madonna in her Truth or Dare period. Again Lil Kim and Cameron too. I just love rappers’ style.
Did California influence your style and your music? Well, Los Angeles is very progressive and it’s the entertainment capital but it’s more of a mish-mash than a fashion center. Maybe what affected my style in LA was the weather, since it’s always very hot. That’s why in my first performances I just wore thong bikinis and very sexy outfits. In northern states I couldn’t have done that obviously because of the freezing weather. Maybe if I was born and raised in New York I would have been one of those very serious fashion persons that wear only black everyday. I always think about that.
The videos for ‘Das Me’ and ‘Everybody Does’ are great in direction and very eye-catching in style.Which directors would you like to work with in the future? I’m actually in talks with Moca, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and Meredith Danluck, the director of Sebastian Tellier’s ‘Russian Attractions’ video. The clip is a kind of kaleidoscope made with synchronised swimmers and it’s some of the coolest sh*t I’ve ever seen. I would love to work with Peek, who has made a lot of Eminem videos, David La Chapelle and of course Quentin Tarantino too, like one of these very high budget productions, you know? It would be f**king amazing.
What will be your new song? The title is ‘Feel Yourself’ and it will be a little different from all I’ve done before because it’s a dark pop song and I’m actually singing and not rapping on it. It will be out in March probably and hopefully it will be followed in April by a mixtape I have been preparing that is going to be available online. I don’t wanna wait any longer to release my music. I just want it to be available to everyone to enjoy it.
Y R O IST
Hip Hop Milestones By Alex Gale
Hip-hop may be male-dominated,
but the women who've made a mark on the c ul t ur e a re l egends, heroes who b r oke boundaries and defied doubters. Here, in celebration of Women's History Month, we take a look at the biggest milestones for women in rap and the icons who established them.
Lady Sha Rock
Lady Sha Rock, of Bronx pioneers the Funky Four Plus One — she was the titular add-on — is widely considered to be the first female rapper.
Philly's Lady B — now a local radio personality — became the first solo female rapper when she dropped "To the Beat Y'all" in 1979.
1988's acclaimed Lyte as a Rock made MC Lyte the first solo female rapper to drop an album. Classics like "Paper Thin" and "10% Dis" established her outright as one of rap's best, male or female.
16 Backed by hits like "Push It" and "Shoop," Salt-N-Pepa were the first female rappers to become true pop stars. Their debut album, 1986's Hot Cool & Vicious, was the first by a female rap act, group or solo, to go platinum (or gold for that matter). They were also the first female rappers to win a Grammy, for 1995's "None of Your Business."
Da Brat became a star overnight with her 1994 debut Funkdafied, which made her the first solo femcee to hit platinum.
Hip hop's boardrooms are now dominated by the likes of Diddy, Birdman and Jay-Z, but back in its early days, rap's most powerful exec was Sylvia Robinson, the head of Sugar Hill Records, the label behind Sugar Hill Gang, Crash Crew, Funky Four Plus One, Treacherous Three, Grandmaster Flash and other old school icons. Robinson passed away last September at the age of 75.
Missy's far-out sound and visuals broke boundaries and expectations, but that didn't stop her from being the first — and only — female MC with six platinum albums. Yes, we said six.
She's been quiet of late, but Eve dominated the late '90s and early 2000s, becoming the first female rapper to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts with her inaugural effort, 1999's Let There Be Eve...Ruff Ryders' First Lady.
Nicki Minaj is carrying the torch for woman in hip hop in 2012, becoming the first female MC to have seven — count 'em — songs chart in the Billboard 200 at the same time.
17 Lauryn Hill
Ms. Hill's solo benchmark, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, broke records at the 1999 Grammy Awards, where she became the first female act — rap or otherwise — to be nominated for 10 Grammys, and win five.
Queen had already captured hip hop's hearts and minds with her first two albums, but her third, 1993's Black Reign, was the first by a solo femcee to go gold. Latifah is also the first female rapper to make a successful transition to actor and the first to be nominated for an Oscar, for her supporting role in 2002's Chicago.
The Queen Bee had already taken over hip hop by the time she became the first female rapper to have a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with the 2001 remake of "Lady Marmalade," which also featured Christina Aguilera, Pink and Mya.