Mykki Blanco

Mykki Blanco Drops New Track “Scales”

After a statement last year announcing Mykki Blanco’s decision to quit the music industry, a new track by the multi-gender rapper may come as a bit of a surprise. But then, anyone who has followed Blanco’s career will know that she is nothing if not unpredictable. Last year also saw Blanco reveal that she is HIV positive, the formation of Dogfood Collective and the release of the Dogfood label’s C-ORE compilation.

As an advocate for LGBT rights and an incredible pioneer of the queer hip-hop scene, Blanco’s announcement that she intended to pursue investigative journalism and an education in gender studios seemed fitting. But the unexpected release this week of new track Scales, hinting that Blanco isn’t quite done with music, is definitely welcome. The release comes just a few days after Blanco posted the following on her Facebook page:

I can’t wait for you guys to hear the new music, I’ve been through such a personal evolution since the last time I really released material. Thank you for your patience, I am working & it is coming.”

Image via i-D

Image via i-D

Following last year’s release Coke White, Starlight, the track has Blanco’s distinctive dark feel but also an aggressive clarity that is a far cry from the opium haze of her last efforts. Produced by Jeremiah Meece, menacing bass and melodies are minimal and atmospheric, and sparse industrial beats have an anticipatory feel to them. Lyrically hitting off smart metaphors with Blanco’s trademark hybrid of traditional rap bravado spun with the feminine strain of her riot grrl background and queer influences, spitting verses like “I’m a Hebrew / A she-male, a female”. Vocals tune in and out, the fade adding to the looming vibe of the track.

Unexpected it may be, but Scales launches Mykki Blanco into 2016 as still very much a part of the music industry. But then, she has already proved that there is no need for anyone to be hemmed in by expectations.