“Kingpinning” is a positively ferocious track from New York’s Mykki Blanco, a “fast-rapping MC who reaches the wigged-out heights of Lil Wayne at his mid-2000s creative peak” while actually wearing a wig, as Brandon Soderberg wrote in our Breaking Out profile on the rising artist. Blanco’s most recent mixtape Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss has been steadily transforming the way fans look at hip-hop music, and has placed him in a larger pool with so-called “queer-rap” icons in the making like Zebra Katz and fellow SPIN feature star Le1f. At the same time, none of those performers is so easily pigeonholed, and Blanco may be the most mercurial in style.
As “Kingpinning” and its corresponding Clarence Fuller-directed video demonstrate, s/he is an incredibly able shapeshifter, able to project masculine gangsta hardness and beguiling femininity from one verse to the next, and sometimes between mere bars. Mykki lays it out in the song with a wee bit of Busta Rhymes seeping into his flow: “I roll with all types / Real niggas, real dykes / White boys with them yarmulkes / Model chicks with a million followers.” Mykki is only in the 13K range where Twitter’s concerned, but there are worse things to bet on than this mike-ripper’s impending cult status.