In Mykki Blanco’s recent “The Initiation” video, the New York rapper grows a second face. In a set last month at Barcelona’s Sónar festival, Blanco declared, “I feel like I’m the prettiest girl in the room,” but delivered a pulverizing performance over equally brutal beats. In other words, Blanco thrives on duality. And that goes way beyond any superficial, overdone yes-that-rapper-is-in-drag gloss.
The former Breaking Out star’s knack for contrasts is on full, gloves-off display in Blanco’s guest appearance on Friendzone’s “Who Wanna Rumble, the latest in a busy Adult Swim Singles Series (see previous entries from Dan Deacon, METZ, Run the Jewels, and Kitty). The MC behind this year’s Betty Rubble: The Initiation sounds casually bellicose in a way that shouldn’t end comparisons to peak-era Lil Wayne; the floaty yet rumbling instrumental befits a Bay Area production duo who’re producing the entirety of Oakland cloud-rap leaders Main Attrakionz’s upcoming 808s and Dark Grapes 3 mixtape. There’s strength in chillness.
Blanco is hardly the first to rap about O.J. Simpson’s White Bronco, but who wouldn’t want to be Kato Kaelin in this scenario? Clearly, we don’t wanna rumble.