It’s somewhere between the giant cone bra and the hair curlers that gets me to stop what I’m doing.. But it’s the quick wit and loaded lyrics that keep me coming back. Boyfriend has a mission, and its exactly that- She wants to be your Boyfriend. With her 1950’s-housewife-meets-raunchy-rapstar attitude, her risque performance is catching everyone’s attention. While sharing the stage with Big Freedia the past 27 days on the “Queen of Bounce” tour, Lyons Den got a chance to ask Boyfriend a few questions to see how the English teacher turned rapper is schooling the masses one line at a time.
1.I love your juxtaposition of a 1950’s housewife with a very sensual and in-your-face cabaret performance. Do you feel that your music and/or performance allow you to politically express feminist/ gender views through sexuality?
Glad you’re enjoying Rap Cabaret! And yes – while any platform of expression is valid, it can be easier to express these opinions from the stage. After all, I’m the one with the microphone…
2. I’ve noticed that a lot of your lyrics use a great tongue-in-cheek approach to strong sentiments on gender roles and feminism. What’s your personal etymology with the name “Boyfriend”/ why did you choose that name?
Boyfriend is a powerful word, because it has such a colloquial stronghold in daily conversation, more so than “girlfriend” even. I wanted to take it for my own – now all these folks are talking about me and they don’t even know it yet!
3.You’re currently touring with Big Freedia on the Bounce Shakedown tour. How’s it been so far touring with the Queen of Bounce? What has been your favorite moment while on tour?
Yes we just wrapped up in Denver – started below sea level and ended a mile high! The tour was fantastic – everyone on #teamfreedia is a blast. They work hard and they’re just good people.
My favorite tour moment was probably my final number of the final show – I had fire on stage. It was hot, but I’m always so cold-natured that it really felt great having the flames warm me up – I could even feel them while crowd surfing.
4. Describe “Rap Cabaret” in three words.
High-brow on fleek.
5. On that note, I’ve never seen anything like your live performance before. Its entirely unique but has such New Orleans flavor at the same time. What inspired you to combine rap and cabaret?
I just want to be comfortable, so bringing my living room on stage and making myself at home seemed like a good first step. And I don’t consider myself a “rapper.” I just happen to be rapping, so the cabaret aspect is really the more honest descriptor to me.
6. I read that you were a teacher before Boyfriend popped off. What parts of your past career have influenced your rap persona?
Awareness of word-choice, being conscious of my diction, and the ability to command the attention of a room. (There’s not that much of a difference between a room full of 9 year olds and a room full of drunk adults really.)
7. I’ve heard you were an English major, and I’ve also heard your rhymes and am super impressed with the amount of words you can fit into one line, and how sharp your tongue is! What is your writing process like when creating music?
Champagne, bubble baths (although bath salts will do), and a lucky intern jotting down lines as they come to me.
8. Who are some of your musical influences/ female rap influences?
I don’t consider my work to be greatly influenced by other musicians, so much as influenced by the day to day observation of the world – things I’ve seen and felt in relationships, things I’ve overheard or been told, things that evoked a reaction that at the time, wasn’t appropriate – I suppose the songs are often the product of a bitten tongue.
9. I noticed you don’t share your name and chose to go solely as Boyfriend to the media. Do you feel the persona of Boyfriend is hard to separate from your personal life or is Boyfriend a more exaggerated version of yourself?
I am Boyfriend, there’s no distinction. At the beginning the split was for the sake of my career in education, but that identity doesn’t serve me anymore.
10. How do you feel New Orleans bounce music differs from anywhere else?
Has New Orleans inspired your art directly in anyway?
It’s actually not the regional exclusivity of bounce that excites me. There’s something timeless about it that I respect more than any specific sonic or regional trend. It’s a continuation of a tradition as old as time – the celebration of the body, the catharsis of physical release, essentially a fertility ritual updated for modern times. And leave it to New Orleans to establish this genre of expression that much of the nation may be too repressed to access on their own. I think it’s brilliant how Big Freedia has become the ambassador of this movement – and a worthy one at that.
11. Everyone at Porter Lyons (and I’m sure within the city as well) can’t wait to see you perform once you’re back off tour. Any upcoming New Orleans dates after tour?
Patience is a virtue… stay tuned.
Check out boyfriend69.com for more eye and ear candy.
Love n Lyons,
*Header image: photo by Jason Kruppa