From the art school-educated street urchin antics of Kreayshawn and her White Girl Mob to the couture-wearing, booty-shaking schtick of Iggy Azalea, we've seen a bunch of white lady rappers come up lately in this post-Gillette era. But it wasn't until New Orleans-based Boyfriend came along that we saw a rapper wearing granny glasses and thrift shop blouses while rapping about period sex and dildos. And while it might be tempting to write off the raunchy rhymes and a look pulled from the Williamsburg Buffalo Exchange as gimmicky, Boyfriend's got flow.
Talking to the artist the phone, Boyfriend (she wouldn't reveal her real name), explained how she got started in the rap game. "I don't play a single instrument," she said. "I'm the weird member of my family because I come from an entire family of songwriters. My dad is a country music songwriter with thirteen #1 songs...but I would freestyle drunkenly on occasion and I realized I was kind of good at it. Then I actually started writing and tried to sculpt more structure into my songs." And, after recording her first track "Hunch and Munch" two years ago, Boyfriend was born.
"[Boyfriend] is a word everyone feels some way about," she says on the topic of how she came up with the name. "Everyone either says, 'I want a boyfriend.' 'I love my boyfriend.' 'My boyfriend drives me crazy.' I also like the gender ambiguity to it."
"Swanky" by Boyfriend
And what does her Southern family think of lyrics like, "I'll make your balls burst, how sexy I screw it / But ladies come first, if I ain't creamin', you blew it"?
"My dad, ironically, is super into it. He might be my #1 fan," she says, laughing. "He gets it. He separates what I'm saying with the visual imagery that might haunt his dreams. My mom is a little tentative because, like most middle-aged women, she's super into Facebook and is afraid some cousin in Alabama is going to see one of my videos and say, 'You did a terrible job raising her.'"
We're psyched to premiere the video for her new track, "Swanky," and we think this might one of the few jams even a mother could love. "It's about how you can be swanky without having a bunch of money," Boyfriend says. "I was tired of hearing the word 'swag' everywhere. It's so dead. I was trying to find the next word like that and I like the connotation of 'swanky' because it doesn't point to any socio-economic status."
Give it a watch, above, and keep your eye out for her forthcoming LP, Love Your Boyfriend, that she describes as "what Alanis Morisette would do if she made a rap album." And, if you're in NOLA, catch her performing alongside Action Bronson at Mardi Gras this March.