Ahead of their new album, Mykki Blanco tells Billboard about their Pride experiences, the state of LGBTQ representation in the music industry and their winding path through the industry: “The things that have happened for me could not have happened any sooner than they happened.”
Jake Shears tells Billboard about how music has opened up to LGBTQ artists in the near-seven years since the Scissors went on hiatus, whether music’s lost some of its fun along the way and whether he’d want to trade places with the queer youth of 2019.
It’s a Friday night at Brooklyn’s indie venue Elsewhere, and the most electric new artist in U.K. hip-hop is not tolerating any wallflowers. “Let’s open this up!” Slowthai instructs the room, a couple of songs into an hour-long set.
Makonnen has much more music to make, but also a lot to say: about his own unlikely path; on homophobia in hip-hop, whether it’s gotten better in recent years, and if so, why; as well as the need for a new sense of community among queer people of color -- and the daily threat of abuse that’s faced by black LGBTQ Americans far less famous than Jussie Smollett.