Interview – Blimes Brixton: « Queer people just got sick of the music they love not ever being written from their perspective »

Should we call you Blimes Brixton or Oh Blimey? Sorry we’re confused : )

Blimes Brixton. Oh Blimey was the younger version of me. I feel like I’ve grown a lot in the last few years both as a human and as a writer and I wanted my career to reflect that.

How and when did you discover hip hop?

I discovered hip hop when a baby sitter I had this one random time told me that she would let me listen to her cassette player if I didn’t tell that she smoked cigarettes. She had the Marshall Mathers LP in there and I listened to the whole thing front to back. I was addicted to how dangerous and rebellious it felt. After that I grabbed every single hip hop tape I could get my hands on, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Blackalicious, Andre Nickatina, Too Short, Jurassic 5, Jay Z, Digital Underground, Missy Elliott, and the list goes on…

You won a series of rap battles. How is battling different from “traditional” performances to you?

It’s very different. When I perform a concert, I feel like I have the ability to uplift my audience, the other performers, and myself in a positive way. When I was battle rapping, I felt like in order to get ahead, to be loved, I had to step on the heads of others. It didn’t resonate with the person I truly am. I am feminist at heart, strongly against racism, and just love people. I felt like I was perpetuating hate being involved in that arena. I can’t lie and say it didn’t feel good to win, but it wasn’t worth the negativity I was focused on in preparation for battles not only towards my opponent but towards myself.

Can you tell us the story behind the track “Old Habits”?

Old Habits” is about being back on familiar ground, back where I used to sell drugs to get by and coming in contact with an ex that still calls upon our romance to get the substance I always provided.

The LA female hip hop scene seems thriving. How would you describe the role of women on the scene?

It is. It’s beautiful. Not only is it thriving, but there’s unity which is amazing. 5-10 years ago, it was nothing like this anywhere. Females felt that they were all competing for ONE slot that the mainstream held, but now with open eyes, we’re accepting that we’re far more powerful as entities than enemies. Women’s roll in the scene is shine. It’s our time. It’s our turn. We can’t let shit be easy for these men anymore. We gotta let ‘em know that we really are competition. The ladies are KILLING it in LA right now.

Hip hop is often considered to be sexist and homophobic. How is rap perceived in the LGBT community and vice versa?

Hip hop is actually thriving in the LGBT community more than ever right now and its beautiful. I think that Queer people just got sick of the music they love and vibe with, not ever being written from their perspective. Now you have parties and festivals having queer artists like Le1f , TT The Artist, and myself headline and give us a voice and it feels good.

Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why?

Yes. Cuz we can do anything boys can do.

What are you listening to these days?

Been going through the final stages of mixing/mastering Gavlyn and I’s new joint EP “Dodgy” so just rounds and rounds of revisions of that haha. When I get the chance to take a break its either Anderson .Paak , Majid Jordan, Gallant, Chance the Rapper, Etta Bond, ScHoolboyQ or one of the homies like GavlynOlivia Braga, Adam Vida

What are your upcoming projects?

Dodgy”! Got videos and official release on the way. Gonna drop the first single in the next couple weeks then the full project when Gavlyn and I get off Tour at the end of September.

What do you think of Madame Rap? What should be changed or improved?

I love it. I think a lot of people, not just women, but people in general are looking for where they can find dope female artist because there are FAR more women making music than the 5 that are in the mainstream. Keep it going! Advertise on other hip-hop blogs too so that you gain more visibility and in turn we all do! I’ll keep reading.

Find Blimes Brixton on her websiteFacebookSoundcloud and Twitter.

Éloïse Bouton

Lire l’interview en français ici.

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