“Bitchy" by Gangsta Boo & La Chat ft. Mia X
Lord above, this bangs! It pains me to even admit that this is a reality, but at 34 and having already enjoyed a first tour with Three Six Mafia, Gangsta Boo and La Chat are considered rap retirement age. Mia X is 44; even Missy Elliott isn’t 44. This makes “Bitchy” even more salient; a rare glimpse at what rap sounds like after a woman has lived in it for nearly two decades. “Bitchy” is universally relateable lyrically, but all three women are obvious vets - Gangsta Boo spins her flow tight and loose, indecipherable in moments where the sound of her voice over the beat is just candy, but clear on lines like “I got my own money but I’d rather spend his,” Mia X growls with authority and it’s no pretense. These women rap and they rap like professionals because they are professionals.
As MG says, “Bitchy” sounds incredible, but what puts it over the top is the tremendous sense of camaraderie between the three artists: group cuts can be a great way to bring different voices and styles into a single song, but they also risk sounding like each verse got recorded in isolation and spliced together in the studio. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I admit - “Fucking Problems” is incredible, despite the fact that there’s no sense any of the artists involved even made eye contact while recording their verses. But there’s a charge that comes from a song where the artists seem to be bouncing off each other the entire way through, where they’re as in sync as they are in “Bitchy.”
It’s in the way Boo, Chat and Mia shout out each other in their respective verses, in how each has a distinctive take on the same theme that complements but doesn’t overlap the others. And producer DJ Paul deserves credit here too, as the layered vocals foster the sense that you could be hearing this recorded live, the lead on each verse echoed by the other two on key phrases. “Bitchy” is a powerful song, an authoritative one, but it’s also undeniably fun to hear these three working together.
‘With its foreboding prom queen on the cover, accepting her award just before you presumed the blood would hit from above, Hole’s second album was the logical conclusion of their first: Love had been “pretty on the inside,” but now that she had become “miss world”.’
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd’s reading of Hole’s Live Through This cover [in Flavorwire’s 20th anniversary retrospective] got me thinking. It wasn’t so much the threat of an upturned bucket of pig’s blood I felt, hovering dangerously out of frame, but rather the beauty queen’s own madness – hidden and secret like wild, coarse hair pressed and lacquered into so many shiny, perfect pincurls. To me, the image of the teary-eyed girl clutching her prize spoke about the cost of respectable femininity and good-girl validation. This is the moment that all that obsession – the dieting, the purging, the plucking and shaving, the bleaching and whitening, the tanning, the clothes, the make-up and hair, the smiling, the curtsying, the rivalry, the swallowing of her rage and true self– is acknowledged and rewarded. This is the moment where she is queen of the high school pageant – better, prettier, more beloved than all the other girls – and it is in this moment, perversely, that the mask slips. Witness the hysteria burning at her eyes; the mascara streaking her cheeks; the mad yell of triumph spilling out of her mouth, drowned and silenced under a tide of applause. This is what it means to be Miss World – (ugly) pretty, (messy) perfect. This is the mad, ecstatic joy of the girl with the most cake, crazed in her elation. This is the lie of the reward system for good girls, the tiara and bouquet, the rot behind the polish. To win at femininity means a special kind of suicide. “I’m Miss World, somebody kill me.”
In the decade since releasing seminal punk record Coral Fang, former Distillers star Dalle has survived more than her share of hardships. Now she’s back with her first solo album – and a newfound maturity, writes Charlotte Richardson Andrews
My interview with Brody mthrfkn Dalle, in today’s g2Guardian. On rebelling, aging and surviving (or, “meth and motherhood” as the front page standfirst has it).
Just gonna leave this here.
Re #47 from Buzzfeed’s What Londoners Say Vs. What They Mean listicle: ‘“West London” — Here be posh people.’
To anyone who has ever clowned about how affluent west London is: yr jokes are tired. Please know that you are actively contributing to the erasure of working class communities in west London. Visit any/all of the following and school yrself: Lampeter Square (Fulham); Peabody Trust Fulham; Clem Atlee estate (Fulham); Field Road (Fulham); West Kensington frontline; Peabody Trust Hammersmith; Queen Caroline estate (Hammersmith); Alton estate (Roehampton); Haverfield estate (Brentford); Mozart estate (Ladbroke Grove); south Acton; Shepherd’s Bush; White City.