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Rainbow Flava

Has the world ever been ready for any kind of hip hop? To this day, more than twenty years after "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang, "Personality Jock" by King Tim III, and the "Vicious Rap" of Sweet T, there are still many people who do not even consider rap to be music at all. Lauryn Hill, upon receiving five Grammies in 1998, could not suspend her disbelief that the mainstream had conferred upon her its greatest expression of mass acceptance, barely managing to utter something like "This is crazy! I mean, this is hip hop?!!" Will the world ever be ready for queer hip hop?

Too late. Representing (where else?) San Francisco, Rainbow Flava flies the freaky flag high over two turntables and a microphone. Swapping tasks of production and lyrical evocation (among other things), MCs Tori Fixx and Dutchboy and DJ Monkey collectively defy any convenient placement in the demographics, subgenres, and pigeonholes that dominate the contemporary terrain of rap music. As with all things queer, their music exists outside such identities as rap, R&B, old school, new school, black, white, straight, or gay (not all of them are), but upon closer inspection (and little twists of the volume and bass EQ), reflects all of these things simultaneously. Download and peep for yourself.

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