By Jackie Cular
This is my fourth year interviewing bands at Bonnaroo, and everyone one or two artists leave an indelible mark on the crowd and on me. Boyfriend is that artist in spades. With all the bullshit 2017 has already delivered, Boyfriend swallows it whole and spits it back in your face… in the best way imaginable. Her show, described as rap cabaret, is an experience. Her rhymes fly fast and crisp with feminist burnt edges. Her fashion sense is a middle finger to those who think they know how a woman “should dress.” Her burlesque back up dancers have props that are two parts kitsch and five parts awesome. Boyfriend just IS.
At Bonnaroo Boyfriend had more performances than any other artist on the Farm. She had a residency at the Christmas Barn, which is what it sounds like, only with more beer, bubbles, and bearded Santas than you can imagine. Boyfriend’s sets were fresh, new, and raw each night. She also performed at the Soul Shakedown Superjam, where the best conglomeration of artists from a variety of genres cover a tune with the help of Preservation Hall band and Jon Batiste. Boyfriend and her dancers performed a mashup of the Rick James hit “Super Freak” and MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” She also sang with Chance the Rapper for his finale of “Hey Ya” by Outkast.
After the festival, Boyfriend hopped on her magic bus and headed to San Francisco for Pride Fest, where she hit the main stage to show some love.
Not only is Boyfriend a sight to behold, she is an artist who cares and gives back. Her shopify store (not for the conservatively-minded) features monthly Panties for a Cause. There is the Period Panty that raises money for Planned Parenthood, the NUNYA BUSINESS panty that raises money for the Trans Assistance Project, the A/S/L? shortie that benefits the non-profit Junior High, the Pube Panty (sold out) to benefit the ACLU, and the “BEE”f Panty that raises funds for the Honeybee Conservancy.
The woman that does not give AF, but cares a whole lot, Boyfriend is the one to see this summer.