Mykki Blanco on Madonna

The Provocative Artist's One-of-a-Kind Birthday Wish for the Queen of Pop

To celebrate Madonna Louise Ciccone’s 55th birthday, NOWNESS presents a very special message from notorious Harlem rapper and performance artist, Mykki Blanco. The Lil’ Kim-inspired alter-ego of Michael David Quattlebaum Jr., Blanco is the hyper-sexualized, underground hip-hop siren whose polymathic portfolio boasts a film collaboration with MOCAtv and a book of poetry published by OHWOW. “Madonna has the ability to create another dimension, something that she has done many times,” muses Blanco, ahead of her forthcoming debut album, M.I.C.H.A.E.L. Now, in a delirious flourish of retro-fitted postmodernism, New York photographer and director Matthu Placek captures her Monroe-style paean to the icon with a gift for self-reinvention: a performer in referential bloom.

What was your first memory of hearing or seeing Madonna?
Mykki Blanco: It was sneaking into my father’s room and looking at her SEX book. I had to be about six or seven-years-old, and I remember it wasn't the sex itself that fascinated me but the design of the book and the aesthetic. Even as a child I could tell this book was something special and glamorous.

How does Madonna inspire you as a performer?
MB: Her dedication to what makes a whole entertainer; the music, the videos, the choreography. She understands the magic formula of engaging her audience on all levels.
How was the birthday shoot?
MB: It was a little painful, which makes a great shoot! I had to tuck my genitalia in place and stand for 20 minutes in a very Warhol, statuesque pose in stiletto heels. Matthu was extremely focused, and the hair and makeup team did an amazing job of transforming me into that iconic “Justify My Love”-era Madonna that I personally love so much.

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Conversations (3)

  • DAKA
    Hilarious and she's so pretty!
    • Posted By DAKA
    • September 10, 2014 at 8:29PM
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    Spit Gold Under An Empire

    A Bespoke Edit of Emily Kai Bock's Cutting-Edge Documentary on NYC’s Rap Underground

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    Click here to view Spit Gold Under an Empire in full, alongside other works in the New American Noise documentary project, from January 19.

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