Posts Tagged ‘Michael Alig’

Dope Boy

Tonight sees a very special live performance from young up-and-coming gay rapper Dope Boy at the freshest party in town, Dirty Diana. Ahead of the festivities we caught out with him to find out more about his roots, influences and style…

Who is Dope Boy and where does he hail from?

Dopeboy is a London Based Gay rapper from Nottingham. But I’ve been in London for about four years now.

What are you earliest musical memories?

This is so bait but when I was a kid at about 3-5 years old I loved Take That and I  knew every song and every dance. I swear my auntie has a video of me singing into a fork with my tux on. 

Why is a visible LGBT presence in rap important?

I think now it is very important with everything changing within the gay rights movement and equality. Like how gay marriage is being accepted in many countries and that’s still growing. The reason it would be important in hip hop is because it’s currently the most influential within the music industry at this precise moment. People relate to music and I think it grabs people’s attention. I think it’s something that should of happened along time ago but I’m happy it’s happening now because I get to be apart of it.

Who are your hip hop heroes?

Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Eve, Lil Kim, 2Pac, Biggie, A$AP Rocky, Lil Wayne  and that just a few. I’d say for right now…. it would have to be Mykki Blanco, Le1f, Brooke Candy, Junglepussy, Chance The Rapper, Childish Gambino are among many people repping the gay community. I like what they’re doing and I think it’s different within the industry right now…. they’re like the next big thing.  

If you could only listen to one record on repeat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

En Vogue – Don’t Let Go. THEE MOST EMPOWERING SONG!!! GIVES ME LIFE.

Describe your look.

Futuristic, punk, grunge, MOD, Chav, ghetto space cadet.

Dope Boy perfomance

What will a live Dope Boy performance here at Dalston Superstore entail?

Sexy girls, naked boys, fabulous outfits, good music, sunglasses, platform shoes, booty shaking, split dropping, turnt up realness.

As a self-proclaimed East London gay rights preacher, what would you change about the queer scene here?

I don’t think there is anything wrong with the gay scene. We turn up, we have fun, and we do us. I don’t think its the gay scene that is the focus. We all just here to have fun.

We have a time machine and we can go visit any dancefloor from anywhere/anywhen…. where are we going?

’90s America. New York City.  Danceteria. Specifically Michael Alig’s Club Kids scene.

Out of your own tracks, which are you most proud of and if you could explain in one sentence why that particular track is so awesome…

That tough. I would probably say Find Yourself because not only was it my first track but it was very personal and I’ve had many comments, especially after performing at Pride that it can really effect the younger gay generation. Help them through school and all the tough bits when growing up as a gay or trans* individual.

Join Dope Boy tonight Friday 25th July at Dirty Diana with Boris (Ostgut Ton) at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 5am.

Photo credit: Dope Boy

Hifi Sean In NYC

By Hifi Sean

Many Glaswegians like myself have a big thing for NYC. I grew up, along with many of my friends, influenced by the sound of the bands that came from there like The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, Blondie, Suicide, and Talking Heads. So during the early ‘90s I basically spent most of my time in USA after the success we had with The Soup Dragons over there.

DIVINE

That success includes the top 20 hit single Divine Thing, which yes, for the record was influenced by John Waters and his movies, in fact we even spoke to John back then about shooting a video for the follow up Pleasure, which we were all excited about, but Serial Mom had just been released and really took off, so sadly he had to put it on the back burner and time was against us. That is still my biggest regret that it slipped away. So instead off we went to a ‘50s trashy hotel called Madonna Inn just north of San Francisco, in good ole Russ Meyer fashion.

Most of this period was spent with me living on and off in New York, East Village to be exact. It was crazy and hedonistic times, I saw and experienced things that have influenced me and still cherish many of the memories and the people I met there and then.

Limelight, Disco 2000, Sound Factory, Club USA, The Roxy, Save The Robots, Jacqui 60’s, they were all clubs I frequented. I wasn’t even gay then, but let’s just say the groundwork had been laid out in front of me for my coming out in 2001!

SOUND FACTORY PUNCH

I loved the freedom and the outrageous fun attitude, in fact first time I ever went to Sound Factory I was ushered into a room and offered some punch from the infamous punch bowl laced with E! The next 6-8 hours was a musical journey via Junior Vasquez, which introduced me to something that opened up my mind to new exciting avenues of sound and beats… which still to this day is imbedded in my psyche.

I was in The Roxy when the DJ (I can’t remember who) played the first ever play of Vogue by Madonna, and people stood in awe as he announced it over the system and they cheered as it played. That’s something I have never heard or seen in a club ever again.

CLUB KIDS

Also happening at the same time was the whole ‘Club Kids’ phenomena. It was interesting to watch it grow as we had just left a rave-tastic UK 89/90 and here we were in NYC 90/91 and watching the same chaos and freedom happening there but primarily focused on the gay scene, which took that vibe deep to heart. I actually met Michael Alig and supposedly I met Angel too (as he was host for many of his parties). I hung around a lot of drag queens too as my closest friend at the time Lavinia Co-Op used to take me to clubs; many a time I found myself pushing a huge balloon dress into and out of NYC cabs as we headed out into nightlife. Lavinia is on the cover of the last Soups album dressed as a poodle walked by a Wall St gentleman banker…. as you do. 

Soup Dragons - Hydrophonic

BUFFALO GALS GO ROUND THE OUTSIDE

Everywhere in NYC you saw the influence of club land coming out onto the streets through fashion and attitude which to be honest NYC has always been about. When we made the video for Divine Thing with director Nick Egan, who I got on-board as I loved his video for Buffalo Gals by Malcolm McLaren (another homage to NYC) and we went round the city’s clubland and got some of the club kids and party people to appear in a kind of homage to downtown NYC. We shot it in a disused warehouse in the Meat Packing district overnight, watching trans* hookers on corners pick up truckers delivering the meat to the stores that morning.

It’s funny, as I write this out now, I think to myself, wow how gay was I for a straight boy?! I just loved it all, the chaos, the hedonism; put it this way I wasn’t singing “I’m free to do what I want” on every bloody radio in the USA for nothing… 

Don’t be afraid of your freedom… indeed.

Little did we know how that video was about to explode, MTV went crazy for it and it was the most played video of that year on that channel and ended up being nominated for a MTV Video Award. 

Crazy thing is, I was told afterwards how ground-breaking it was, as people like Connie Girl were the first drag artists to be given daytime rotation on T.V in the USA which, back in early 90’s, was nowhere near as open minded as it is now. Funny that it was shot like Nick shot Buffalo Gals, totally about the streets, the nightlife, guerilla style and all just edited together afterwards, nothing pre-fashioned or contrived, just honest to good love of life at that period, and to me it captures a perfect moment of what NYC was all about then. 

UP YOURS

So what has this got to do with Up Yours you’re asking?

Well myself and Severino have a big mutual love for NYC, we’ve both DJ’ed there a lot over the years and our last two singles London and Devil were released on the great underground house label Get Up Recordings that’s ran by DJs Christy Love and W. Jeremy Pelser from House of Stank, who’ve ran many a great party in the big apple. 

Not to mention, our video for London is a homage to everything cool about London/NYC. Yes the city has changed and cleaned up a lot over the years. Yes a lot of the big parties closed down due to the crystal meth epidemic within the gay scene and people just staying home at sex parties rather than heading out to cruise and have a dance.

But in the last four to five years lots of great thing are happening again and a whole new underground of great artists, DJs and parties are bubbling away and NYC has got that great buzz again that everyone thought it had lost… but we knew it would get back again.

Join Hifi Sean and Severino for Up Yours this Saturday 31st May at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Larry Tee

This Easter weekend, two original legends join us at Body Talk in the shape of Larry Tee (NYC) and Lindy Layton (Beats International). The former, currently known for his weekly party Super Electric Party Machine, helped launch Rupaul’s career in the ’90s, hosted Michael Alig’s infamous Disco 2000, was basically the face of electroclash in the early ’00s, and put simply, has a knack of being in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. We spoke to geuine dance music hero Larry Tee ahead of his set this Saturday…

You famously coined the term “electroclash”. What’s the origin behind this? 

Well, when I decided to do a festival in 2000 devoted to the emerging electro artists at the time, I needed a name. So I tried to come up with a word that described the collision of music and performance in all its rebellious aspects. It came down to “electrowave” or “electroclash”… I chose “electroclash”.

And what’s the most electroclash memory you have from the genre’s heydey?

At the first festival, ADULT, Chicks On Speed, Peaches and Fischerspooner all sang me ‘happy birthday’ as the festival fell on my birthday. I didn’t realize [at the time] it was the birth of my new life, post-addiction/house music DJ star.

What drew you to Atlanta in the ’80s?

I grew up there after my parents moved me there from Washington when I was 5. What was lucky is that Rupaul, Michael Stipe of REM, and Lady Bunny, before they were famous, were all really close friends of mine at the time and that was such a creative explosion. We really made a scene down there out of boredom, and made music and home movies to keep ourselves from being too bored.

Where you surprised by the success of Supermodel (You Better Work)?

Yeah, totally. I had written the original version of Supermodel because RuPaul had been signed to hip hop label Tommy Boy and I thought it would be smart for me to do a major label project. But when I got it back from the producers I didn’t like it at all. I thought, “oh well, at least I tried,” thinking it wouldn’t be a hit. But then it stayed on the charts for the whole year, with MTV playing it on and off… it and wound up being the #1 dance record of 1992. 

Considering the breadth of artists you’ve worked with- who would you work again, who do you still want to work with and was anyone so hideous that you can’t tell us who but you can tell us what they did..!

Well, I would totally do another track with Portia Ferrari, the Versace model star of my new video Body Talk, and I would LOVE to work with Lana del Rey, Rufus Wainwright and Mykki Blanco. OMG, nightmare artists? Hmmm. Well, one of the biggest artists in music, their producer asked me to write her a song, and I did and she stole my intro idea and my song title and made a brand new song… the bitch. She could’ve afforded to pay me for my ideas. Whatevs… the karma police will pay her a visit.

What’s the best (true or untrue) thing you’ve ever read about yourself in print?

That I popularized Williamsburg and was the hipster before all hipsters according to the New York Times. Um, that was a bit of an over-reach. Haha. One year I was voted by a New York Press as the #4 most loathesome New Yorker for having launched electroclash, popularized transvestism and ruined Williamsburg. I was flattered.

You seem to have only lived in cities famous for particular scenes in a right time right place fashion… where do you/would you see yourself settling next, considering how expensive London is getting and as inaccessible it is becoming for young creatives? 

Well, London now is the Paris of the ’20s. It’s ALL about London everywhere else in the world too with the fashion and music coming from here. I wouldn’t be doing TZUJI clothing if I hadn’t moved here. But Berlin is heading for a big mainstreaming and has more reasonably priced real estate so it could be perfect for me. Or perhaps Downtown LA, which is being called the ‘new’ NEW YORK. But honestly, no city has a thing on London right now. They always used to say in NYC, “Larry Tee in the place to be”, and they were right about that…

Join Larry Tee at Body Talk at Dalston Superstore this Saturday 19th April from 9pm – 3am.