After incubating a gender-bending drag poet persona in New York City's gallery and punk scenes, Mykki Blanco steps into the hip-hop arena with a debut mixtape that adds structure and polish (and lots of bass) to the raw energy evinced on her experimental EP with punk group the Mutant Angels.
In concert, Blanco is a furious but focused performer who snarls at the audience and aggressively claws at her face, hair and clothes like the pissed-off drag daughter of 90s-era Busta Rhymes and 70s-era Patti Smith. At times, Cosmic Angel's energy wanes and could benefit from more of that wrath, but at its high points you practically feel the spittle shower through your speakers.
Those high points include the boastful, Brenmar-produced club banger Wavvy, the minimal romp HazeBoogieLife and the relentlessly dark and twisted Betty Rubble. As the title suggests, Blanco mixes occult and religious references into boastful tales of personal triumph. Like many young MCs embracing a left-field electronic sound, Blanco seems to relish her hip-hop outsider persona. It'll be interesting to see where she takes it from here.
Top track: Wavvy