Rap and voguing converge at Yes Yes Y'all
TIGGA CALORE with HOUSE OF MONROE at RYZE, Saturday, April 17. Rating: NNN
New York City’s vogue scene briefly flirted with the music and fashion mainstreams a few years ago thanks to attention from tastemakers such as producer Diplo and designer Rick Owens. Whether the arbiters of cool are paying attention or not, ballroom music has continued to evolve, chewing up the latest hip-hop hits and house music trends and spitting out jagged beats suitable for dips and death drops.
In Toronto, the long-running queer hip-hop party Yes Yes Y’All has reliably provided a platform for the worlds of rap music and voguing to converge. This month they booked Tigga Calore, an MC who morphed from rapper to ballroom commentator and back again during a mini-set of her club-rap cuts produced by Brenmar and MikeQ.
She rapped fast and with a confidence that bordered on menace, much like the thundering BPMs of songs like Payroll and B.E.A.D.S. (Bitches Everywhere Always Desire Shade). She was like a verbal dancer, pausing on the finger-snaps to playfully emphasize her New Yawk attitude and elocution.
Eventually, Calore ceded the cramped stage at Ryze to dancers from the audience and incorporated freestyle commentary on each one’s moves and looks. It was the right amount of vogue and the right amount of rap.
Local crew House of Monroe followed with an attempt at staging a mini-ball. However, their strict runway category rules quickly sapped the initially game crowd’s momentum and without a charismatic MC to preside, it felt like a little too much vogue.
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