With a name like KillaQueenz, one would naturally assume Kween G and Belizean Bombshell to be some sort of murderous drag duo. Alas, the pair are actually rappers -” but they do have a killer debut album (the recently-released Sistarhood) under their belts.
Belizean Bombshell and Kween G (aka the decidedly less gangsta Desiree and Glynis -” hey, Foxy Brown’s real name is Inga Fung Marchand, so don’t be hatin’) have been rapping together since meeting at the Sydney Olympics nearly a decade ago. Their monikers have been around for almost as long.
A friend of ours once said to me, -˜You’re so crazy, you know what you are? You’re the Belizean Bombshell’, said Desiree, whose family came here from Belize in 1996.
I’ve met a few more Belizeans, and they’re all like her -” full of life and love to party, confirmed Glynis, who arrived in Australia as a Ugandan refugee in 1991. Their Olympic meeting came about when both were performing in African dance troupes during the ceremonies.
From there, we just started rapping and rhyming together. It was just two silly girls running around going [adopts MC voice] -˜Yeah yeah yeah, B-I-G’, laughed Desiree.
We’d always go to these hall parties with friends, and we’d be the only girls who could rap. We used to go in there and get on stage with bandanas on our heads, full of attitude.
They had to look further afield than these shores when it came to finding female inspiration.
There aren’t many female rappers in Australia, but we love female rap: stuff like Rah Digga, Lauryn Hill, TLC, Foxy Brown, MC Lyte. Listening to them helped us to figure out how to put down our rhymes, Glynis said.
It’s perhaps because of these influences that the duo rap in American accents, rather than their Australian-accented speaking voices. But the -˜accent debate’, a common argument amongst lovers (and haters) of Australian hip-hop, is a discussion they have little time for.
I think the argument in itself is stupid, Desiree sighed.
You can rap in whatever accent you like, as long as what you’re saying is true, Glynis said.
Sure, we rap in American accents, but what we’re rapping about is our own lives. We’re not pretending we’re in LA or New York.
Their style seems to be working. Several years of regular touring have earned the duo a loyal live following -” including a few homo faithful.
We do have one particular gay groupie in Sydney who comes to see us whenever we play at Oxford Art Factory. He runs up to us backstage with his boyfriend and tells us how amazing we are, Desiree laughed.
He likes [album track] Bitches, doesn’t he? Glynis asked.
That’s right. He told me, -˜You girls, Bitches is my track’.
And that’s fantastic. I know hip-hop’s often seen as quite a homophobic genre, Glynis said, but we want to change that. When the KillaQueenz party, everyone’s invited.
info: Sistarhood (Ministry Of Sound) out now. Killa Queenz play Oxford Art Factory on July 10. Details: oxfordartfactory.com