Pub date June 26, 2013

If anything will tip the scale when it comes to mainstream hip-hop’s acceptance of pansexual twerking in its midst (hi, Frank Ocean and Mykki Blanco), it will be the simple fact that this new class of queers just bnrings the game better: pops ass more profoundly, wears the shit out of some Hood By Air, and can channel Aaliyah, Slick Rick, and Le1f on the same track. In the Bay (site of many early LGBT hip-hop pioneers), queer rap shines: Monthly El Rio twerkfest Swagger Like Us and new party-on-the-block R U That Somebody spin vogue circles with 2 Chainz, and strong female rappers like Raw-G, Aima the Dreamer, and Micah Tron bang out sharp lyrics and catchy hooks. Those looking for more theoretical grounding found power this year at La Peña Cultural Cultural Center’s Hip Hop Beyond Gender event series, where intersectionalities of class, race, and gender joined in unstoppable flow.

Hip-Hop Nation: Aima the Dreamer, HOTTUB, Hawa Arsala, Yetunde Olagbaju, Tonia Beglari, DJ Jaqi Sparrow, Sky Madden, Raw G, Marco de la Vega, Kelly Lovemonster, DJ Boyfriend, davO, Matrixxman.

Photos by: Angela Dawn, Debbie Smith, Hawa Arsala/Browntourage, Aubrie Pick, Polaroid SF, Brian Moran, Shot in the City, Hannah Cairns, Robbie Sweeney, Molly Decoudreaux.