We had a chance to catch up with new rap artist Malka Red, whose hit single “Boy Booty” is making waves.
QVegas: Tell us your story. How did you decide to become a rapper?
I grew up in Vegas, and I went to high school at the Las Vegas Academy as a theatre major. When I found out I’d have a minute and a half to give a speech at graduation, I wanted to come up with a creative way to grab the audience’s attention. I wrote a rap. Actually, it was more like a rap/Dr.Seuss-y poem, but the crowd went wild. Throughout college, I wrote some slam poetry and rap, and I created a class with some other rappers called “The Language of Hip Hop.” We studied the history and culture of hip hop, as well as rap techniques.
But I still didn’t take myself seriously as a rapper until about a year ago, when I moved to New York. I actually thought I’d focus on acting when I moved here, but when I started going to open mics and performing my songs, I was having so much fun. Most people getting up on the mic where white guys with guitars who’d sing ballads, and I was up there rapping about boy butts.
I realized that instead of auditioning and waiting for a director to say “yes” to me, I could say “yes” to myself whenever I wanted by writing my own music and performing in bars. And, since then, I’ve put most of my energy into creating and performing music — but I’m also a sketch comedy writer, playwright, and actor.
QVegas: Where did the idea for “Boy Booty” come from?
For a lot of my songs, I try to address a social issue through humor. That’s where “Boy Booty” came from — there are so many songs, all the time, about girls’ asses. So, I wanted to point out that dichotomy. That’s why most of my lines are references to songs about girl butts. To write the song, I put together what I called my “study playlist” of more than 40 songs about women’s butts.
QVegas: You’ve described “Boy Booty” as an “accidental gay anthem.” Can you tell us why?
As I said, I wrote “Boy Booty” originally as a feminist song. When I performed it at bars, I’d call up two unsuspecting men from the audience and force them to be my backup dancers. It was always hilarious. One of my lines is “Put your hands up if you like boy booty,” and all the gay guys would shoot their hands into the air. I remember the night I really realized the song was like a gay anthem — I called this gay couple onstage to dance with me, and they were just so into it.
Then, I started booking gay clubs and bars, and I was having the time of my life. I performed at the biggest gay club in Portugal this summer -- Trumps Lisboa -- and it was an incredible experience.
When I told Queerty that I created the song originally as a feminist sort of anthem and that it was being embraced by gay guys (for obvious reasons), they coined the phrase “accidental gay anthem” to describe it.
QVegas: Who are inspirations for your music?
Nicki Minaj, Chance, Lady Leshurr, Lady Gaga, Angel Haze.
QVegas: Where did the name Malka Red come from?
“Malka” means “queen” in Hebrew — so I’m Red Queen.
I studied Evolutionary Anthropology in college, and in a biology class we talked about the “Red Queen Hypothesis.” It says that species have to keep evolving just to stay in existence. The idea comes from Through the Looking Glass, when the Red Queen took Alice’s hand and said, “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place.”
Before Malka Red, I called myself ReMC, and I would refer to myself as the Red Queen in my early songs. Eventually, I changed my name. To me, it means other rappers are going to have to be constantly evolving just to keep up with me!
QVegas: What’s next for you?
I’m working on five new songs that I’m really excited about, and I’m planning another music video for my song “Red Queen.” I’ll also be home in Vegas from November 17 - 30, and I’m hoping to perform a few times while there.
Search for “Boy Booty music video” on YouTube. Follow @malkared on Twitter and Instagram and find her on Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes. Give her a like on facebook.com/RedMalkaRed. IG & Twitter: @malkared