If you’re one of those people who were pissed that Lady Gaga became a superstar and Peaches didn’t, you might be the target audience for Boyfriend.
For one thing, Boyfriend is a girl, specifically a local woman who teaches by day and turns into a pansexual, witty, near-predatory club rapper at night, like some superheroine librarian nympho. Like Peaches, her surreal reversal of clichés and aggressive sexuality are punk as shit, but unlike Peaches or Gaga, she comes with a real flow, a Kreayshawn-Minaj type of melange that keeps revealing the irony beneath the bluster.
“Look at me, I need some fuckin’ attention” is the first line of her debut EP, and not only is that the most perfect introductory statement of our celebrity age, she bears down hard on the f-bomb, essentially turning it inside out as surely as Aretha did with Otis Redding’s “Respect.”
Call it pink thug: she sexualizes herself so confidently that there’s no room to judge her. It’s got levels.
Hot on the heels of that first EP came a second one, appropriately called “Pt. 2,” and to the extent that they’re different at all, the sequel is a little darker and less facile, its electroclash-inspired club beats slower and slightly more off-kilter. Throughout both, she happily plays the role of provocateur: “Hey Girl” and “Triangle” are what you hope they’re about; for that matter, so are “Say You Will” and “Man Cheatin.”
But in the depths of her depravity, the subtleties keep surfacing, not just the work hook-up of “Company Ink” and the hood fidelity of “Lean”—Boyfriend is at heart a surprisingly romantic strain of libertine. The big reveal of “Triangle” is “We can be free.” And “Love Means” turns a famous Corinthians verse into a celebration: “Love means only you can hold me / While the bomb we set’s exploding.”