Genderbending rapper, poet and artist Mykki Blanco has made the difficult choice to disclose his HIV positive status publicly.
In a Facebook post, Blanco said “I’ve been HIV Positive since 2011, my entire career. F**k stigma and hiding in the dark, this is my real life.” Rap and hip-hop in particular have usually shied away from mentioning HIV and AIDS. It’s rare to see them discussed in music and even rarer for an artist of either genre to want to talk about the diseases publicly.
“Music industry ain’t gonna like I admitted this so if a curator could help me move more into the art world, that would be awesome,” added Blanco.
The response on social media has been an outpouring of support and positive comments from fans and strangers alike. Blanco identifies as trans, though has used different pronouns for himself, and has been an outspoken artist for LGBTQ rights.
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Recent songs targeted at the black community confronting the dangers of HIV and AIDS are few and far between, most notably “America” by the Wu-Tang Clan and a few lines in “Roses” by Outkast. It is a topic that deserves more traction in music, and perhaps Blanco is willing to take up the challenge.
“It finally hit me…I’ve achieved too much while being HIV Positive to be hiding from this insane society lol,” tweeted out Blanco.
Even though the disease is obviously a big part of his life, he went on to say that he did not want his status as positive to define him, and that, rather, he wanted his art to define him.
Like I have to much Swag to not be honest about myself and continue to have swag— MYKKI BLANCO (@MykkiBlanco) June 13, 2015
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