Female hip-hop phenoms Yo! Majesty gets it started at Belvedere's | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Female hip-hop phenoms Yo! Majesty gets it started at Belvedere's

Depending on whom you ask, Yo! Majesty either subverts hip hop's stereotypical male chauvinism, or -- with songs like "Kryptonite Pussy" ("Yo' punanny better make that money!") -- the duo is just as guilty of female objectification as any male rapper. But Yo! Majesty ladies don't seem particularly concerned with how they're perceived --they're more worried about bringing the party.

The Tampa, Fla., duo is rarely written about without mentioning that its members, singer Jewel Baynham (a.k.a. Jwl B) and rapper LaShunda Flowers (Shaunda K) are both openly lesbian and Christian. But then, since their favorite subjects are sex and God, maybe that's the point.

For its recent full-length Futuristically Speaking: Never Be Afraid, Yo! Majesty incorporates the house and hip-hop elements of Baltimore club music, along with electro, Southern rap, reggae and gospel. This can make for some pretty avant-garde moments, though at its weaker points the record veers into pleasantly rambling confusion. Lyrically, Futuristically Speaking is alternately empowering and party-ready, unflinchingly raunchy and passionate, sometimes to the point of being completely deranged. "I wanna put you in the trunk of my car / you'll be missing on a milk cart," Shaunda K warns her lover in "Fucked Up."

Yo! Majesty is used to raising eyebrows during its energized live performances, like last year when Jwl B nonchalantly performed topless in a New York club. "Your boy 50 Cent does his show with his shirt off. Why can't I?" she asked The New York Times. "God made me who I am, and I'm comfortable in it."


Yo! Majesty with The Floacist, What's What, Jackson, Da Buttonpusha. 8 p.m. Fri., Jan 30. Belvedere's, 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $8 ($10 at the door). 412-687-2555

click to enlarge Bringing the party: Yo! Majesty
Bringing the party: Yo! Majesty

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