Welcome To My World: Princess Superstar
At a time when female rappers are all fur coats and cattiness, Concetta Kirschner is more like Marshall Mathers in high heels. Like Slim, Princess Superstar's wordplay expresses the dark side of white trash. Born to a Sicilian mom and Polish/Jewish dad, there's nothing normal about this 29-year-old. "I guess the Sicilian gives me a big butt and the ability to rhyme'" she says, "and the Jewish side makes me a great business person. There hasn't been much of a precedent for white girls in hip hop and major labels never knew what to do with me. They'd rather make me some kind of Britney Spears."
After being wined and dined by the majors, our heroine chose to set up her own label, The Corrupt Conglomerate in the mid '90s. Three underground albums later she is set to blow up with this month's excellent Princess Superstar Is album - an avant-garde journey into her mind via self-mocking lyricism and genre-hopping production. The album bubbles with old school energy - not surprising coming from a girl who grew up listening to Kurtis Blow and BDP.
Guest include High & Mighty on "Bad Babysitter", a tribute to teenage rude girls where Ms. Superstar torments a youngster with tales of mass murderers, pops pills, does things with a cucumber for her boyfriend and seduces the child''s father. The moral is: "How nice it is to get laid while you're getting paid."
"Sex rhymes are a feminist thing for me," she explains, "it's about being able to empower yourself because it's normally the men who use them. I'm really a romantic at heart, but I'm also a fucking slut." The collaboration with fellow sicko Kool Keith is a match made in heaven. "On my last album I had this song called 'Kook Keith's Ass'," she says. "I was trying to get him to pose for my record in a thong because hip hop is obsessed with naked women. Then I said, 'Hey, let's do a real song together. You know, a love song'." But there's nothing lovey-dovey about their duet, where over a shit poppin' orchestral backdrop Keith woos his diva with X-rated movies and fantasies of banging in the morgue. Elsewhere a track with Beth Orton sounds more Beck than Foxy Brown and "Too Much Weight" featuring Bahamadia is brilliantly conscious hip hop. Soul, style and sexcapades are part of the Princess superstar trip, but irony is never far away. On "Welcome To My World", she responds in style to the Eminem comparison and silences critics who describe her as "the white Lil' Kim" by saying, "I'm a black Shirley Temple."
Princess Superstar Is is out now on Rapster Records/The Corrupt Conglomerate.
Text - Tom Barlow, Photography - Kenneth Cappello, Make-up - Maya Hardinge