Purple, Are You Stripper Now?
If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked this question over the last few months, I'd certainly have a down payment for a house.
Okay, maybe not a house, but I would definitely be able to afford a month's rent in a bomb loft overlooking DTLA.
By no means do I owe anyone on the face of this planet an explanation of my endeavors or whereabouts. However, I find this to be the perfect time to address this.
I have been an artist my entire life. I know that the more I expose my abilities and passions to the masses, there is an influx of both criticism and acceptance. It comes with the territory. But I'm from Philly. My skin is thick. I'm built from it so I'm built for it.
This post is meant to acknowledge how entertaining (and tiring) it is to be labeled based on an individual's lack of understanding. I get it, it's just hueman nature. I have been observing you upright creatures for my entire existence, so I understand how easy it is for you to associate unfamiliar things with prior knowledge (however limited) in effort to resolve.
So in your huemanly ways, you take two completely unrelated things (Duchess + stripper), assign them a relationship (Duchess is stripper), and assume you know a little about it based on your hodgepodge of a conclusion. That type of ignorance is dangerous and never blissful.
In the midsts of manifesting my best life, it's been revealed to me that folk have a burning desire to classify The Color Duchess without allowing The Color of Duchess to speak for itself. I get that you're trying get me. I know you don't really know what to do with me, and you are trying your absolute best to associate my music, art, or videos with something that feels familiar. But you're better off just letting me be without trying to understand me. My goal isn't to be understood. I just want to BE.
In all fairness to huemans, I have never been this tapped in, tuned in, and turned on, so the timeliness of your confusion is quite sensible. I know where I lost you. A few years ago, we unanimously pigeonholed me as a just a poet, shortly after that just a photographer, and after that just an assistant. But rest assured, I am just Duchess, Your Favorite Color. You are simply being exposed to the gamut of my radiant gradient.
My responsibility as an artist is to convey my truth inclusive of the good, bad, salacious, beautiful, lonely, and fashionable. This mostly occurs through song, spoken word, dress making, painting, or gyrating my girth. These creative mediums are merely a projection of my soul. The Purple brick walls that once separated my world from yours have melted alongside my fear of acceptance and approval. What people don't realize is that it has taken a tremendous amount of courage to step outside of myself to be closer to my passions. I spent years searching for ways to be the prim and proper princess they groomed me to be. But the fire inside consumed her. It sucked caring what people thought about me, and by people I don't mean strangers dwelling in the world at large, because they don't effect my psyche. I'm specifically referring to people like my mother, my mentors, my family. Their opinions of me matter, but as it pertains to the truth and authenticity of my art, there is no room at the table to serve anyone other than myself. I have to love it. I have to feel it. I have to need it.
There's no denying how irritated I've been with the way some of you had me fucked up in the past. At this juncture, I have no other choice but to come on strong because I am making up for lost times. And let me just say that I don't knock anyone's hustle, and I respect the grind in it's entirety. I don't have anything against strippers, but I am not that. I love my body, my mind, my beauty, and my scars the same. I have every intent to use the totality of my being to fluidly express my soul.
So taste that. Let it rest on your tongue a bit. Before you make any further assumptions about my art, perhaps you should consider the origins of my intent. You don't have to get it. You don't have to be deep to let me BE.