The Lost Bois: Transforming Queer Hip Hop through Black Feminism

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We speak of queerness, of love, of politics not from a powerless position, but rather from a celebratory one.

Made up of the smooth vocal stylings of A.O. (Awkward Original) and B.Steady, the Lost Bois are kicking black feminist ass and taking names—and probably a lot of phone numbers, too.

On their Facebook page, The Lost Bois describe their music as “queer hip-hop for studs, bubbles, girlies, and weirdos of all kinds.” The duo has been featured in Colorlines, Sass Magazine, and After Ellen, and has performed at numerous LGBT pride parades and celebrations across the United States. However, their favorite performance venues are smaller, and more intimate feel, where they can meet and share stories with other queer women of color.

“Our music is a kind of hip-pop. We write, we sing, we speak for people like us: queers, dykes, black folks, brown folks, to dance, to fuck, to smile, laugh at and along with. Because really, when did it become a rule that queer folks could only make serious music? Above all, we want our music to be heard.”

How It All Began

The two bois met in middle school at the awkward age of 12, sharing a love of music and a penchant for school jazz bands. Taking stylistic inspiration from Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, and Sarah Vaughn, they write hip-hop and rap music that is revolutionary yet stylistically classic. In college, they formed an all-female queer rap trio, which they named The Q Crew.

After A.O. and B.Steady’s graduation in 2009, the two ladies formed a two-women group, determined to fight heteronormative, sexist mainstream culture by creating beautiful music with powerful lyrics that queers and straights, whites and blacks alike could relate to; music that lets marginalized community members know that they’re not alone, and that their struggles and triumphs matter.

Not only do their controversial lyrics address issues with the contemporary mainstream music scene, but their spoken poetry also confronts racism and the erasure of women of color from mainstream queer culture. Their music videos express this both satirically, and, sometimes, directly with songs such as “The Race.”

What’s In a Name

The group chose their name as a tribute to the literal lost boys from Never Never Land in Peter Pan. The idea of creating a home outside of home, one within the community of queer people of color, appealed to The Lost Bois. The children in Peter Pan, they said, were wacky and wild and even a bit anarchistic, yet they created a diverse, accepting family. The duo’s choice of the word “bois” refers to their desire to play around and acknowledge a wide variety of gender identities.

Now Playing

B.Steady posts a new, original song weekly on her YouTube blog. She has also won two Paul Robeson awards, a prestigious honor from Howard University, for her aesthetically chilling music video, Bones. The song has an ethereal quality to it, juxtaposing a female African ancestor in chains, stowed in a ship, with a woman clad in white cloth, moving so lightly on her feet that she almost seems a ghost.

But The Lost Bois’ music is not all dark and political. They describe their song, “Sincerely,” as a “queer hip-pop tribute to being confident, to being silly, and to crushing hard.” There’s something for everyone.

We write, we sing, we speak for people like us: queers, dykes, black folks, brown folks, to dance, to f*ck, to smile, laugh at and along with. Above all, we want our music to be heard.

Here’s a taste of The Lost Bois, an award-winning song and music video, “Bones” from B. Steady:

The Lost Bois are transforming the queer music scene with powerful lyrics and hip, jazz-infused beats. Follow them at www.thelostbois.com.

  • http://twitter.com/VMcCarroll Victoria McCarroll

    Very cool duo. I enjoyed the video for Sincerely – I’m always interested in the playfulness that can come through in queer works.