I was watching Logo earlier and saw part of the top ten music videos for the week. One of the videos was Cazwell’s “Watch My Mouth:”

Cazwell is a gay rap artist. On hs website he lists The Beastie Boys as one of his influences; I can definitely see how they have affected his music. In addition, I really like his self-conscious requeering of the aesthetic used by Eminem, but where Eminem is arguably homophobic in his music and self-representation, Cazwell certainly queers the white, urban street-tough imagery. As his website states,

His propulsive beats and tongue-twisting rhymes are carving out a new musical style, while his streetwise fashion sense and eye-popping videos serve up visual panache to match. Cazwell’s art isn’t about lifestyle with a lower case L, the type you purchase off-the-rack after reading a magazine article, but a Style of Life, one which celebrates everyday existence, from his first waking moments to the hazy, shady episodes that unfold in the wee small hours.

I’m immediately fascinated by his aesthetic, as expressed in his lyrics, videos, and fashion sense. Plus, he’s hot. He’s doing something really interesting, something that I think would work as a discussion topic in my gay lit class next quarter. We won’t be reading any recent gay literature, so maybe I’ll show them a couple of Cazwell’s videos and use them to start a conversation about twenty-first century gay male identities, politics, and sexuality.

My new favorite song is “All Over Your Face.” I love it.

These videos also situate Cazwell within a very specific New York culture. Not everyone appreciates Amanda Lepore and her transformation into the woman she’s become, but her collaboration with Cazwell also situates his videos in a specific milieu that would be interesting to discuss with students.

He has two additional videos that I’ve seen on YouTube. “I Buy My Socks on 14th Street” is an interesting take on the Republican convention in NYC in 2004.

And he has a featured part in a Peppermint video:

As a RuPaul fan, I mean as sincere flattery to both: Peppermint is the poised to be the next RuPaul, I think. Here’s her myspace page and a news page. How cool would it be if they did a duet together?!

I’m glad I’ve stumbled across Cazwell’s music — my study needs to sound a little more like a gay bar from time to time!