No Apologies: An Interview with Queer Hip-Hop Duo God-Des & She

Texas hip hop pop soul artists and activists God-Des & She are coming to Crush this coming Tuesday (2/19) for a Q Center sponsored, high-energy show in celebration of their 4th album United States of God Des & She. God Des & She’s energy and talent originally got the attention of industry insiders and listeners alike after they appeared on the season 3 finale of Showtime series The L Word and had a number one video on MTV LOGO with their smash hit “Love You Better” for 15 weeks straight. They have toured worldwide, performing to packed venues from New York to Sweden and sharing the stage with artists including Lady Gaga, Salt n’ Pepa, SIA and many more.

Over their 10+ year career, the always outspoken duo has solidified themselves as community advocates with messages of gay rights and equality infused into their genre-defying sound. With their 4th full length album, United States of God-Des & She, which dropped February 5, 2013, and a national and European tour on the books, 2013 is set to be their biggest year yet.

I caught up with the girls today to chat a bit about their new record, the tour, and what we can expect from their PDX show next week.

Logan Lynn: Thanks for chatting with us today! The last time you played Portland was for the grand opening of the new Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center last year. What a fun night that was! We are all so excited for the show on Tuesday! Any special tricks up your sleeves for this show?

God-Des & She: We are going to be doing a lot of new music. We have an amazing tribute to the late, great Amy Winehouse. We are so excited to share the new record United States of God Des and She with you!

Logan Lynn: You also donated a track called God, I Know You Love Me to the charity record I produced Comp 175: A Benefit for Queer Programs and Services in the Pacific NW. Can you tell us a little bit about that song?

God-Des & She: We wrote the song to show the internal struggle with queer people’s religious identity. It’s not fair that queer people are made to feel like they have to choose one or the other. Our God is a God that loves and condemns bigotry.

Watch the God, I Know You Love Me video here:

Logan Lynn: How much does activism play a role in your songwriting?

God-Des & She: I think it’s just a natural process when we are writing about things that matter to us. Hip hop was founded on the stories of the marginalized and ignored. We are just continuing that tradition.

Logan Lynn: What’s on each of your iPods right now? Favorite songs you aren’t able to get out of your head?

She: Right now I get super excited when the new Justin Timberlake song comes on.
God Des: I am so into the entire Kendrick Lamar album.

Logan Lynn: Nice. How do you feel about the growing queer hip hop scene you helped pioneer? Are you collaborating with anyone on this new record we should know about?

God-Des & She: We are very happy that queer artists feel free to be out and be visible, and so proud of everyone doing their thing. On our record we feature a few dope female MC’s, Las Krudas from Cuba and Persia, who is based out of San Francisco. Both are extremely talented and spit fire on our new record.

Logan Lynn: Many people remember you from “The L-Word”. What was that experience like?

God-Des & She: The L word as you can imagine was a surreal experience. It really helped us gain visibility. We will be eternally grateful to the pussy song.

Logan Lynn: Logo played a part in getting a lot of us exposure during the past decade. Did your relationship with MTV and that channel change your career path?

God-Des & She: Having a video that was number one on the click list for 15 weeks for sure helped. We were also featured in two documentaries one called “hip hop homo’s” and the other was “Pick up the Mic”. We were also nominated for a brink of fame award. So yeah all those things really played a part. We will always have a lot of love for LOGO.

Logan Lynn: If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be? What about them makes you feel inspired?

God Des: Lupe Fiasco, because he is so fearless and honest and sticks to his convictions.
She: I would love to make a record with Rick Rubin. I think he would really get us.

Logan Lynn: Speaking of records, can you tell us a little bit about your new one?

God-Des & She: Our new record is written from our hearts and our guts. We were brutally honest with no apologies. It hits home for a lot of people. We are very proud.

Logan Lynn: I love that. If you had one message of queer inspiration for our readers to take away, what would it be?

God-Des & She: Be out, be visible because if you don’t respect yourself no one else will. Live your truth.

RSVP to the Facebook event page for Tuesday’s PDX show HERE. Tickets are $5.00 at the door.

Logan Lynn

About Logan Lynn

Logan Lynn is a Portland-based musician, activist, writer, producer, and regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

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