Taking the new freedom that 2012’s Deep Purple introduced, Stunt B%$@h comes in and gets very comfortable in the new space. A @BSLADE recorded event is already a musical fun house of classic pop and R&B inspired moments, especially when he uses similar production elements associated with Prince or Michael and Janet Jackson. Yet imagine a fun house that morphs in style and theme each time you enter, so that half the fun of entering is seeing the shape of what comes next. It’s @BSLADE’s vocal antics that fans expect (he refers to himself as “the vocal ninja”), and fans have learned to expect the unexpected.
Even the cover of this project introduces some of the lyrical concepts of this album. @BSLADE holds a body pose similar to that of the classic Magician tarot card in the Major Arcana (in fact, the arc of his arms shadow the number eight–considered in ancient gnostic societies to be a numerical symbol of Christ). He’s also sporting a mustache and a long blond hair piece on half of his head. It could be interpreted as his personal channeling of masculine and feminine energies, “as above, so below”. It can also open the listener to free their minds from the bindings of gender as “she” and “he” are referred to in the following tracks on the record.
The album starts with the title track–a proclamation that he’s “more than a gender” as he calls himself the “stunt bitch” who can handle business like a “stud butch”. Both terms have roots primarily in same-gender loving and gender non-conforming communities. Then, as if to underscore how business is handled, the next track speaks against messing with his “Coins”. A fair amount of bass and wub-love follows with the dubstep/R&B party anthem, “Tipsy (feat K-Otic Couture)”. Then, turning to a bright tip of the hat to Prince stylistically, “26foreverandaday” spouts that he will stay relevant. “On The Contrary” is a completely unhinged, circus of a track that’s so densely packed with popular culture references and ends on such a wicked beat that you may need to call a “time-out” to gather your thoughts. Headphones reveal much on this track.
“Station ID” beckons the listener to take time to connect with their real identity for their own sake, cycling the idea of being a personal channel and positioning yourself for the clearest signal. Ushering disco heat, @BSLADE then moves to describe a situation of signal blocking against the backdrop of the decadent drug use in days of Studio 54 with “Quaaludes and White Powder”. 80’s R&B/dance junkies will no doubt love all nine minutes of the “Diana Prince” groove. It’s like Jam & Lewis, Jellybean Benitez, and Prince came to a ball to finish you!
Speaking of Prince, @BSLADE covers one of his classic songs and re-titles it here as “Girlfriend” and, in light of a theme running throughout Stunt B%$@h, continues a strong pull on the feminine energy. The ending remix by Frankie Knuckles sends you home from this fun house of a record elevated and with happy feet anxious to make a return. Stunt B%$@h continues to establish @BSLADE as his own artist, unfettered by the lyrical demands or production standards of any one community of listeners. For that, pour him a glass of finally indeed.