JUNGLEPUSSY CAN RAP - "Satisfaction Guaranteed" ALBUM REVIEW

JUNGLEPUSSY CAN RAP – “Satisfaction Guaranteed” ALBUM REVIEW

“Hair defying gravity, melanin so high, opacity” – Black women artists are held to standards that are never leveled against white men, and it’s not as if the music industry is a level playing field with the increased presence of black artists. I want to blaze and appreciate the contributions of women artists and unlearn the misogyny inherent within the way media outlets engage with them, than engage in the armchair activism that comes with debating Beyonce’s magazine covers. One artist consistently pushing the boundaries of popular representation is Junglepussy, government name Shayna McHale. The following reflections on her latest album release, Satisfaction Guaranteed,  are some my own opinions to ~enhance ur listening experience~.

I’m all for black power. I’m not for black power that’s criticizing other races. I am for black people embracing themselves and their culture and everything that comes with it instead of people just taking our culture from us and telling us who we are—that we’re ghetto.

-Interview with Vice 

Junglepussy, twitter name  Black Power, is hella vocal about black cultural politics and the commodification of blackness (often in white packaging) that has become endemic to the music industry. Some run from a name like Junglepussy, a name Shayna chose to encapsulate her love of animal prints and womanhood. Read together, the name recalls a racial fetish of exotic ethnic female sexual availability resulting in people literally tweeting her thinking she’s a “tranny or pornstar“- but she claps all the way to the bank on that stereotype with humor and finesse. She lays it down for dudes that she’s outta their league, what it do #boop, and if she has sex, it’s for her benefit and she comes first. Junglepussy is here to s(t/l)ay. Sexuality is her reign and her agency is avowed a priori (that ding-a-ling was just a fling, bitch). To me that is mad empowering, to take this loaded ass name that scares off or “turns on” some audiences with it’s charged assumptions about women’s sexuality and then produce music that is full of confidence, ownership of one’s sexuality, and lyrical chops – PROPS.

Junglepussy Black Power

And she does it all with humor! With tracks like “Picky Bitch Checklist”, “Bling Bling”,  and “Fuck Texting” that posit her right to have her body played how she wants- including high standards and expectations underscored by so many self-conscious jokes, and at the end of the track she’s like ‘babieeeeeeee jk luv u call meeeee’. It’s that type of self-deprecating playfulness that is so damn refreshing. She can be all hard one minute and turn it off on a whim, but her flow is consistent. She is such a multidimensional artist and a goofball with that ending voice-over throwback to early 2000’s overdramatic music video plots.

I feel like the songs that I have on Satisfaction Guaranteed that are rude and crazy, it’s definitely there as an example of what to do and what not to do. … I understand the boys have problems too; they’ve got to be men and have society telling them they have to provide and do this and that. It’s hard for them to do that, but when we tell them, “Oh you ain’t shit” that’s not helping really. I mean they OD on us too, but that’s not helping either. That’s why it’s called Satisfaction Guaranteed: I wanted everyone to be satisfied, and satisfied with themselves and just accept.
-Junglepussy in Interview Magazine

Departing from that, “Me Nuh Care” stands out and stresses growing up in a New York steeped in the realities of her parents’ Trinidad and Jamaica. Her relation to sexuality is informed by these differing cultural logics of pleasure, power, and plain fun. So the lyrical refrain ‘pat your pum pum and flick your lighter in the air’ stresses those intersecting registers of cultural legibility that comprise her lived experience and artsitic inspiration. In this track she’s willing to be illegible, and there I read a beautiful defiance; a black immigrant experience of the United States that whites may not be privy to.

junglepussy divider

Finally, she gets quite personal and contemplative with tracks like “Me.” Concisely put, it’s a distillation of her mission in life, what she’s all about. “Pointing my chin, conscious of the situations I’m put in.” Her most recent track out of the bunch, she gives thanks to femcees past and black cultural icons such as the late Maya Angelou and Bernie Mac, placing herself within that constellation of black artistic production, and her delivery is still comical, generous, sexy, and infinitely quotable. This particular track speaks so much to me in it’s self awareness of race, gender, class, and a sense of history- both personal and collective in relevance.

All in all, I loved this album release and thought it was truly a cohesive work encapsulating so many sides of her. It’s all available on Soundcloud so make your own opinions on it. Oh, I cannot wait to see her go prosciutto levels of ham on stage this weekend!


BAY AREA PERFORMANCE: Pride Saturday at Public Works for the Dyke March Afterparty

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Rishy KWritten by Hrishekesh Kashyap: a queer South Asian writer living in San Francisco. He enjoys djing VIPOC bedroom parties of no more than 5 people with a playlist entirely composed of Missy Elliot’s discography.