Last week, I was fortunate to experience a performance by legendary rap weirdo, Blowfly. I also performed, and had a swell time for sure, but this isn’t about me.
Blowfly is old. I’ll get that out of the way now. Seeing him on stage, I estimated him to be something like 75 (Wikipedia would later assert that he is in fact 74). He had the jerky saunter of a man on creaky legs, and, when stuffed into his gold, bedazzled superhero spandex, he looked not dissimilar to a pillowcase full of mashed potatoes with a slightly discomforting crotch bulge. But he donned a mask, wrapped himself in a purple cape, wore both well, and exuded supreme charisma and stage presence usually reserved for those who have not been decade-long subscribers to “AARP Magazine”.
For those unfamiliar with his work (as I largely was prior to the show being booked, though a friend of mine swears he introduced me to Blowfly years ago and I was drunk and forgot, which is possible), Blowfly’s whole swagger is basically a hyper-nasty, sexually explicit rapper who largely performs parodies such as, “Should I Fuck This Big Fat Hoe?” (“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”) and “You Dropped the Cum on Me” (“You Dropped the Bomb on Me”). He coughed and hacked between songs, and I mean legitimately concerning hacks at times, during which time he and his drummer/manager would have scripted back-and-forths to lead into each joint (Drummer: “Hey, Blowfly. How big is your dick?” Blowfly: “My dick is 50 feet tall”).
Ultimately, it was quite an experience to watch this old man, a man who was once a celebrated producer and songwriter for soul and R&B acts in the 1970s, rap for 30 people at a dive in Youngstown, Ohio. If I’m still rapping when I’m 74, I’m gonna wear a sequined superhero costume, too. He earned it.