Mixx 10: Lil Government

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Perhaps one of the most evident signs of an authentic creative is our own response to what she makes, our inability to find a consistent way to anticipate it. She isn’t trying to art, her only desire is to be novel, imaginative, aesthetically interesting; to introduce her audience to that which they have not already discovered within themselves.

This is what LIL GOVERNMENT does. The fashion director. The artist manager. The ageless intellectual. With visuals. With words. With the internet. She demonstrates the precocious capacity to exert power and achieve ends with all the artist’s modern tools. With every middle space she occupies and all the vicissitudes of her favorite medium, the world wide web, this one-half of LIL AGENCY seems full of just that . . . agency. One can only be intrigued.

Through a slew of email correspondence, I had the pleasure of getting down on the ground with the Boston native/NYC implant/suspected extraterrestrial, and the rare, unexpected surprise of becoming a fan. If you have good discernment, you’ll follow suit.

LilGov1

Your vocabulary is lush (I love the term Metacultural Polymath, wish I were a thief). You’re obviously a thinker and very clever. What is your education level? What are your thoughts on the relationship between formal education, and intelligence or someone’s level of intellect?

I dropped out of engineering school after a year, and I really had to wipe my paradigm slate clean and re-lay the bricks by hand. It wasn’t, and hasn’t been easy; the only way to make anyone appreciate being told what to do is to leave them to their own devices.

Formal education is a business like anything else; it can be useful, but the consumer must make decisions tailored to him or herself. Think about what you want first, and then the tools you need to get it. If you really aren’t sure, school isn’t a bad way to try new things, as well as buy yourself another four years and debt you probz would’ve racked up by now in Foodler purchases anyway.

Other than life experience, other people are the best and most direct way to learn, and if you lack professors I certainly recommend an inspiring crew of friends and a mentor or several at the very least. Remember, the more independent you want to be, the lonelier you are when decision-making time comes around. This is simultaneously empowering and terrifying.

What & who & how would culture be affected if LIL GOVERNMENT shut down?

Trolls will keep trolling, haters will keep hating, and my tortured consciousness will finally get some long-deserved rest. Hopefully, I’d “shut down” in a glamorous and dramatic way, like a flaming car crash or drowning accident on the Riviera, so Bukkweat can exploit the sympathy for new fans. The living still need to get paid!

Your hats are like, stylist, fashion blogger, brand manager, etc. . . . but you’re obviously an artist yourself, as much as the people you style & manage. Aesthetics or fashion is your art—art being “creativity that includes commentary on the culture.” In one article, you refer to yourself as an aesthetic anthropologist. Can you talk about what you mean by that phraseology? What would you say to someone who said, “Brigid, you’re much too intellectual and smart to be concerned with something as silly and material as clothes?” 

I initially started spewing phrases like “metacultural polymath” and “aesthetic anthropologist” because people would ask me what I do, and I can’t be bothered with the ever-shifting laundry list, but hate the word freelance and silence equals unemployment. I’m just going to start asking people “what do I do?” when I meet them and maybe someone will give me some guidance.

I wish there was a bevy of people around telling me I’m much too intellectual; I do struggle perpetually with the churning, icy objectification of the fashion industry and its numerous ethical vortexes. However, and ultimately, anyone telling me what should concern me, can eat one.

What’s your favorite way to transcend reality?

It’s a toss-up between astral projection, and simply sticking my laptop between the couch cushions for a few days and forgetting the internet exists. Ideally, both.

What are your thoughts on Kanye’s complaint of a glass ceiling for those without a ticket into the high-class world of fashion? Do you think it also exists for artists who aren’t black or aren’t rappers? Do you think an artist should be concerned about a glass ceiling?

I believe that many facets of the glass ceiling have shifted from race to class-related; although, racism is certainly institutionalized in and outside the fashion industry and I’m not minimizing that. Are these ceilings worth being concerned about? In a greater context, yes, so we can change them; in an individual one, not particularly, because it’s on you to hack your existence to minimize the suffering of the human condition. This requires deftly squirming in and out of the societal ties that bind you, sometimes even using them in a pinch to pull yourself out of a well—whether you’re an artist or not.

The world is cold, and justice is what you make of it. Kanye’s causes could be approached in a more meaningful way, but they’re his.

What’s your favorite pop culture adjective? For example, mine is Trill.

I’m feeling the turn-up right now; I am just so turnt I can’t even breathe. Fuccboi is another favorite—it can be a barb or a term of endearment. When fuccbois turn up? I basically explode into a sparkling cloud of Kush dust and hunneds.

LilGov3Why Bukkweat Bill as your first client? What’s one thing you know about Bukk that most people wouldn’t expect?

Bukkweat actually found me (and LIL INTERNET, his co-manager and my fellow LIL AGENCY cofounder)—he said what up on Twitter, the type of interaction I frequently ignore from strangers, but it was love at first sight, straight from the avi. After I watched the 666Forever video, which was 1 of 2 songs he had on YouTube when we signed him, I was basically headdesking that he wasn’t already headlining tours and signing autographs. That’s the long answer; the short answer? DESTINY, BRUH.

The best thing about Bukk is that you get exactly what you expect. What’s understood doesn’t have to be explained.

What’s the significance of the LIL for the LILs? And why such BIG letters?

There’s something about The Twitter that begets the ALL CAPS (which Bukk, who also replaces every “C” with “K,” shared from the get-go); it’s my stream of consciousness; and, stylistically, I enjoy the jutting, angular visual prose of a capitalized sentence.

LIL INTERNET was an early LIL, when they were mostly rappers and not meta-ironic Tumblr users. I credit him for that. His chaotic, webbed INTERNET complements my meticulously architected and sometimes dysfunctional GOVERNMENT. If you meet us, you get it.

Name a juxtaposition in your life. How does it inform your work? 

Juxtaposition is survival for me. I have extreme highs and lows and dissociative tendencies, and the ability to keep both the sky and the ground in focus is an art I am still mastering. Also, because I do many different things, my work flow is determined by how moving parts are balanced, more than any one individual part.

What kind of art were you making as a youth or, how did your talent manifest? Who were you influenced by?

I wanted to be a pop star when I was young! I have a crazy voice that you wouldn’t expect from me, but I don’t use it much these days. Honestly, singing is a purer art form than what I do now, and is legitimately therapeutic, but also somewhat non-intellectual and wholly narcissistic (neither of which is a bad thing). Thankfully, those qualities have carried over into my work today.

I’m often inspired by moments, more so than people; my own instincts are my overriding influence, for better or worse.

 

The Mixx Magazine Guest Writer Section. Where creative thinking is turned into words.