A Coronation In Progress
Princess Superstar: The Next Elizabeth Windsor?
by Shelton Hull
Princess Superstar (http://www.princessuperstar.com) is the stage name of Conchetta Kirschner, born 28 years ago to Sicilian/Russian/Jewish/Polish parents in Philadelphia. The former NYU drama student has released four albums, four singles and turned up twice on mid-’90s compilations, mostly through her own Corrupt Conglomerate label. Having achieved a fair measure of underground notoriety with marginal market impact, her mainstream credibility is due up for ratcheting. Her song “Wet! Wet! Wet!” is being used in a future episode of “Sex and the City,” a fact that will no doubt provoke many hip-hop affionada to watch the least hip show in America for the first time. With neither Kirschner nor the Princess available for an interview, due to the rapid rush of an international tour, and with the existing press on her being pretty unquotable due to weak writing, I resort instead to what could be called a primary source: selected lyrics from her newest album, Princess Superstar Is . . . (K7 Records), which features guest spots from Bahamadia, J-Zone, Beth Orton and, for the second time, unofficial doppelganger Kool Keith. The following “interview” should help fill in the outline of what is becoming an increasingly interesting indie-rap success story.
Q: Your multi-ethnic background– commonly dismissed as white– seems to form the core of the establishment mark media’s conception of your appeal. Where are you from?
A: “Let me answer the question of the day– I was born in Spanish Harlem then moved to PA, on 172 and St. Nich. Food stamps and WIC ’til my folks worked themselves rich.” (“Welcome to My World”)
Q: Ah, yes– your parents are both therapists, which was a rather lucrative field in the late-’70s and ’80s, as weak-willed Baby-Boomer burnouts felt the need to suddenly make sense of their youthful excesses and adult psychological failings. So, Princess, how would you describe your style?
A: “Cryptic kick shit from the crypt, sadistic lick hits with wit, I’m quick, rip crickets in a wicket, I’m plain wicked thick in the rig wearing kid lipstick. I wreck shit on the next shit, spit it in ya ear bit like a Q-Tip. Big silly bitch, wickedy witch, lickety split in a stitch, no dick but talk big, carry a big stick . . .” (“Who Writes Your Lyrics”)
Q: That’s a bit vague, in my opinion. Please elaborate on that point, in particular please tell me how you’ve managed to so artfully adopt the argot of so-called “urban” culture?
A: “I spit sonic gas classy, psychopath psychotic iconoclast, I got an iconic ass/it’s ironic how erotic my robotic sonnets get girls in bonnets hot like Harry Connick’s sick on gin and tonics, we super sonic, hook you on our phonics. Learned Ebonics by erotic ebony dick and Mantronix . . . Now we getting paid critical mass sass pinnacle like the Citadel, not minimal, we hospitable . . .” (“We Got Panache”)
Q: Yes, you are. Your good heart and kindness are self-evident. For those readers unfamiliar with your creative evolution, please take us back quickly through your previous releases.
A: “I put out my first tape in ’94– if you got one, I’ll buy it. I don’t got one no more. It was called ‘Mitch Better Get My Bunny.’ That shit was shitty but funny. I admit it was dumb, but I did it with no money. In 9-5 my first CD [was] called Strictly Platinum, but it didn’t go platinum– it went back to them; and instead of waitin’ for someone to put me on, I started a label, ran it ’til the money was gone, then came along, then was gone.” (“Who Writes Your Lyrics”)
Q: A favorite technique of lazy music critics is to make points by comparing one artist to another, whether the comparison makes sense or not. You’re clearly well-aware of what’s been said about who you’re “like.” Comments?
A: “Everyone tells me I’m the female Eminem– well all I’m gonna talk about is getting fucked up the ass then. Don’t be mad Em, I’m just playin’, I wish I had a Dr. Dre and sold out shows, one million white faces in Dayton, Ritzes instead of Days Inn bitches for maids then . . . Lazin’ by the pool with record industry fools, Cristal in my drool, man, that’d be cool. I’m like, Whoa! . . . If you want to compare me, like ‘white Lil’ Kim,’ ‘female Kool Keith,’ I’ll speak and keep it simple. Here’s your brain on Princess Superstar: pretty mental. Ok: I’m the Black Shirley Temple.” (“Welcome to My World”)
Q: How goes the love life of the world’s sexiest white female rapper?
A: “My ex is on X, I’m a sex symbol and no sex. I’m shy and kinda awkward when it comes to the men, but I’m Princess Superstar and I got a big mouth like the men.” (“Dichotomy”)
Q: That’s very true–it’s part of your appeal. Your lyrics tend to espouse a rather libertine take on civil liberties, especially on matters of drugs and sex. Is this stuff all true, or are have you chosen to exercise the device known as “artistic license”?
A: “Like grassy knoll I shoot my mouth off, take my top off on, get my rocks off on Prada knockoff I’m gone, I cop rock on the dope block, I’d rather rot than cop dope. I’d rather snot than snort coke, I cope with Diet Coke, no pope, no beau elope, alone on the low, no dough but for those in the know, I’m famous, you know?” (“Dichotomy”)
Q: And now, the requisite September 11 question: The events of 9/11 have led to a new wave of infringement on freedom of expression, so sayeth the left. It’s quite possible that these trends may lead to a resurgence of the rap censorship movement that peaked about ten years ago. If such a thing occurs, you will likely be among those rappers targeted, if only because you are so different-looking than the usual suspects. Conservatives may even cite you and others, like Eminem, as proof that the “virus of vulgarity” that some attribute to rap has spread to “proper” Caucasian culture. Care to respond in advance?
A: “Don’t censor me. I live like a saint. I meditate every morning, drink carrot juice. I’m hardly late. Try censoring your candidate who gets head under the desk. If that’s what you get, you can bet I wanna be the next prez. . . What if there were no tracts for Shakespeare or wax for Flash, no road for Kerouac? There might not have been rap. Leave us alone– make your own family a better place. How much hate could you eliminate if you were down with your kids’ mix tapes? . . . So let’s gain, use the platform for more than Phat Farm. Sing about the Bling Bling to help ’em outta Sing Sing; turn your beepers off–ring ring. I’m getting sicker. Here’s the kicker: fuck your Advisory Sticker. I’m advised to stick ‘this CD made by Seagrams’ Liquor’ . . . I’m a vomit ’til all the lobbyists in congresses keep their promises, and the artists are all real artists, and the father finish what the fuck they started.”
Q: Oh it’s true–it’s damn true. Princess Superstar, thank you.