Boston rapper-producer Pink Navel aims for cuteness on Born on the Stairs | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Boston rapper-producer Pink Navel aims for cuteness on Born on the Stairs


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“I think I’m the cutest rapper,” Dev Bee told UMass Amherst radio show Hip-Hop Made Me Do It last year. Bee, a Boston musician who uses “them” and “they” pronouns, came up playing in punk and emo bands, and I’m quite tickled by their “burrito emo” group, the Baja Blasters. Under the guise of Pink Navel, Bee has built up a small library of DIY raps that sometimes concern sweet cultural froufrou—which they translate into hard, staccato lines and deliver with loopy aplomb. The brand-new Born on the Stairs (Ruby Yacht) has all the intimacy of a living-room show; I can picture Bee feeling out the keyboard melodies and drum-machine percussion on the fly in an intimate Boston house venue (though Mike Taylor handled a majority of the key parts on these songs). Bee imbues the album’s scruffy charm with animated flair, such as when they drop impressionistic nuggets with a tilt-a-whirl flow on “Say the Least.” It’s all pretty cute.   v

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