Photos by Amos Mac
Antonio Blair (“Dosha Devastation”) and Adam Radakovich (“Cunty Crawford LaDosha”) dually make up the musical phenomenon that is House of LaDosha. Although their house names assume a certain level of performance, their lives are also a reflection of their music. Dosha is the mischievous and short-tempered femme fatale that hypnotizes listeners and audiences with her menstrual flow. Cunty counter-balances Dosha with a vocal and stage presence of dramatic excess that borders on camp, tempered by a humorous sense of style and dance dramatics that embody the energy of the songs.
The songs themselves are dark, witty and oft egotistical meditations on the dreamlike reality Dosha finds herself in. At night, while most of the city sleeps, Dosha awakes to a universe of wealthy suitors at her feet, sex with mythological characters, and a royal court (house) of cannibalistic “cock pussy bitch faggots” adorned in elaborate costumes of bright ombre dyes, glow-in-the-dark coats, reptillian accessories and a lot of poodle hair. Like all mythology, Dosha had an epic birth, with Naomi as her mother. Obsessed with her body, Dosha abandons the usual references to pussy, dick, and ass in lieu of a hyper-sexualized and gendered language that exaggerates through metaphor the bodies of her world. These metaphors paint a witty, wet and erotic lyrical landscape where transgressive play and gender dysphoria is encouraged against the backdrop of bass-heavy musical interpretations of Salvador Dali paintings.
It is this vision that first enchanted me when I crossed the LaDosha Myspace while in school. Since moving to New York two years ago, I have come to know them as sisters and as inspirations, becoming part of the LaDosha world. This world is not entirely foreign from the one Dosha and Cunty inhabit in the music, as they often find muses in parties, friends and the NYC nightlife that they have become so integral to. I sat down with them after a brunch to have a sister-to-sister conversation about the music and the world that has inspired and supported it.
—Julian Letton/Juliana Huxtable LaDosha
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: How are you?
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: We just had some breakfast so we’re feeling full and lovely.
Dosha Devastation: Lovely.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: Why don’t we start off with an explanation of The House of Ladosha as a larger house and as a group?
Dosha Devastation: To me, House of Ladosha is legit family. Its all of our bitches that we ki with and hang out with and go to dinner with and talk on the phone with. Bigger than that, its a collection of artists and children who rage.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: HAM. Its doesn’t have to be spoken about. When you’re out somewhere and you look at the person and smile . . . you know. Everybody in the House knows.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: I know that you all mention a lot of specific references and influences in your music. . . Bushwick, GHE20 GOTH1K, etc. What is it about these things that inspires you and what is influencing/informing your current sound?
Dosha Devastation: Bushwick is HAM. I love Brooklyn and I love Bushwick. It’s vibrant and it’s popping right now. As far as a scene, I don’t really see a scene situation or a specific party that we’re always at. We’ll be in Chelsea, then LES . . . we’re all over.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: We go where we think we’ll have a good time. Whats really influential is when we hang out with each other and when we ki with one another. Moments – its all about a moment.
Dosha Devastation: All of our songs come from a ki. “I’m Carrying” came from a ki. It started from someone I would see at parties and they told me “You’re Carrying.” and I thought “Am I carrying?” And from that moment decided to make a song about it.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: Can I carry? [laughs]
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: Can you explain what HAM means for the 97% that don’t know?
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: Technically it’s an acronym that stands for Hard As a Motherfucker. Technicalities aside, it’s a lifestyle. Not so much a decision, but a natural way of being for some people. When you do something you go in and you go really hard for it. Whether drinking, dancing, chasing boys, getting money.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: Gettin Steady Dick.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: Gettin Steady Dick. It’s the drive to get what I want, when I want it.
Dosha Devastation: But its also reached the point now where its just punctuation. HAM. Yes.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: HAM as a ubiquitous rage?
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: Yeah.
Dosha Devastation: HAM is everything. It’s taken on meaning everything.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: I have question for Dosha. Your music is informed by the ki. I know sometimes I ki with Dosha and sometimes I ki with Antonio, whats the relationship between the two and how does that relation inform your music?
Dosha Devastation: Whenever I think of the lyrics I think of Dosha saying the lyrics because the words clearly inspire the look and vice versa. It has to be cunt. It doesn’t make sense for me to be on stage saying I think I’m Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell but to not give that.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: To be dusty.
Dosha Devastation: To carry and not be that . . .HAM. I don’t see that. I just think that Dosha helps bring those words to life. It’s a very visual representation of the music. Thats what people go HAM for when they see it . . . it makes total sense to them. People always ask me to explain it and Im like If you saw it, you would know. HAM.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: Obviously, Dosha’s looks are known to be fishy and Cunty performs in a lot of self-designed outfits of grandeur. You both went to fashion school and clearly are in touch with your sartorial side . . . how does this play out in the music?
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: We both understand, and not just because we went to school for it but since we were kids, the power of a look. Not only can a look control what other people see, but it can control how you feel about yourself and how you act. When we’re on stage and we have to give a certain look to convey the message of the music, they’re intertwined. You can’t really go off or go HAM if you’re up onstage in sweatpants. It’s really hard to do that. If you’re not feeling yourself in the look, you’re really not going to give the performance that should be given. I get so disappointed when I live for someone’s music, but their look is dusty. I’m like girl . . . consider the look.
Dosha Devastation: You should never try too hard. It should not be that much of a struggle. If you’ve ever looked at a magazine or seen a music video or you’ve ever looked at someone fierce…I don’t think imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I think its annoying – Do you, go off. I mean be inspired, but to blatantly imitate something else is lame.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: I’m not going to say any names, but some of the girls out right now take it too far and it becomes a clownish thing. Girl, is this a concert or is this a circus? You know, I live for a look but to the point where no one can get into what you’re saying because of your foolish presentation…We have a way of making it interesting and keeping it fashion but also making it real as hell.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: I know you’re often grouped under different genres, trends and musical fads, especially relating to ‘gay’ and ‘hip-hop’. How do you see yourself fitting into the larger musical landscape. Is the reference a compliment? Are you frustrated?
Dosha Devastation: It’s always cute to be recognized for a contribution, but my thing is do you go HAM. I don’t really see the whole label of saying this is some ‘gay music.’ Shock Value…boop. I think that is so boring, tacky and basic.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: People are simplifying gay people to say its ‘gay music.’ Gay people are listening to a lot of different types of music and gay people are making a lot of different types of music. There might be a lot of gay rappers, but its not all the same. We’re both gay and it is rap music, but it’s also interesting and the content is risqué.
Dosha Devastation: It’s very risqué, it’s dark and it’s inspired by so much that to call it gay rap dumbs it down and makes it easier for other people to digest it. I live for the shock value of people actually having to think about something and use their fucking brains.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: Anyone who’s been to one of your shows can clearly see that you inspire people…recently to the point of hysterical fandom. How do you respond to the increasing fan base you all have and the live experience?
Dosha Devastation: Life. HAM.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: Get off the stage, white girl! [laughs] No, but that energy is electrifying. To have that response: people banging their heads and sweating and throwing their hands up in the air is the most power I’ve felt ever.
Dosha Devastation: To ever look into the audience and see people going off…knowing words and reciting lyrics is always HAM.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: It’s really cool and the feeling never gets old. Its one of the reasons I love doing it. You may not even know someone, but I live for the magnetism.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: What are your projects for the upcoming year? I know there’s word of a mix tape…
Dosha Devastation: The mixtape is definitely coming out – Paris Chainsaw Mascara. I see it being quality. I see it being a legit product that I’m proud of and want to present to people. I want it to be good and I do not see it being rushed because people are like “I want it, I don’t care . . . I need it.” I see it being a full packaged product and not just some mp3s.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: And along with that we’ll be doing videos and otherwise visual representations of the songs. It’s not going be D-grade. It will be stimulating.
Dosha Devastation: It’s not going to be some bullshit Oh I’m walking around NYC and I’m on the streets and now I’m in a club and these are my friends.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: Or I took my handheld and walked down that graffiti wall in Bushwick…Nope.
Dosha Devastation: I see concepts.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: We also have some travelling we’re doing…shows in other cities.
Dosha Devastation: And in other countries.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: We’re going to keep doing our T-Shirt line. Its a good way to give the fashion to the masses.
Dosha Devastation: Its all about exposure in 2012. HAM on the exposure
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: What is Cunty Crawford’s playlist for getting hyped for a show?
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: “Smoke Junt” by La Chat. That always puts me in the right frame of mind.
“Aint Got No Panties On” by Maximillion, ‘cus it just makes you get into that club mode of getting kinda nasty.
“I’m Not a Star” by Rick Ross.
I live for that song “Ride” by Ciara, that’s cute right when you start getting ready.
“Crush On You” by Lil Kim. I’mma throw an oldie in because she always makes you feel really sexy and cute…cunt.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: What is Dosha Devastation’s playlist for getting hyped for show?
Dosha Devastation: The music that always gets me hype for a show is vogue music, down. I wanna feel cute. I wanna feel count…I want to feel fem queen…I want to feel like fish.
“Cunty” by Kevin Aviance,
Any song by Kevin Zion,
“If I Throw My Pussy In The Air” by Kevin JZ,
Prodigy, any song by Beyoncé. She always gets me hyped.
“Who You Wit” by Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: Cunty, you’re known for the designs you create for yourself and others. Nomi from Jessica 6 recently wore one of your dresses for her MAD VMA performance. What can we expect from your work in fashion this year?
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: Definitely this year I’m looking forward to creating some fierce looks. Custom looks on order – just contact me. I want to make stuff that’s wearable but also interesting…HAM.
Juliana Huxtable LaDosha: Anything you want to say to the world?
Dosha Devastation: Thank you, Cluster Mag, for caring about what we had to say.
Cunty Crawford LaDosha: Keep raging keep dancing keep listening to music. Hopefully it brings joy to your life…Come to a show!
Dosha Devastation: If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high…hooray for you