Boyfriend exploded on the New Orleans scene in 2012, and her self-styled “rap cabaret,” laden with themes of empowerment, sexuality, and gender, resonate with mostly young, mostly female audiences. Her signature curlers, giant glasses, and vintage lingerie are hard to miss, as is her fast-driving style of rapping and high-energy stage show. Boyfriend was born Susannah Powell in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1988, the daughter of country music songwriter and producer Monty Powell. In high school she took part in both theatre and show choir, setting the stage for her explosive career. After earning a creative writing degree at UCLA and a stint in the television industry, she moved to New Orleans, where she adopted her musical persona. Her stage shows, laden with retro outfits (think cone bra), energetic dancers, and her rapid-fire, witty rap stylings, are contemporary burlesque, a running social commentary on beauty, gender roles, and other concerns of the new millennium. In 2012 Boyfriend set sail with the song and video, “Hunch and Munch,” followed by the 2014 single “Like My Hand Did” and the three-EP “Love Your Boyfriend” project. She partnered with Big Freedia and other rappers, both as performer and producer, and began touring. In 2017 she caught the world’s attention at Bonnaroo, jamming with both Chance the Rapper and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and her popularity grew. Boyfriend’s favorite themes include women’s personal grooming, a topic often reflected in her musical output. Playbill (yes, that Playbill) premiered her video, “Wash That,” her take on the Rodgers and Hammerstein “South Pacific” classic, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair.” Her 2019 performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival included shaving her armpits. Overall, though, Boyfriend is a storyteller who uses the theatrics of burlesque and the driving rhythms of rap to get her points across. Boyfriend continues to release EPs and videos, including a 2019 single, “Jealousy,” recorded with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. She continues to hone her songwriting craft, including with Galactic on their “Already Ready Already” release, for which she was nominated for a “Best of the Beat” award for Best Song of 2019. In 2017, she began what is becoming a Halloween tradition with the staging of her interactive musical, “Hag” at Preservation Hall.