Viennese artists G-udit and $chwanger have turned cloud battle rap into their vehicle of feminist expression, but KlitClique’s lyrics are also filled with humor. Read about their answer to silly pick-ups.
KlitClique has its roots in the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. The university’s creative environment has already fostered talents such as the fraternity “Hysteria” and author Stefanie Sargnagel. Originally, G-udit and $chwanger planned to make a living from their work as visual artists, but found themselves “being hidden” in the art world. Now, the two have reinvented themselves as KlitClique.
Gold necklaces and jogging pants as stylistic devices
The two rappers more or less grew into hip-hop. The music genre, which can often provide a voice to outsiders living at the edge of and not heard by society, perfectly suits their position. As women, the artists don’t feel part of the male-dominated “lead culture”. The resulting feminist rap is more art than ghetto. Similar to the work of artist Tracey Emin, KlitClique openly publicize female themes and perspectives. Gold necklaces and jogging pants become stylistic devices, along with art quotes and pitched auto-tuned vocals.
Between them, G-udit and $chwanger speak nine languages, but when it comes to age, family status or heritage they quickly turn monosyllabic, revealing only the term “diaspora”. However, their polylingual ability clearly adds something to the music. The rap is fragile, with slips of the tongue and broken sentences. “If you have two native languages, you think in multiple languages and tend to form expressions across languages. To play with language, as if it were a malleable mass is a productive gateway,” the artists told Spike Art Magazine.
Even in our interview, the two were literally bursting with word play. Answering the question “Is the clitoris (Klit) really your third band member?”, the duo said: “Since Elfriede Jeliklit won the Kliterature award for her Klitney Spears poems, it’s only a matter of time until Klitocracy arrives.”
KlitClique: No hammer-heavy feminist club
Instead of hammering home the feminist message, KlitClique are expressing themselves through humor. The rap act’s home label is called “Bad in bed” and on stage the musicians sometimes perform with pussyriot wrestlers. Humor saves them “massively”, they reveal. Because “sexist rap is just an amplified part of a problem that exists in society as a whole”.
Where humor doesn’t help, solidarity holds things together. “We try to cooperate with female organizers, technicians and photographers.” Together for success! That’s why the duo also supported Stefanie Sargnagel’s recent tour and collaborated on her video “Der Feminist” (“The Feminist”) with choreographer Florentina Holzinger. The rappers’ role models include Gudit of Somalia, Judith Holofernes, Missy Elliott, Gloria Steinem, 2 Live Crew and Taktloss.
But solidarity also has a mission. When KlitClique strike a softer tone in conversation, one hears the artists’ hopes. Is there any point rapping about sexism? “Therese Terror once said there are collective traumas, and we address some of them through our songs, and somehow that may sometimes help someone.” Music as cure, KlitClique as therapists and thought leaders. Their dreams? “To produce an opera, a virtual reality 3D museum in China by Pvssykrew, with 96% female lineups, female presidents, etc.” Speaking of female presidents, KlitClique are hoping for Christine Blasey Ford in the US and Stefanie Sargnagel in Austria by 2028.