Rapper and activist B. Dolan seamlessly brings members of the queer, rap, and punk communities together. He kicks off his second annual Church of Love and Ruin Tour in Boston. We spoke with B. about natural, spontaneous performance.
So, where did the idea for Church of Love and Ruin come from?
I came across this show called Tourettes Without Regrets that Jamie DeWolf did. It was this variety show that involved shocking people in an interactive way. You can see a poetry slam, then play some crazy-ass game like toilet paper dodgeball, and then see a rap battle. I’ve been to the punk shows and the DIY warehouse scene as well as the rap shows, and I never see those kids in the same place.
How did your lineup come together?
They’re all performers that have inspired me. I had a particularly difficult year in 2010. It had me kind of, not questioning why I do what I do, but looking for some spark of inspiration. When we put this show together, we did it not for the money,
but for a night that you don’t forget.
What’s different this year?
We’re making it bigger. It’s great to see jaded career performers and musicians wake up. One of my favorite moments was in Providence. A promoter we’ve been working with for 10 years usually waits at the bar for the show to be over. His eyes were bugged out like a 10-year-old kid. He was up on his seat. Sage Francis told me this was one of his top five shows of all time.
It’s like we can’t hold up a wall for this.
What do you say to the people who are critical of these communities mixing together?
It works. But I’m aware that when you preach and lecture to people, you lose them. You don’t have to be like, “See guys, these are queer people, and they’re okay!” It’s natural. The performances speak for themselves.
CHURCH OF LOVE AND RUIN
FEATURING B. DOLAN
69 KILMARNOCK ST.
7PM/21+/$10 ADV/$15 DOS