Kuttin Kandi

22 Jul

I thought it might be a challenge to find anything on this lady (and it might have been, if I had continued to use the spelling “Cuttin Candy”) but she’s done a lot, and the media has taken notice! Born Candice Custodio in Queens, New York, Kuttin Kandi started DJ-ing as a teen and today is a hip-hop advocate, activist, writer, poet and lecturer who also works at the UC San Diego Women’s Center and is in the process of earning a degree in Ethnic Studies.

Kandi is a member of the 5th Platoon DJ crew and founder of the Anomolies hip-hop collective of female DJs, emcees, producers, and b-girls. As a skilled battle DJ, she was the first woman to make it to the USA finals of the DMC  World DJ Championships and in 1998 beat out her then-boyfriend DJ Roli Rho to win the Source magazine DJ championships.

From calling for more respect for women in the hip-hop to advocating for her own Filipino community, Kuttin Kandi’s  passion goes beyond a good beat. She has been especially active in supporting the GABRIELA Network, “a Philippine-US  women’s solidarity mass organization [that] provides the means by which Filipinas in the US can empower themselves,  functions as training ground for women’s leadership, and articulates the women’s point of view.”

Kuttin Kandi fans, show your love in the comments! Who are some other great feminist DJs?



Arts & Activism on the Air: DJ Kuttin Kandi on Hip Hop

An Open Letter, A Call-to-Action to Our Hip-Hop Community: Put Us, Women, on that Line-Up & Stop the Disrespect!

@kuttinkandi on Twitter


Kuttin Kandi’s Biography

Asian Week interview

Artist Spotlight: DJ Kuttin Kandi

Kuttin Kandi: Spinning the Truth


Laurie Weeks

14 Jul

Laurie Weeks conducted the Index Magazine interview of Kathleen Hanna quoted in my first post, and so I decided to investigate her as my first subject. She is a New York writer and performance artist who is said to have collaborated on the screenplay for Boys Don’t Cry, although she’s not credited for it on IMDB. (Nor, presumably, in the movie. Seems as if there’s a story behind that, but I don’t know what it is.)

Weeks’ novel Zipper Mouth will be published by Alyson Books on August 1, and her writing has been anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008 and The New Fuck You: Adventures in Lesbian Reading. According to various online bios, Weeks has toured with Sister Spit, taught poetry at The New School, and presented at conferences “on marginalized writing and girl bodies” at various universities across the U.S. She has also worked with fellow “Hot Topic” subject Cecilia Dougherty, appearing in Dougherty’s “experimental documentary” Gone.

In researching Laurie Weeks, I found that one of the most immediately accessible bits of her work was the piece “My Massive Feelings,” which originally appeared in Vice and is archived on their website. Some of the comments below the story (consisting of a series of letters to Sylvia Plath) label it “hysterical” and “hilarious.” And it is amusing. But I tend to agree more with an anonymous poster who wrote, “This is my life and it is fucking scary to see my life on paper.” Not that the piece is actually MY life, but I think it really gets to the meat and bones of the teenage girl’s psyche, daddy issues, Beth March obsession, and all.

Has Laurie Weeks been an inspiration to you? Know more about her and care to share? Tell me about it.


My Massive Feelings (Fragments from the Diary of a Young Girl)


Eggers, Dave (ed). The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

Myles, Eileen and Kotz, Liz (eds). The New Fuck You: Adventures in Lesbian Reading. New York: Semiotext(E), 1995.

Weeks, Laurie. Zipper Mouth. Los Angeles: Alyson Books, 2010.


Alyson Books – Zipper Mouth: A Novel

Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown – Winter 2000-2001 Fellows

Internet Movie Database – Boys Don’t Cry

QT: Queer Readings at Dixon Place – Robert Gluck + Laurie Weeks: Tuesday, July 17

San Francisco Bay Guardian – Film Listings

Wikipedia – Laurie Weeks

The Hot Topic project

12 Jul

“I thought about how there are all these really great artists, and I keep their stuff around me all the time … And I wanted to make a song about it. And the ‘old me’ was like, you can’t make a song like ‘Hot Topic’ where you list all these people that you find inspiring. You’re going to leave someone out! But then I thought, ‘This is a snapshot of this moment and who we’re talking about today.’ So the three of us sat down and wrote out these lists and figured out who rhymed and who fit and who made us feel like we could do anything.” —Kathleen Hanna, Index Magazine (2000)

As an obsessive completist feminist librarian, I’ve always wanted to make some sort of list of everyone mentioned in “Hot Topic” and in the process learn about all these artists/activists who inspired those who inspire me. There’s no reason to be doing it now except that now is better than never. My goal is to assemble a collection of write-ups and resources on as many of the 57 people mentioned in the song as possible. Of course, I can’t do it all on my own, and I hope others will volunteer to contribute to this project.

If you want to help, email waythatwerhyme (at) gmail.com. The lyrics are available for easy reference on the song page.