The Mile High Makeout: Local rapper releases a sex tape - Reverb

The Mile High Makeout: Local rapper releases a sex tape

Call me Yo. Yonnas Abraham will release his SEXTAPE on Friday night. Photo courtesy of the artist's Facebook.

Call me Yo. Yonnas Abraham will release his SEXTAPE on Friday night. Photo courtesy of the artist's Facebook.

“I spent hours watching porn — like five or six hours a day. The rhythms, the motions — I like how it’s guttural, it’s animal, it pulls reactions out of people. It’s basic and much deeper than any layers of civilized behavior.”

Denver rapper Yo (a.k.a. Yonnas Abraham of BLHKRTS and the Pirate Signal) found neither artistic inspiration nor commercial appeal in releasing yet another hip-hop mix tape into an indifferent world. Instead — inspired by animated pornographic images on Tumblr and coming to terms with his identity as an artist, musician and monogamous partner to his longterm girlfriend — he decided to make a sex tape, which will be released tonight, Dec 16, with a photography exhibit and theatrical music performance at Conceited Bastard Art Gallery.

The sex tape is actually a hip-hop EP, titled “#SEXTAPE,” but its origins and its release will be a far cry from the typical CD release party.

“There had to be a visual facet,” explains Abraham of the genesis of the sex tape. “I saw these sexy photos from [Denver blogger and woman-about-town] Angel the General, and they were mind-blowing. I talked to her and said, ‘I’m gonna be in these pictures, and the pictures will be of us simulating sex.’ And then I got to work on making music.”

This might come as a surprise to those who know Yonnas Abraham as the charismatic frontman of art-hop group the Pirate Signal or as the hard-hitting, Goth-loving rapper from BLKHRTS, but that’s because this isn’t Yonnas. It’s Yo.

“Yo is just a derivative of my name, but it’s also this rudimentary hip-hop word,” he says of his new identity. “Yo is fun. I can do so much with it. I can be Yorrissey and the Black Smiths. Yoprah. Yostradamus.”

Just as Abraham stripped his formal and foreign sounding name down to a one-syllable interjection, he also stripped down his musical approach for “#SEXTAPE.” At the same time, he upped the ante of his artistic approach. Leading up to the EP, Yo has released approximately one song a week for the past eight weeks (we featured one in Steal This Track a few weeks ago). Each one was released on the BLKHRTS Tumblr page, along with vaguely pornographic photos and snippets of text message conversations. He refers to this collection of songs as “the prequel” or “the sexts,” and they tell the story of an ambitious rapper named Yo who decides to make a sex tape.

Click to page 2 for more on the “#SEXTAPE.”

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