Watching Team Gina kick off Pride Weekend at the Don Hill’s NYC Dyke March Benefit reminded me of being a little kid, when my friends and I would put on matching outfits and choreograph routines to our favorite radio hits. When we “knew” the routine (which was basically doing our own thing because we could never agree on one move EV-er) we would perform it in front of an audience of stuffed animals, stacked like an arena crowd on my bed. It wasn’t just because of the Ginas’ choreography, or the fact that their outfits resembled what my nine-year-old mind thought of as high fashion (Olivia Newton-John–inspired pink spandex leotards), but because they perform with the exuberance of two girls on a mission. The goal of that mission? To get tha pahty stahted, y’all! Oh, and just in case you didn’t know? Team Gina is Gina Genius and Gina Bling, and they are both truly Products of the 80s (a shameless reference to the title of their debut full-length album released in June).
Their songs consist of raw, boiled-down Casio beats, set underneath a machinegun fire rapping style—pretty tight for a couple of white girls. It seemed like they were commanding an arena-sized audience, cuz they got tha skillz to pay da billz, and they know it. I kept looking back into the crowd, unsure whether they were performing for a hundred people, or ten hundred. Rapidly referencing everything from T.V. shows to toys to one-hit wonders, Team Gina know their Decade of Decadence, and know it to obscurity.
Brilliantly using classic rap devices like cautionary tales about relationships, Team Gina joke about stereotypical themes in lesbian culture in songs such as “Wife Swapping.” When they performed it, the crowd lost their shit as Gina Genius rapped, “Seems like in the whole world there’s like twelve lesbians, so you’re gonna end up dating all the exes of your friends!” It’s like the Beastie Boys and Salt-N-Pepa had kids who happen to like cheerleading and prancing around in legwarmers. Makes me wonder, should the duo add a DJ to the mix, we’d end up with a lesbian version of Spinderella—the cherry on top of an already hilarious treat.
Taking a breather and talking to the crowd mid-set, the Ginas are no less funny. Gina Bling casually mentioned her boob sweat, then they both busted out the Kid ‘N Play to the Gorillaz. Gina Genius can back-spin so impressively. They also revealed the single status of their merch girl, who scrambled over the railing waving her arms, as if to say, “Hell yeah, I need a date! Over here!”
Team Gina let GO in on the fact that their love of ‘80s culture is about much more than being cheeky: “I feel like our country is in very much the same place as it was in the ‘80s, where you have like all of this weird economic shit going on, and then yet at the same time we’re so decadent,” says Gina Genius. “We’re in the same kind of political situation now as we were then, you know?” Team Gina are sometimes political, sometimes playful, sometimes wistful, but essentially about whatever they feel like.
“We write together,” says Gina Bling. “And like, um, we’ll come up with like the idea for a song first and then we’ll be like, ‘Oh, you know what we should really talk about? We should really talk about like, girl gossip and jealousy.’ That’s totally a song on the new album!” Definitely something worth singing about, and a common theme in other posi-core girl groups like The Gossip. The Ginas even have a song about their favorite musicals—now who else can you say is rapping about that? However, like many female rappers, they are no strangers to controversy. On their song, “Butch Femme,” some interpreted their lyrics as suggesting that all butches are tops and all femmes are bottoms. Gina Genius responds, “It’s been kind of a controversy of people saying, ‘What are you saying about the community? Is that some kind of a rigid role thing that you ascribe to?’ And of course we’re like, ‘Uh, no! Do what you want, we love it all!’”
“Fun is our guiding principle,” says Gina Genius. “When we were weighing offers, it’s like, is it fun or not? How fun will this be? That’s the main priority, ya know?” Team Gina just wanna have fun and express themselves. And they want everyone else to be free to do the same, which is totally radical to the max!
For more, go to myspace.com/teamgina.