Boyfriend was raised in a staunchly conservative church in Nashville before heading west to attend UCLA. Eventually, she left Los Angeles, arts degree in tow, for New Orleans, and, upon discovering her considerable freestyling skills, began working on what would become the experimental, sex-positive persona Boyfriend (above, a remix of “Say You Will”) at night—while teaching during the day. She calls her genre rap cabaret, which asks the audience to consider it like a live theater piece. Boyfriend worked with Big Freedia on last year’s A Very Big Freedia Christmazz EP, plus they collaborated on “Marie Antoinette.” Her most recent EP, Next (stream it below), came out this past spring. “Tapping into a rock-centric vibe, the self-proclaimed ‘rap cabaret’ performer enters another dimension of artistry,” said Grungecake. But take that cabaret part seriously, because Boyfriend is best onstage. See her on Tuesday at Rough Trade NYC. Local multimedia artist Latasha Alcindor opens the show.