As you’ve no doubt learned from reading Buzzworthy, part of loving pop music means scoping out its history. That said, there’s really no better pop musician to talk to than the mother of all riot grrrl feminists: Kathleen Hanna, aka the founder of left-leaning ’90s punk projects like Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, and current frontwoman for The Julie Ruin.
This week, Hanna stopped by Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to talk about EVERYTHING girl power-related with Buzzworthy’s Tamar Anitai and fellow lady musician and VMAs red carpet correspondent Grimes, where they touched on everything from the all-powerful Beyoncé to the origins of riot grrrl to sexism to politics to pop music in general, plus so much more.
Read more about the origins of Riot Grrl after the jump.
“She’s been working really hard since she was a kid,” said Grimes when the conversation turned to Beyoncé. “I think the choreography and visuals of her show work in the realm of pop music, but it’s doing a bunch of other stuff, too.”
“I always think about [Beyoncé] and Kelly Rowland being best friends when they were little kids, then being in the studio and making up weird phrases like ‘I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly,’ then being like, ‘Let’s make a song out of that!’ That’s so cool, so inspirational.”
“I could really go on about Beyoncé forever,” continued Hanna. “I love ‘Survivor.’ The whole thing is like, I’m not gonna diss you on the internet; I’m going to diss you on a SONG that like one-thousand-million people could listen to.”
Later, after getting all that Beyoncé praise out of their systems, Hanna and Grimes delved into how they interpret feminism and the origins of “riot grrrl”:
“I really wanted to be the Pied Piper of feminism,” said Hanna of her riot grrrl beginnings. “People were telling me [feminism] was dead. Doing it through music was such a wonderful way to reach other young women.”
“The main idea was that anyone could take that name and make it into anything that they wanted,” continued Hanna. “It wasn’t a brand. It wasn’t this thing that anybody owned, just like feminism. It was a punk rock version of feminism.”
Grimes agreed: “Alternative music is so male dominated,” she said. “For me it was really inspiring to get a Le Tigre record, and [the band] was all women. [The presence of women in alternative music] was more relatable to me.” #GirlPower
OK, and last thing: Apparently we weren’t the only ones fangirling out during this interview — Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams actually tweeted that Kathleen Hanna’s interview was the “coolest thing she’s ever seen on MTV.” *Cries actual tears*
— hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams) August 25, 2013
Want to see more Grimes? Watch her on the VMA red carpet tomorrow with fellow style correspondent designer Rachel Antonoff, starting Sunday, Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. ET!
+ See Kathleen Hanna and Grimes discuss what feminism means to them, and keep watching the VMA All Access Livestream.
Cast your vote NOW for this year’s Video Music Award winners from the 2013 VMA Nominees. The 2013 Video Music Awards air Aug. 25 on MTV and VMA.MTV.com, live from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. No sleep till Brooklyn!