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When a 17-year-old God-Des left Ann Arbor to attend the University of Wisconsin, she may have already had the music bug in her, but she had yet to meet her better half. At the same time, She was fronting the rock band Dolls in Madison. Now, when you listen to the hip-hop/soul/pop that God-Des and She create, it’s hard to imagine they were ever apart.
In 2004 the pair, which will perform June 28 for Michigan Pride in Lansing, left Madison and moved to Brooklyn to pursue music.
“It was really hard,” God-Des says of the move. “It was such a crazy adjustment.”
While used to New York now, God-Des says, “We’re total Midwesterners. We know our way now. But we still miss the Midwest, that’s for sure.”
Being in New York brought the women many opportunities. Like being on “The L Word.” “It was kind of surreal,” She says of being on the show. “Like, I’ve seen all those chicks naked.”
“It helped our career so much,” adds God-Des – even if they did have to lip-sync. “That’s the one thing we didn’t like about it, because we’ve never lip-synced in our lives. But you have to do it for TV. But hey, we rolled with it.”
Those who caught the episode surely haven’t forgotten the song “Lick It,” a kind of public service message, if you will. “Spread out her lips before you kiss, you want to make sure you find the clit,” God-Des raps.
Though unabashedly sexual, there’s a difference between “Lick It” and the booty-obsessed tracks that hip-hop has no lack of. “The difference when we’re talking about booty or sexual things is, it’s not degrading,” says God-Des. “Our music is really empowering.”
“Lick It” speaks to a wide range of audiences. “At women’s music festivals, the 40- and 50-year-old women sitting in their lawn chairs throughout the shows, once we do ‘Lick It,’ they’re on their feet for the pussy,” says God-Des.
It’s a song they love to play for new fans. “A lot of our fans already know that song and sing along, but it’s way more fun when you see people who have never heard it before,” God-Des says.
“They look shocked,” adds She. “I like to call them ‘Lick It’ virgins.”
God-Des and She aren’t afraid to tackle political subject matter, either.
“Stand Up,” the title track from their latest record, is a positive, powerful tune. “It ain’t easy to have hope when you’re always broke, but you know you got to keep on just the same,” She sings.
“I just feel like I get so frustrated with our generation,” God-Des says. “We go to Starbucks and we talk about politics. We go to college and, in our political science and women’s studies classes, we talk about how messed up society is, but we don’t do anything about it.”
In fact, as a country we do things like reelect George W. Bush, which inspired the song “Hey Mr. President.”
“I really just started to think about how corrupt our government is and the fact that we spent so much money on wars and the military – and if we used that money for other things, we could do so much” for causes like cancer research and feeding the hungry, says God-Des. “It’s just disgusting to me our priorities, really.”
That’s not to say a God-Des and She show is a downer. Far from it.
“Our show is so fun and so powerful and so uplifting, but it also makes you think and addresses really important issues. But it leaves you feeling good,” says God-Des. “We have as much fun as we can on stage. We love performing, and we think that’s really evident to the crowd.”
God-Des and She
4-4:50 p.m. June 28
Main Stage, East Lansing
For more information on Michigan Pride entertainment, visit http://www.michiganpride.org