Bob the Drag Queen Shares 2016 Summer Song Faves & Dislikes, Explains Why 'Work' Needs to Be Retired From Music
Season 8 'RuPaul's Drag Race' winner weighs in on Drake, Sia and Justin Timberlake.
After winning RuPaul's Drag Race (or coming close to it), a number of drag queens with stunning voices have released songs that didn't quite translate their unique flair to a wider audience. So when Bob the Drag Queen won season 8, fans weren't expecting him to come out with one of the best songs from a Drag Race winner ever. Sure, the New York performer is witty, stylish and inventive, but his voice was never an essential part of his skill set. Regardless, Bob the Drag Queen's "Purse First" is one of the funniest, catchiest and most likable songs to come from a RuPaul veteran.
"This is an important song for our generation in general," Bob the Drag Queen (real name Christopher Caldwell) intones to Billboard during a recent interview... before cracking up and admitting, "I got really lucky -- I had a great team. I'm not a singer, but I do have a creative mind. And once and a while the creative mind throws me a song instead of a joke."
The reigning champion of RuPaul's Drag Race doesn't think of himself primarily as a musician, but being a creative entity, he naturally has plenty to say about music. Below, here are some of Bob the Drag Queen's thoughts about this year's song of the summer contenders, why he prefers Celine Dion to Drake, and his plea for pop singers to put "work" songs into retirement.
Drake's "One Dance"
I don’t listen to Drake. That's not a shade to Drake. I don’t know who Drake is for, but it's not for me. [hearty laugh] I'm sure he's a great artist, but I never sit back and go, "Mmmm…. Drake." I just don’t feel it. I like emotions, but the way he's emoting doesn't resonate with me. I prefer really absurd songs. When I'm getting ready, I listen to Celine Dion's live version of "I'm Alive," where she keeps talking to everyone throughout the whole thing.
Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling!"
The Trolls movie [he makes enormous "pfffffft" noise and sings the chorus]. That's cute. It's a song you keep hearing but don’t realize who it is. I don’t hate it. If it's on in the club, I would dance. But it's not like…. you know there's songs that come on in the club and you start screaming. Remember when [Lady Gaga's] "Bad Romance" first came out? People were screeeeeaming, they were harikari-ing themselves in effigy at the clubs.
Sia's "Cheap Thrills" ft. Sean Paul
I'm basic. If it's Sia, I'm gonna like it. Her voice is great. She's ruining her voice though, the way she sings. She won't be able to sing in about three years. But hey, she'll have the money and she can keep writing for other people. The way she sings is so bad for your voice. But in concert, how do you even know it's her?
Fifth Harmony's "Work From Home" ft. Ty Dolla $ign
NO. No. No. No more songs with "work" in them. No. I love Fifth Harmony but I do not like their "Work" song. Enough with work songs. Listen, RuPaul made a song with 'work' in it 23 years ago -- "Supermodel (You Better Work)." Come on guys, we've been working for literally 23 years now. And Rihanna's "Work." We were saying work before Rihanna was saying work. It's like, we know -- "work" is a popular gay term, we put it there, ladies. But I did really like Fifth Harmony's "Independent Women" [cover], that was my jam, and I loved Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money."
Todrick Hall's "Expensive" and "Color"
I'm really into queer music, like Todrick Hall's new album Straight Outta Oz, and not just saying that because I'm on it. It's a queer album, unapologetically queer. He uses male pronouns. He made it to No. 2 on iTunes chart! I don’t think there's been an album from a gay male artist to make it that high while using [male] pronouns. Gay pop stars avoid pronouns like the dickens. [Adam] Lambert doesn't [use them], Sam Smith doesn't, even Elton John doesn’t. Check out Todrick's album. You will not regret it. My favorite songs are "Expensive" and "Color."
Mariahlynn's "Once Upon a Time (I Was a Hoe)"
This song is all about sex positivity and ho empowerment. It's like fuck it, that was my past, I'm not gonna apologize for it -- I had to do some ho shit. I won't take it back: I did that shit, I was a ho. And I was like, "You know what girl, you right." Everyone goes through a ho phase, and everyone likes to shame hoes, but this is like, "I was a ho once upon a time, I'm different now, but this is for all my hoes." I was like, "Good for you, Mariahlynn."
Erika Jayne's "How Many Fucks?"
That song is so good, oh, I love it so much. "How many fucks do I give?" We did an event together. I didn’t realize she was Erika Jayne until she left. They were like "we have a real housewife here" [Jayne is also on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as Erika Girardi] but I didn't know she was the girl behind that song. And she's a GOOD dancer. I love that she's a 40-something woman dancing her ass off, showing her stuff. I take "Purse First" as seriously as "How Many Fucks?" from Erika Jayne. Do I love it? Yes. Did I buy it? Of course.
Parting Thought: His Favorites for RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race Season 2 (premiering Aug. 25 on Logo)
I'm excited for Alaska, Detox and Phi Phi, to be honest. Phi Phi has grown so much, and Alaska, too. They've all stepped their game up and I'm excited to see it.