Jaboukie Young-White's Pride Month Playlist: CupcakKe, The Drums, Kehlani & More
As part of our 30 Days of Pride initiative, we've asked LGBTQ stars to create playlists to show what "pride" means to them. Our sixth curator is stand-up comedian and writer Jaboukie Young-White.
“Everyone [on the playlist] is either like a vocal ally or a member of the LGBT community,” Young-White tells Billboard. “I included a lot of stuff because I wanted to introduce to people artists that I feel like don’t get enough due or should be listened to more and are forgotten a lot. There are a lot more queer musicians than just pop music.”
Kid Kenn, “Slide (Remix)”
I love this song just because it has so many iconic lines. The first one being “It’s a f*ggot party/You cannot get in” which is my mood for the rest of my life. Also, the line “You thought he was with his mans/But he was with his mans” -- that’s one of the most brilliant rap lines I’ve ever heard in my life.I also love it because he’s a Chicago drill rapper and I’m from Chicago and gay men are so underrepresented in that scene of rap. It’s so cool to see him thriving and making good music.
Quay Dash, “Queen of This Shit”
I love just really hard-sounding queer shit 'cause it goes really hard and it’s a good pump-up anthem song.
Big Freedia, “Dangerous”
I had to include Big Freedia on this list and “Dangerous” is just such a good ass-shaking song but it’s also one of the ass-shaking songs where I can take a moment to intellectualize and be like, “Woah, where we go as queer people of color is dangerous because we are so politicized.” It can have so many meanings while I’m shaking my ass to it. Love those songs.
Obviously, this is such a pro-LGBTQ anthem and I love CupcakKe -- she’s so talented.
I love this song because SOPHIE takes pop music and all the conventions of pop music and just flips it on its head so it sounds like very familiar but new.
Charli XCX, “Femmebot" (feat. Dorian Electra and Mykki Blanco)
This fucking album. I-con-ic. It’s so good. I love Mykki Blanco. Love Charli. Also, produced by Sophie. It’s so good. It’s just such a banger.
Kim Petras, “I Don’t Want It At All’
I think pop music was going through a phase where it was like pop but dance-hall or pop but R&B. But, no, I just want a pop song. That’s it. And she does great with delivering the fucking hits.
Janelle Monae, “Make Me Feel”
Of course, I have to include the pan icon, Janelle. This album was really good and kind of slept on.
This is the transition in the playlist where it goes from like bangers to more soft, chill songs. I’m friends with Kehlani -- she’s a LGBTQ icon. I love this song because lyrically it speaks to being queer, like, “I’m just doing what the fuck I want to do and you have no right to take this personally. It’s not about you. I’m just doing myself.”
Frank Ocean, “Biking" (feat. Jay-Z & Tyler, the Creator)
I love “Biking” because I’ll really read into everything he does, but I feel like there should be a space between the “bi” and the “king” because he is ultimately a bi king. Levels. Le-vels. I fucking love Frank Ocean so much. He’s so good.
Tyler, the Creator, “Where This Flower Blooms" (feat. Frank Ocean)
This is another chill, beautiful song and I feel like it marked a huge moment of growth for him as an artist. It means so much for him and to see that is also really dope. It means a lot to me, too, as a queer person.
Moses Sumney, “Plastic (Mid-City Island Version)”
Moses is so talented and a really great vocalist. This first half of this playlist is to dance to and the second half is to make out to. This is a great make-out song.
St. Vincent, “New York”
I love St. Vincent. She is like our queer rock goddess and that’s so needed. I really love it because I love New York and miss it dearly. It was a really personal addition.
The Drums, “Blood Under My Belt”
They’re probably one of my favorite bands. When I first listened to their music, I was like, “Something about this is gay and I love it.” I had nothing to prove that though. And then the lead singer ended up coming out as queer. The thing I love about them is that they have really upbeat, surf-pop sound but there’s always an undercurrent of heartbreak or darker emotion underneath it.
Rostam, “Bike Dream”
I love Rostam. He’s another queer artist who I only discovered was gay because there’s that one Vampire Weekend song, “Diplomat’s Son,” that had explicit gay themes and as a teen back then I was ravaging looking for any gay representation I could find at all.