In May, RuPaul’s Drag Race star Aja stunned the world with their debut EP In My Feelings. The hard-hitting, rap/hip-hop album broke the post-Drag Race album mold by featuring not only some of the best lyrics by a former competitor of the show, but some of the best music to come out of the show since its debut.
Now, Aja is back with a new dual video for two of their songs, “Ayo Sis/Bitch I’m Kawaii.” The video starts with “Kawaii,” featuring the Brooklyn-based queen dancing and rapping around a pastel room, complete with a bubble bath, stuffed animals and sickening looks. But the video quickly transitions, with Aja waking from their soft-hued dream and immediately jumping into “Ayo Sis,” where the rapper goes full banjee, dancing on rooftops and flirting with a multitude of men.
Aja tells Billboard in an interview that the song was born out of an expression of their own femininity, expressed through their drag, visuals and through the people they decided to feature in the video. “It was taking the feminine traits of any person and showing how beautiful they could be,” they say. “I wanted people to see different kinds of relationships in the ‘Ayo Sis’ portion, because when you watch it you just see couples. You don’t necessarily have to label them as anything.”
Those “relationships” in the video include a number of trans actors and dancers making appearances throughout — a fact that Aja intended to prominently highlight. “I hope people learn from this video that I’m obsessed with cute things. But more importantly, that trans relationships and queer relationships are very valid. Love shouldn’t have a label,” they say.
Ultimately, “Ayo Sis/Bitch I’m Kawaii” is an expression of Aja’s gender — it contains multitudes, from the masculine to the ultra-fem, in both Aja’s and their dancers’ appearances. “It’s important to celebrate gender expression in music because whether people realize it or not, we have been celebrating it all this time.”
Check out the full video for Aja’s “Ayo Sis/Bitch I’m Kawaii” below: