In this week’s episode of Billboard Pride’s “Spillin’ the Tea”, Aja, Bob the Drag Queen, Gia Gunn, Jiggly Caliente, and Peppermint chat about the music business and have a healthy debate over “drag music” and political correctness in comedy.
Kicking things off, the RuPaul’s Drag Race alums reveal which fellow queens they think are making the best music right now, with Gia Gunn naming Adore Delano, Willam, and Alaska as her favorites.
On the subject of Alaska, who Bob points out makes great drag music, Bob and Aja further discuss the concept of “drag music,” as Aja fears that lumping all queens’ music into that category devalues the art. Bob disagrees, pointing out that argument is essentially saying there is something not of value in drag. “Drag music is music,” she says, “And it’s okay for me to call it drag music because for me that has value…I fucking love drag music.”
Peppermint, meanwhile, highlights the fact that there was a time when queens were recording music because they needed something to perform when they toured, but now, with people like Adore Delano and Trixie Mattel, people are taking drag queens seriously when it comes to music.
“These musicians, these queens, are bringing their queerness, and they’re bringing their blackness, and they’re bringing their country and their culture,” she continues. “I think drag is starting to change from that niche thing that was just in the gay bars, to something that now is mainstream. And now we’re on Broadway, and now we’re on national television, and pretty soon, we’re gonna be on the radio, and on the Grammys.”
In this week’s episode, the queens also discuss the fact that some of their drag sisters have recently been called out for going too far with their comedy. Aja poses the question as to whether or not drag queens have the responsibility to be politically correct with their jokes, now that drag has infiltrated the mainstream, while Gia questions why some comedy queens such as Bianca Del Rio can get away with saying things that other queens can’t.
“I think there’s a lot of factors involved in that,” Bob says. “One is, if it’s funny, people will laugh. If it’s not funny, they’ll automatically be mad. Also, two is, she doesn’t always get away with it…Bianca del Rio just made a rape joke at Montreal Pride…and it did not go over well…and she accepted that that’s what she got…but when I say something and people are offended, I just go, ‘You know what? OK. I can see why you’re offended.’ You don’t get to tell people why they can’t be offended. That’s not how that works.”
Asked if the politically correct culture has impacted her career as a comedian, Bob points out that some people were offended by the title of her comedy special, Suspiciously Large Woman, which is something that her friends used to call her and she found it amusing. “If someone is upset by me saying that, I’m like, I know why you’re upset that I said that. I can’t be like, ‘You’re stupid, you don’t get to be mad about that.’ And I just go, ‘I can hear that. I hear your voice. Your voice is valid. I will take that into consideration.’”
You can watch the full conversation in episode two of “Spillin’ the Tea” in the video above.