Pride month may be coming to an end, but we should appreciate the contributions LGBT+ people make to our society all year round. For 2018 Pride, I rounded up a few of my favorite LGBT+ artists for you to check out. Love each other!
Known as the silky smooth vocalist for acclaimed RnB outfit The Internet, Syd has had an incredible career with her instantly recognizable voice that has equal amounts sex appeal and swagger, rivaled only by the likes of Aaliyah, Erykah Badu, and D’Angelo. Syd does not hide in ambiguity, and makes it clear she is singing about women. Her critically acclaimed solo albumFin, released in 2017, is the perfect album to play when sinking into a bubble bath with your lover of any gender or getting ready for a night out.
Sophie’s music can best be described as equal parts bubblegum pop and avant garde. Her songs sparkle and disorient into an epilepsy-triggering light show with her innovative sampling and instrumentation choice. After recently coming out as a trans woman, SOPHIE has become a queer icon along with her PC Music contemporaries who are changing the landscape of pop.
Horrorcore is finally becoming queerer, and it is in part thanks to the revolutionary sound of Big Momma. His 2014 mixtape The Plague shook me to the core with its dark production and incredibly explicit descriptions of gay sex. There is no boundaries for Big Momma, and his lyricism is sprinkled with Lil Kim and Trick Daddy references and horror movie samples, blending together the masculine energy of violence and horror with a queer edge that challenges all perceptions of the genre.
bbymutha has seen an astronomical rise in popularity due to her innovative fashion, shameless nature, and expert lyricism and delivery only a veteran can bring to the table. She gets nasty, and that doesn’t mean it isn’t also political. bbymutha is both fun and power, bringing agency back into what so many female rappers have been shamed for. You can read an interview i did with her in 2016--https://sighfidelity.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/365/
I can only describe Jordaan Mason as a genius and one of our most important lyricists in our time. Their 2009 albumdivorce lawyers I shaved my headis chilling. Jordaan sings of pain and anxiety in such an abstract yet relatable way that is poetic, eerie, and uplifting. In their most recent releaseEarth to Ursa Major, there is a happiness and hope that receives the chilling Jordaan Mason twist that has made them one of my all time favorite musicians.
Fatherfake is magic, only way to describe her. Using innovative samples ranging from that one Linkin Park song we all knew in middle school to current hip hop, fatherfake makes a wide range of music from moody house tracks to happy-go-lucky beats infused with that futuristic sound reminiscent of the vaporwave heyday. Putting her in the company of SOPHIE and the other electronic musicians of our time, she is one to look out for.
Detroit-based house producer tchan takes her roots seriously. Combining the Detroit-originated ghettotech sound with garage, footwork, and industrial elements comes easily for her, and her work combines those styles into a defining marker for our new digital age.
Trashy is all trans and no bullshit. Taking elements of ska punk and grimy street punk, Trashy wears their name with pride. As part of the collective Brooklyn transcore, they shine a light on all the unseen crevices of punk. They are open in a genre that can be seen as closed off, and they are an inspiration to an entire scene showing that there is no right or wrong way to be punk.
I have previously done a premiere of South African-based duo FAKA on The FADER, and they blew me away. Taking inspiration from gqom, a subgenre of house music with roots in South Africa, FAKA explores queerness, love, and culture in such a vibrant way. Their second EP released in 2017,Amaqhawe, is infectious, passionate, and full of life. Whether in South Africa or America, they’re sure to flood dance floors.
Quay Dash is the trans voice we all need in hip hop. With the sexual power and presence of Lil Kim with the same lyrical bite, Quay is a scary force. She is all New York, all killer, and all natural with her flow. She is a chameleon, fitting into clubs with “Bossed Up” produced by SOPHIE or blaring through car speakers with “I Need a Bag”. Quay fits in well with her contemporaries such as Lil Kim, Remy Ma, and Rah Digga, and she is continuously changing the game.
Queer indie label FutureHood, founded by Mister Wallace and Anthony Pabey, is here specifically for queer and trans people of color. Redefining the game with lo-fi hip hop from CHAE BUTTUH, spoken word by Linda Labeija, and Wallace’s own dizzying and danceable hip hop, this label is a safe place for black and brown queerness in all forms.