June is not just a month for people to pull out novelty rainbow flags and have an excuse to down multi-colored Jello shots. Pride month is celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and the accomplishments that have been made, acknowledgement of the continuous struggle that the community faces, and remembrance for those who lost their lives during the fight for freedom and equality. Pride month is a time for allies and the LGBTQ+ community to come together and what better way to celebrate than with hip hop? This past weekend Pride was celebrated in major cities from NYC to Chicago. From CupcakKe to Mister Wallace we have found ten songs from LGBTQ+ hip hop artists and allies to get you feeling the Pride spirit all year long, and check out scenes from Chicago’s Pride Parade below via Make Stuff Media!
- CupcakKe “LGBT”
Chicagoan CupcakKe has made waves in the hip hop community with her raunchy rap lyrics and feminist approach to being an unapologetic sexual being. She highlights her alliance to the LGBTQ+ community with her track “LGBT”. CupcakKe even addresses bisexual people who often feel ostracized from the gay community with lines like “And shout out to the bi’s you ain’t gotta pick a side.”
- Le1f “Koi”
Hailing from NYC, Le1f has been an enigma in the queer hip-hop scene due to his eclectic style and mix of vogue ball beats. His extremely colorful and creative music videos are just icing on top of the cake. Featured on his album Riot Boi, the song “Koi” pairs Le1f’s sensual and teasing delivery with manic layered synths for a track that is definitely worth vogueing down to.
- Zebra Katz featuring Njena Reddd Foxxx “Ima Read”
Zebra Katz is another New Yorker who is heavily influenced by the underground ball scene via the Paris is Burning era. “Ima Read” is an ode to the age old Queen method of insulting or “reading” someone for their flaws. The dark and ominous beat is still danceable with Katz and Foxxx delivering lyrics like “I’mma give that bitch some knowledge/ I’mma take that bitch to college”. Great for vogueing and twerking, this track is timeless.
- Cakes da Killa feature Peaches “Up Out My Face”
Following in the theme of New York, Cakes da Killa is a Brooklynite with a fiery discography that could rival even some of the best lyricists due to his fun wordplay and ability to take on toxic masculinity effortlessly. “Up Out My Face” features feminist queer queen, Peaches. The old school warehouse beat matched with Cakes’ fiery delivery and Peaches’ dance rock vocals is a must-listen anthem for any Pride celebration.
- Arca “Ass Swung Low”
Venezuelan producer Arca has never been one to shy away from sexy dreamscape bangers and his track “Ass Swung Low” is no different. Featuring creepy distorted vocals and haunting harmonizing, “Ass Swung Low” is a great track to grind on someone to in a dark club or room.
- Princess Nokia “Tomboy”
“Who that is hoe? That girl is a tom boy, that girl is a tom boy, that girl is a tom boy,” says Princess Nokia on this empowering track “Tomboy.” This track not only celebrates “tom boys” or people who don’t fit into gender norms, but it is also a celebration of body positivity, thanks to the infectious hook that repeats “with my little titties and my fat belly”.
- La’Fem Ladosha “B/M/F”
Artiste, performer, and drag extraordinaire, La’Fem Ladosha has been a staple in the underground art scene for a while, and one project she did was release a remix to Rick Ross’ hit track “B/M/F”. As soon as you here Ladosha say “I think I’m Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell” you know you are about to be slayed.
- Mister Wallace “It Girl”
Described as a self-proclaimed post-gender artist, Mister Wallace brings grittiness and glam together with his track “It Girl”. He highlights his gender fluidity with lyrics like “I’m a muse! I’m a man!/I like to wear a skirt/I’m a flirt. You’re a fan.” Add an infectious beat on top of that and you have yourselves a hit.
- Mykki Blanco “I’m In a Mood”
Mykki Blanco has an impressive arsenal of music under his belt and his genderless approach to music has always been as refreshing as it is needed. Blanco delivers some of the best lyrics on his track with lines like, “Dress like a woman/ Fuck I love women/ Gas in my blunt/ Front all you want/ My confidant/ Squirt cause we cunts.”
- Big Freedia “Mo Azz”
One of the best performances I have ever seen was at Chicago Pride Fest when Big Freedia had everyone from grandmothers to tweens shaking their butts to her high energy set. Brimming with amazing New Orleans culture and LGBTQ+ pride, Freedia knows how to set the tone for a pride party. Her track “Mo Azz” is all bass and enough of her infectious vocals to get you twerking for your life.
Chicago Pride video credit: Make Stuff Media