The Queer, Feminist & BIPOC Playlist You Need For Your New Year Party
I have already told you how I feel about music standards and what is and is not considered as good music right here (link), in my article on Aya Nakamura (if you are reading this, I love you Aya!). But I will say it again, in case you missed it the first time – and also, because cis het white dudes are still not listening. The music industry, like every other sector of our patriarchal society, is problematic. It is racist, sexist, homophobic, fatphobic and over all just queerphobic – exceptions will be made if you are thin, white and beautiful.
Also, little parenthesis here: you may think of some musicians/singers who made it, despite not fitting the established norms. I am sure some of them did. But this does not mean that the discrimination is not real. White cis het dudes are not all born with a mystical talent for music, while other suck at it, except for a few ones who have been recognized for their hard work. And it is not fair that people are not offered the same opportunities to succeed – it is, actually, the definition of discrimination. So no, it is not because Freddy Mercury or Lizzo had success that it means the music industry is fair. It is not. And if you do not believe me, check out the facts I pointed out in my article about Aya Nakamura (link) – the gender gap is real.
On the need to create a (fierce) queer, feminist and BIPOC playlist
Back to our music standards, then. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ music standards are crafted by and for white cis dudes. They told us we should like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, maybe Eminem, but most of all, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. On the other hand, anything that is even slightly aimed for teenage girls is seen as terrible music. Why? No idea. I would honestly like to know why so many grown men have issues with teenage girls. Maybe leave them alone and try therapy?
Anyway, all artists seen as making music for teenage girls, or not speaking perfect standard version of a language (hi Aya), or not fitting the norms, or feminine artists seen as too sexual, too black, not pretty enough, or queer artists, or anyone outside the white cis het male spectrum really, tends to be dismissed and pushed to the side by critics and algorithms. Well, not on my watch. So, here is a little playlist that I have crafted for your New Year’s Party, with love. You might not like it all, but I hope you will at least (re)discover some artists that you like.
It is everything music critics try to push aside: it is queer, it is feminist, it is sapphic, it is non-white, it is full of sex, love, self-affirmation and empowerment. It is non-binary, it is trans, it is agender. It is bisexual, pansexual and lesbian. And very importantly, it is made for you to enjoy your evening and to get you dancing!
The kind of vibe I went for (warning: side effects may include dancing, putting on lipstick, and just being overall badass)
If you want to get the Spotify link to the playlist, you can directly browse down the end of the article. But for those of you who are a little more curious, I will walk you through the general mood of the playlist first, as well as some of the artists and their songs – meaning that, in the next part, I will bless your eyes with fantastic clips. Enjoy and spread the word!
So, what is the general mood of this playlist, I hear you asking – and if you are not, too bad, this article is already written. The playlist starts rather slowly, but with full on sapphic vibes. I am talking instant connection, heat and sensual seduction. Perfect for warming up a little while everyone gets settled – we do not want to blast loud bass and heavy trap before everyone is ready for it.
Next, the playlist moves on to slow rap. We are talking warm voices, slow rhythm and nice flow – you get it, we are still in the warming up part. But do not worry, this will not last forever. Pretty soon, this speeds up and leads to something that is bound to make you want to dance. Yes, we are slowly edging into reggaeton baby, with a special appearance by Aya – you did not think I would skip her in a bad b**ch New Year Party playlist, did you?
From then on, we are getting back to rap with great songs by amazing artists that will make you want to move, I can promise you this much. So, put on your shiniest, smallest, most revealing outfit, because this party is starting and you will want to be dressed for the occasion.
A focus on some of my favorite artists featured in the playlist and their best work
Let us start with a few disclaimers!
- Not all artists are queer, feminist and people of color, but all of them are at least one of these – and except for one or two artists, everyone fits into two of the above categories.
- None of the main artists are men. They are all women, non-binary folks, agender people or gender non-conforming. Although I was not able to completely avoid men in featured songs, unfortunately. I purposefully chose to avoid them as main artists, because even in queer or BIPOC music, they always get more attention than women, non-binary folks or agender people. Since my goal was to put the spotlight on less-known artists, I have carefully selected artists that are not men.
- Some of the artists featured can get pretty explicit on sex – CupcakKe, for instance has some pretty graphic lyrics. Some songs’ lyrics will thus mention sex, penises and/or vulvas. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can always skip the song!
Now that we have established that, let us have a look at some of the artists (yes, some of them, because the playlist contains more than 40 artists, and I think that if I made this an exhaustive list, you would quit halfway through). I hope you are ready to hear the best of the best of queer and feminist artists!
Foreword: some great artists we have featured on BØWIE
If you have already visited our website before, you may have noticed that we have a whole section on projects by queer and/or feminist artists – if not, I highly recommend you have a look at it after you finish reading this article, you will discover a ton of super cool creators! And, well, you may also have noticed that we have a whole music category. For this playlist, I have chosen to add some of the artists we have already featured on BØWIE!
Namely, Naomi Lareine, an amazing Swiss RnB singer, who sings about lesbian love and relationships; Lous and The Yakuza, a feminist Congolese and Belgian rapper; Madame Gandhi, a queer woman of color, whose style is so diverse and complete it would be impossible to define it; RoxXxan, an English tomboy and black lesbian rapper who is set on changing music industry standards; and Sailorfag, Mexican rapper, non-binary icon and Gen Z symbol. If you want to learn more about them and their music, you can just browse their profile. You will not be disappointed!
7 awesome artists to discover in the playlist
I have also picked artists who have not (yet!) been featured on our website. Here is a little focus on 7 of them, for no other reasons than the fact that I really love them and I think everyone should know them!
Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, better known as Princess Nokia is an American rapper. They are bisexual, gender non-conforming and a strong believer in intersectional feminism. And if you are wondering if she can get any more awesome than that, well, yes she can. In a concert in 2017, some guy in the crowd kept mouthing obscenities at them, so Princess Nokia punched him in the face. They are the queer, BIPOC icon we deserve!
One of her most famous songs, and my personal favorite, is called ‘Tomboy’. It is a celebration of their body, their ‘small titties’ and their ‘phat belly’. If you are wondering, ‘phat’ is slang for ‘great’, and I love that it sounds just like ‘fat’ in the song. So, here is to the tomboys and the phat bellies of the world. Enjoy!
Dope Saint Jude
Dope Saint Jude, full name Catherine Saint Jude Pretorius, is a rapper, singer, songwriter and music producer from South Africa. And she also happens to be a queer icon. She started as a drag king performer in the ‘Bros B4 Ho’s’ collective, South Africa’s very first drag king troop (Les Inrockuptibles, March 2021). Her first experience of the rap scene was when started to rap in front of the audience during a Lil Wayne parody.
And I am very thankful she decided to parody Lil Wayne, because this lead her to release her first songs on Soundcloud 2 years later (Les Inrockuptibles, March 2021). Fast forward to 2021 and Dope Saint Jude is now a renowned and resolutely feminist queer artivist. And I will leave you with her song ‘Grrr Like’ and its incredible video. Enjoy!
Raykeea Raeen-Roes Wilson, known under the stage name Angel Haze is an American rapper and singer. They are pansexual and agender. So, for all of you queer kids, pansexual people and agender folks, here is a famous (and successful) role model! In parallel of their (awesome) music, Angel has also started to work on a body image project, ‘The Naked Eye’, in which they shoot people experiencing body dysmorphia to challenge the idea of conventional beauty (BuzzFeed, March 2015).
You might be familiar with one of their titles, ‘Battle Cry’, which features Sia. But most of Angel’s work lean more towards rap, notably with ‘Werkin' Girls’ – one of my personal favorites. Enjoy!
Mykki Blanco is an American (yes, again, I know) trans rapper, performer, poet and activist. And they are one of the hip hop’s queer pioneers! They are not too fond of the labelling ‘queer rap’ themselves, which I can understand; sometimes you do not want to be known as the ‘queer this’ or ‘queer that’. But I think you can be a complete, renowned artist and still be known as queer. I, for myself, love to know who is queer, because that allows me to choose to give these artists more visibility and appraisal. So, thank you Mykki for being a queer icon!
Mykki has also recently spoken about being HIV positive. If you have read our latest articles, and more specifically the one on STIs and why addressing queer sexual health is so important, you are probably aware of the stigma HIV+ people face. Testimonies like Mykki’s are very important to change that.
But enough talking, I will let you see what they got!
Shay, born Vanessa Lesnicki, is a Belgian rapper. Although there are no official confirmation (or denial, for that matter), she has recently hinted at not being heterosexual in a media interview. And I mean, we can only hope that she really is not. Have you looked at her?
When Shay was younger, she dreamt of becoming a bandit like Frank Lucas or Griselda Blanco, and that much is obvious in her songs. She goes straight to the point and does not have time for anybody. Shay is here for the win and she will show you no mercy if you stand in her way. You go, queen!
And we are back to the US. Quay Dash is an incredible trans rapper from the Bronx. A former member of the ‘Cunt Mafia’ collective, she took her first steps in the rap scene performing for friends before deciding to make it a career (Antidote, August 2017).
An active and activist member of the trans community, she uses her songs to talk about the transphobia she faces in her everyday life. She has recorded numerous awesome songs, including the fierce and iconic ‘Decline Him’ and its fabulous video. Just watch!
Chocolate Remix is a project by Argentinian singer, producer and DJ Romina Bernardo. And the principle is rather simple: make lesbian reggaeton. Yes, you heard me right. Take everything you like in reggaeton; rhythm, flow, and style, but make it less homophobic and more lesbian. I could not resist talking about her!
In particular, I really wanted to draw your attention to her song ‘Como Me Gusta A Mi’. What is it about, you may ask. Well, it is basically 3 minutes of Romina singing how she likes women: tall, small, white, black, etc. Because she likes all of them. I have included the YouTube music video here, but you might need to be logged in to watch it. YouTube put an age limit on it, as it is basically boobs heaven. But it is worth it. So log in and watch!
Enjoy your night and happy New Year!
I will not make you wait any longer: here is the Spotify link to the Queer, Feminist & BIPOC Bad Bitch Playlist 🔥. If you like it (and I hope you do, because I have poured my heart out into this one), subscribe, talk about it and send it around to your friends! It features 61 songs of more than 40 different artists, for a total of 3 hours. So, this should get you going for a while.
I guess all there is left for me to say is, happy New Year, take care, and do not forget to look after your friends! Also, do not pressure yourself into making new resolutions if you do not feel like it – it will not make you less of a good person. Most importantly, live, laugh and be happy. I am sending you lots of love!
See you around next year!
PS: you can always send us your favorite queer songs on our Instagram – I really enjoyed doing this playlist and this might not be the last one!
Header credits: Dope Saint Jude / Giorgio Lamonica