Happy weekend, reader! You survived the first week of 2023. Only 51 more to go!
Meanwhile, this week’s new LGBTQ+ music drops are giving us life. Famous actors, XXL freshmen, and queer producer faves all came together to kick this year off with a bang.
From a young royal star to a rapper raising the bar, here’s your weekly bop roundup:
“Call Me By Your Name” by Omar Rudberg ft. Claudia Neuser
With our first taste of his new music, Young Royals star Omar Rudberg has traded in the upbeat Latin vibes of OMR for a vocal-focused, overcast ballad. The title is, of course, inspired by the novel and film of the same name from Andre Aciman and Luca Guadagnino respectively. This is decidedly the most tame entry into the pantheon of “Call Me By Your Name” media, topped by both aforementioned predecessors and Lil Nas X‘s subtitled hit song, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”.
“Cake & Candy” by Rupaul
Black Butta has proved to be a very interesting project. Rupaul has continued her Mamaru tactic of exploring more eccentric sounds and styles without trying to reinvent them or make them blend stylistically. The hardstyle-influenced title track, the pop-R&B “Everytime A Heartbeats,” and the high ’80s era “Pink Limousine” are a collection of singles pulled together by the branding queen herself in one year-opening package. “Cake & Candy,” with its glittery aura and booming bass, is probably her most Mamaru-y track of all, showing that there’s a thread of consistency even in her discrete discography.
“Radio” by Sigala & MNEK
MNEK, our beloved. If there’s one producer who knows how to touch a track and turn it into a gay club groove, it’s him. This time, he’s providing energetic vocals to fellow UK musician Sigala’s production. Though the song’s main premise of an ex-lover being haunted by songs on the radio is a little outdated in the streaming era, the song has enough mid-2010s flair to give it an appropriate period piece feel. Fitting for MNEK, whose 2015 radio hit “Never Forget You” with Zara Larsson is undoubtedly still pulling in checks.
“Thru The Week” by Kamaiyah
Bi rapper Kamaiyah has kept hustling since her XXL Freshman Class appointment in 2017, and we’re all the luckier for it. While she hasn’t had some of the runaway successes of some of her male classmates like A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie or Playboi Carti, she has a solid discography and features like her platinum-selling “Why You Always Hatin’?” verse holding her down. “Thru The Week” stands as yet another testament of her devotion to the grind, which reportedly never stops.
“Vitamin D” by Ocean Kelly
Ocean Kelly is such a fantastic drag performer that it’s easy to forget how hard he can hit in full boy geish. If hard-hitting tracks like “Vitamin D” or his “Millennium Freestyle” are anything to go off of, Kelly taking the wig off is a little like Rock Lee from Naruto taking his leg weights off. Sonically, prepare to get your sh*t rocked.
Join us here next week for another Bop After Bop!