“I am a rapper who happens to do drag”, is how drag queen Aja recently defined herself via Paper Magazine. The Brooklyn-based queen first came into the limelight on Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Although she went home early (placing ninth overall), she quickly became a fan favorite. Her legendary “You look like Linda Evangelista” speech to fellow contestant Valentina spawned countless memes and even a song. Aja immediately returned to the show on Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, and quickly showed her true charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. Now, she is ready to take the world by storm with her music, and follow in the footsteps of her fellow Drag Race sisters Trixie Mattel and Alaska. Her new EP, In My Feelings, showcases her rapping ability in and out of drag. Through six tracks, such as “Finish Her!” and “Brujería”, Aja combines intelligent references with her signature style. We spoke to Aja about her musical inspirations, her Drag Race journey, and what she wants people to take away from her drag.
From Debbie Harry to Beyoncé, history’s most influential frontwomen have paved a way for all ladies to pursue their passions with grace (when necessary), power, and fierce resolution. We salute these women for all they have done in the music industry and beyond, and have created this series to celebrate just a few of our favorites.
This week’s #OnRotation is the perfect soundtrack to summer in the city, confident but laid back and dripping in 90s nostalgia. The Queens-born Moroccan American singer isn’t afraid to bare her truths (“Ain’t too concerned with conforming, fitting in is foreign to a woman like me”) and keep it real about the industry (“I’m terribly offended they’re commending mediocrity / Are we honestly praising this commodity?”), revealing her world through sultry vocals and smooth beats.
Spring has finally (!) sprung in New York City so we put together a mixtape to help get you in the mood. Our springtime mix of 60’s French Yé-yé and 21st century dreampop is for hazy afternoons spent curled under the cherry blossom trees, for sharing baskets of brie and wine with friends in the park, and for relishing in the gentleness of the mid-April air.
We caught Lorde bring her latest album ‘Melodrama’ to Boston.
In ight of the release of her new album ‘Invasion of Privacy’, our latest piece explores the respectability politics that play a large role in the complex identity of Belcaris Almanzar (AKA Cardi B). An engine fueled as much by her supporters as her strongest doubters, Cardi B represents the ultimate “fuck you” to the white, male dominated industry and white dominated world. Cardi B is not asking for your approval or respect — she’s demanding it simply by existing in her truth.
#OnRotation this week is U.S. Girls’ ‘In a Poem Unlimited’. Meg Remy’s latest is a subversive character study on women, violence, and power told through big hooks, anthemic choruses, and the nostalgic sounds of glam rock and disco. “As if you couldn’t tell, I’m mad as hell,” sings Meg Remy on M.A.H: “I won’t forget, so why should I forgive? / No, not as long as we both shall live.”
Last week, we caught Albert Hammond Jr play a series of shows along the east coast in support of his new album ‘Francis Trouble’. Our favorite took place in an intimate Pennsylvanian church basement — and we had the pleasure of capturing it on film.
Just a few days after the spring equinox, MGMT returned home to Brooklyn to play three sold-out shows in support of their latest studio album ‘Little Dark Age’. We were there all three nights to shoot the show on film and hear the new record in action.
This week, we can’t stop spinning ‘One Stone’, the latest folk self-release from drag queen Trixie Mattel. As the follow-up to her first album ‘Two Birds’ (amazing, right?), she creates a 22-minute world of her own where acoustic guitars and autoharps exist in perfect harmony with drag culture. We know that once you enter her world, you’ll want to stay.