The month of June marks not only Black Music Month, but also National Pride Month. It’s no secret that Queer artists have made major contributions to the world of music. From Ragtime & Jazz, to Disco, Black music always had a connection to Queer culture in some way. Even today, within the realms of R&B and even Hip-Hop, LGBTQ+ artists have made some major waves and some bonafide bops! Here is just a sample of some our favorites!
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Happy Black Music Month and Happy Pride!
1. The Internet ft. KAYTRANADA – Girl
This single, in which lead vocalist Syd pines over the girl of her dreams, helped push the group’s Ego Death album to great critical acclaim. Syd has since moved on to her solo work, including her 2017 debut album, Fin.
2. Kehlani – Melt
This songstress, who identifies as non-binary (using she/her and they/them pronouns), has been a favorite for years. In this video, they share a beautiful love story (maybe a true one), with fellow Queer artist 070 Shake as the love interest.
3. Frank Ocean – In My Room
Since revealing a past relationship with a man in an open letter in 2012, Frank Ocean is more of an enigma now than ever before. He manages to stay out of the limelight for the most part, which makes every single move he makes a highly anticipated one.
4. Victoria Monet – Coastin’
This powerhouse songwriter and vocalist, who has written for Ariana Grande, Fifth Harmony, and more, came out as bisexual in a 2018 tweet. However, the music speaks for itself, with her lush vocals and massive sex appeal. Definitely a fave!
5. Janelle Monáe – Make Me Feel
This multi-hyphenated entertainer is really living her life the way she sees fit, and for good reason. This powerhouse, who identifies as pansexual and non-binary, recently told Out Magazine that when it comes to sharing her life, “Nobody tells me what to do.” (Oh, and she also mentioned that she’s working on a new album. BONUS!)
6. Lil Nas X – Dead Right Now/Montero/Industry Baby (GRAMMY Performance)
Lil Nas X is no stranger to being open about his sexuality (or the controversy that comes with it). Since revealing that he was gay following the success of his breakthrough single, “Old Town Road,” he has yet to slow down on embracing who he is on a global scale…whether folks like it or not.
7. Saucy Santana – Walk
Starting his career as a makeup artist for City Girls, the Miami-based rapper and social media star has been making HUGE waves recently, with his TikTok-friendly bops. And now that he’s recently signed a major record deal, things are definitely looking up for this “Material Girl” emcee!
8. Big Freedia ft. Jax – BDE
As the undisputed “Queen of Bounce,” Big Freedia has definitely put on for the city of New Orleans. From a hit reality show to sold-out concerts and very-notable features on records from Drake and Beyoncé, Freedia is showing no signs of slowing down. You already knoooooooow!
9. Young M.A. – Off The Yak
The “OOOUUU” MC has been open about her sexuality from the very beginning, and that is no accident. In a 2016 interview with XXL, she shared her hope that her openness would serve as encouragement for young people in a similar situation and that she would be an inspiration to people.
10. CHIKA ft. Charlie Wilson – Can’t Explain It
This talented MC is no stranger to being open about everything, from being bisexual to her struggles with mental health to just being a woman in the male-dominated world of Hip-Hop. As she posted on Twitter in 2018, “Women are more than fine objects placed on earth to turn you on. you can appreciate a woman without sexualizing her. As a gay female rapper, I have the opportunity to show my colleagues that being attracted to the female body doesn’t mean I have to fetishize it.”
11. Kidd Kenn ft. Rico Nasty – Moves
As the first openly gay rapper to ever be featured in the BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher last year, the Chicago native is definitely one to watch, and it’s a sign that Hip-Hop is becoming more accepting to LGBTQ+ talent. As Kidd Kenn told Red Bull, “People in my community [are] building stuff in this game and it shows from what everybody is doing that [success] is going to happen. We’re making room. We’re here. So I just know the plan that I have is most definitely working, and I’m doing it right.”