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The Library Is Open: A Few Final Reads On RPDR All Stars 3

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Already in shock that Shangela was barricaded from the top two, I was preparing myself for a Kennedy Davenport win. Kennedy utterly slayed the final lip-sync to an unimpressive song that mostly favored the other queen. Kennedy performed better than her competitor throughout the season, which was not hard seeing that the other half of the top two did not win a single challenge. Because I like to be naive at times, as it can be cute and endearing, I hoped Kennedy would be the choice. However, my ancestors and the spirits who hold my past traumas spoke to me and said, “Sis, you know better than that- we’ve already prepared you for this moment.” So, as RuPaul announced the country queen as the winner, this complicated feeling swept over me. It was a mixture between surprise and this intense calm.

via GIPHY

Because I at times commit to poor decisions, I decided to watch the finale at a local bar- one that is queer friendly. Well, white queer friendly. The crowning was accompanied by the whitest and loudest applause I’ve heard in a bar setting- applause and noise that rivaled any sporting event I’ve ever watched in a public space. This reminds me that I am never safe in this Black fat body, no matter if the setting is queer and well-intentioned.

Yes, I know RPDR is riddled with every ism and phobia, but still I thought better of these people. Click To Tweet

I feel guilty for being angry, because I know this show remains problematic in many ways. However, I am legit sadden by this expected surprise. Yes, I know this show is riddled with every ism and phobia, but still I thought better of these people. And of course someone will soon hop on my timeline telling me that I shouldn’t care so much- and honestly I will probably cuss them the phuck out. I would hope I’d respond differently, but I know my brand. Smh.

This season, this episode, triggered some bad memories and emotions for me. Once again, it told me that I will never be enough in this fat, Black, queer body. Whiteness and white mediocrity will often be the victor, will often be praised, and will do their best to gaslight you when it’s all said and done.

Cast of Paris is Burning

Here are a few insights I must get off my heart. In the tradition of Paris is Burning, I honor the Black and brown queens who made drag what it is today…

The library is open, hunty.

Kennedy Davenport doesn’t deserve your pity. She deserves no one’s pity because she is a boss. She is a champion with or without the crown. She deserved to be in the Top four, and deserved to beat that other gurl in the final two. Not a read, just true.

Shangela was the clear winner. CLEARLY. And her face showed me that she knew she was morally better than most queens in that room, in that moment. Halleloo.

RuPaul once said that drag pokes fun at the rules (a loose interpretation of something he actually said), but in practice has successfully helped white cis-heteropatriarchy thrive in drag. RuPaul is committed to uplifting whiteness, as it is attached to capitalism. Sis wants another Emmy and a much larger check- the internalized anti-Blackness has runneth over, all over those pretty suits and pretty gowns. RuPaul must have sincerely been flattered by the winner’s impersonation of him in the Snatch Game.
…And he is a legend and a trailblazer.

Beware of white people who think this chick with the ethnic puff on the top of her head deserved to win. They are the same people who whisper #AllLivesMatter to one another in Black and brown spaces. They are the same people who love having Black friends, but are absent when violent shyt goes down. They are the same people who are hypercritical of Black queens, but then show up to their shows and events to steal dance moves and drag techniques. They are the Toros of life, a la the white cheerleaders in Bring it On.

The white queen whose name rhymes with silk, and makes me proud to be lactose intolerant is…spolied.

Bebe Zahara Benet is me if I ever do drag. Muva is unshakable. It was clear that she didn’t define her worth by what these other queens thought. She doesn’t have to be crowned the queen because she already knows she is one.

The white queen who dons dreadlocks showed her anti-Black and classist ass in her original season by how she treated both Bob The Drag Queen and Chi Chi DeVayne. <sigh> Some things never change. However, she was the only queen who voted for Shangela to be in the top two.

I was waiting for Aja to conjure Crystal LaBeija once Ru announced the top two. However, Aja chose the Milwaukee queen over Shangela to be in the top two, so perhaps LaBeija was out to lunch with Monique.

I’m noticing on social media that a lot of the Black and brown queens are on this condragulations tour- celebrating a queen that had no business winning, and avoiding any of the racialized critiques. To them, I say be careful. Click To Tweet

I’m noticing on social media that a lot of the Black and brown queens are on this condragulations tour- celebrating a queen that had no business winning, and avoiding any of the racialized critiques. To them, I say be careful. There are young Black and brown queens who are looking up to you, and learning how to address racism and anti-Blackness in this industry by carefully observing your every move. However, I understand that your speaking up puts your booking fee at risk, your livelihood at risk. This is how white supremacy traps Black and brown bodies.

White queens who talk about white supremacy, misogyny, and queer and transantagonism on their platforms, I await your voice in this conversation. It is your responsibility to challenge your fellow white queens, and your problematic followers. Get to it.

I also want to be clear. I believe the winner of the third cycle of All Stars identifies as biracial/multiracial with roots to the Ojibwe people, and that matters in their journey to the crown. And, in this industry, this human still benefits from white privilege in some truly complex ways. Trixie, you have a responsibility in this conversation as well.

The Library is closed, officially.

via GIPHY

In closing.

All (Monique) heart, we love you, Shangela. We love you, Bebe. And we love you, Kennedy. Please continue to shine for usHere is my love letter to you all.

 


Cody Charles is the author of Mudbound: Uncovering The Parts Of Ourselves We Sacrifice In Order To SurviveA Dream Undeterred: 10 Dreams I Want To Live Out In My Black Fat Queer Body In 2018Our Favorite Blackity Black Quotes In Black CinemaEngaging My Black Fat Body, Re-Imagining Black LoveYou Can’t Outdo Black PeopleBlack Joy, We Deserve ItThe Night The Moonlight Caught My Eye: Not a Review but a Testimony on the Film Moonlight5 Tips For White Folks, As They Engage Jordan Peele’s Get Out. (No Spoilers), and What Growing Up Black And Poor Taught Me About Resiliency. Join him for more conversation on Twitter (@_codykeith_) and Facebook (Follow Cody Charles). Please visit his blog, Reclaiming Anger, to learn more about him.

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Ella Mai

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Ella Mai’s self titled album is a 10 out of 10! Every song is good from start to finish.

First, she had everybody wanting to be Boo’d Up…

Then she had people Tripping…

But now she has everybody talking about this amazing 16 track album.

Ella Mai starts the album off by breaking down her name which is her way of letting people know who she is, but it is a way of people connecting with her beyond the music. I found this to be a different approach for her because I have been listening to Ella Mai before she became mainstream.

One conversation on social media is that people do not like when she starts talking after the song is over but she has been doing this for a while.

Does it bang in the car? The answer is 100% YES. This is an album you can play without skipping a single song. Ella Mai only had three featured artists on the album and that is rare for an artist because almost everybody now has an album with almost everybody featured on it. If you have not listened to the album I would suggest you do!

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The Long Awaited ‘Tha Carter V’ “FLOP” or “NOT”

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4 damn years! After 4 long years, Lil Wayne finally drops Tha Carter V and it sold pretty well despite the mixed reviews that have been floating around. The album was initially scheduled to be released back in May of 2014 but the legal battle with Birdman held him from releasing. After listening I give it a 7 out of 10. When listening it did not give me the Wayne that I was expecting. One tweet, in particular, said exactly what I was thinking.

The #UproarChallenge became popular after social media comedian Shiggy posted him dancing to the song on Instagram.

 

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#Mood : Where The Love Go? 💔🤷‍♂️ @therealswizzz @liltunechi 😂😂😂💯🔥

A post shared by Shoker🃏 (@theshiggyshow) on

Even Wayne’s boys got in on the #UproarChallenge

The songs that stood out the most were Mona Lisa, Open Letter, Hittas, Problems and Used 2. Tha Carter V has some bangers, but if I can’t bang the whole album in the car and have to skip songs there is a problem. Overall the album is a solid good 13 songs.

 

Did the long-awaited Tha Carter V live up to the hype for you? Comment below “FLOP” or “NOT”

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Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Call It Quits

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We all saw it coming, unfortunately. Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson are reportedly splitting up according to TMZ. The couple who were engaged have called it quits.

Sources close to the former couple tell us AG and PD split this weekend, with both parties acknowledging that it simply was not the right time for their relationship to take off. We’re told the two still have love for each other, but things are over romantically. via TMZ

Sources have also said that the recent death of Ariana’s ex Mac Miller was the breaking point. Mac Miller died early last month on the 7th of September. Ariana posted a heartfelt message on her Instagram.

 

 

This has been a troubling year for Ariana and we wish her the best.

 

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