Originating from queer black and Latinx youth in 60s Harlem, vogue is largely ignored and misunderstood by the mainstream to this day. And although we see appropriations of the subculture everywhere, many listeners are largely unaware of the scene’s history and significance (check out this mini-doc for a briefing). However, Philly’s DJ Delish is looking to change that, with her music being the soundtrack.
Released Tuesday, July 2nd, her latest project Khadijah *VOL 1* features four infectious tracks. “BUMRUSH” is a bass-packed instrumental anthem with a few adlibs strewn throughout. “SHABLAM(?)” is a snare-heavy, body-moving dance track with plenty of synth horns. “VHS” has the auditory distortion you’d expect from playing an old VHS tape, gritty and echoed. The sound is also reminiscent of hearing music blaring from outside of a club or party.
While all of Khadijah *VOL 1* is genuinely great, the standout track on the album is “BB featuring Tabu.” There are no introductory instrumentals; Tabu rapidly begins by repeating “Bumble, bumble I’m the queen b / fuckin’ it up, I know you heard about me.” Tabu’s voice echos louder and louder as blaring bass is incorporated and the beat drops. “BB” is impossible to listen to without wanting to break out into dance immediately.
With shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race and Pose emerging in the limelight, it’s essential not to neglect the roots of ballroom and drag performance, and modern vogue artists like DJ Delish are increasing awareness. Check out her latest release on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, and for more background on Delish be sure to check out this interview we did with her last September.
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