Rupaul in his ~~Witness~~ Smile era


Blackout era


Just gave it a listen and they're spot on 😭


This is the LeBron meme beat of Hyperpop


>the familiar fruit production Ok this writer knows their shit


I love the familiar fruit moment(s)


My friends to gay me when I emerge from quarantine:


That froot looks familiar


My favorite thing about this is that NPR published it. For a channel known for its dry and emotionless reporting, this has got to be the spiciest thing that they have EVER put out lol.


It's like this was meant to be a 3.0 score review in Pitchfork and they accidentally posted it in the wrong domain


I just imagine them in their ASMR-esque tone going “This new RuPaul? It’s NOT GOOD”


Okay but Catwalk ... now she ATE that one


i love to clown rupaul for all of his capitalistic cringe but i'll be damned if that isn't actually an unironically good song. production slaps


And there's a reprise? Muva really fed us tbh. I felt so kunt listening to Catwalk


First real bop that RuPaul has put out in a good minute


It's good but it's very derivative. We've heard that many times before


Aren’t all of his songs? (especially lyrically wise) Like I feel like I could make up lyrics for a RuPaul song in 10 minutes


Yes sis!!! Snatch that crown!!!!


One time I went down a rabbit hole of trying to find more info about who some of Ru's frequent recent producers were and what other stuff they've worked on and it's way harder to find anything than you'd expect. I'm convinced that a lot of the producers she uses lately are just people from commercial scoring firms using an alias. Like the kind of people who compose the stock background music for ads and reality TV shows.


The entire album is produced by Fredrick Minano, who also produced Call Me Mother for Ru. Considering that CMM is a pretty blatant rip-off of Azealia’s Big Big Beat, it’s not surprising that this guy was also “influenced” by Charli for some of the new songs. Ru obviously has no clue, she just sings/raps the words placed in front of her


Yeah but like what I mean is that Frederick Minano is mostly likely Skeltal Ki because the former is almost always listed as a writer on tracks that Ki appears on, but (at least as of a year or two ago when I looked into this stuff) there's no official confirmation that they're the same guy. And neither name has much of an online presence or any credits for working with anyone other than Ru. It's pretty much the same deal for Kummerspeck, her other most frequent music producer. I believe there was slightly more info out there on them but it's still very little. I know it's easy to clown on Ru's music, but working with her is a relatively high profile gig. Her music consistently brings in decent streaming numbers and is basically guaranteed to be licensed out across the drag race franchise (and occasionally even outside it, like when Ru had a song used in a big Old Navy campaign). You'd think she'd work with more notable producers or at least that the producers she's worked with for so long would have become notable themselves by now. The fact that she almost exclusively works with producers who barely seem to exist is odd. The fact that none of these producers ever seem to get gigs with anyone else despite Ru raising their profile is odder.


Wow you’ve just opened up a real rabbit hole here


Ru self produces under different names because she knows she would be clowned by gays. She hears songs she likes and starts trying to recreating them piece by piece until she has her own version. Now, that's a theory I'd love to be true.


Holy shit the thought of Ru watching Ableton tutorial videos on YouTube has me dead.


Freddy Scott and Leland are the only ones I’ve ever seen are indeed real people


And oddly enough they never seem to work on Ru's own original music, only songs that are expressly created for the show (PharmaRusical, I'm That Bitch, UK Hun, etc).


lucian piane but ru left him in the ditches after a weird racist meth?? binge quick edit: just read he got arrested at gunpoint


Kummerspeck was on season 10 episode 12. Pretty sure he was the music producer in the leather jacket. https://twitter.com/Faulkyn/status/1016165806391087105/photo/1


She used Frankmusik for that one song that played over and over a few seasons ago. He's really good.


Frederick does indeed exist, he is a piano teacher from New Jersey, but he has zero to no info of himself online. I'm sure he just likes to keep it on the low.


> CMM is a pretty blatant rip-off of Azealia’s Big Big Beat Holy shit, I never noticed that and it's sooo clear


yes 100% agreed. does anyone know if anything came of AB allegedly suing ru?? or was that all rumours


Here is another take: Having watched every Drag Race season, I have kept noticing for a long long time now that his songs always vaguely resemble some other song. Almost every time I watch the show and they do one of his songs, I am like wait... thats taken from xxx! Now, I am a producer myself, and while gaining a foothold in the industry I have worked with multiple industry people / "producers" / writers etc who basically had no originality and were never in it to express themselves musically. They are in it purely for success, look at other succesful things and basically work their way backwards. Working with them was ALWAYS like this: we take this song X and base our song on it. sometimes they would ar least mash two "references" together, but rarely was I allowed any creative freedom. It became a world of excel sheets and comparing every part to the "reference" if it holds up, down to "oh they have a drum pattern like this at 2:12 we need that too" etc etc. EXTREMELY frustrating as the person who has to execute the stuff. Those are the kind of people who read for hours about which tempo gets streamed the most, how long a song has to be for streaming, how Max Martin eats his dinner... and follow all this shit precisely, but can't actually originate something creative themselves. Now while I absolutely respect what RuPaul has done culturally for drag and LGBT culture etc, he never striked me as someone who actually is a musical artist in a real way. And whenever I hear the songs and notice how close they resemble other songs, I always had a very strong feeling that it might actually be Ru himself who is like this too, who comes up with a playlist of 10 or so popular songs for his next album (probably researched hyperpop online this time) and gives it to the producers who have to copy all the shit in a way that they barely still get away with it. That can also be the reason why you can't find much info about them. They see it as a corporate gig, but don't want their name associated with it because it barely involves any creativity. Would not be surprised the slightest if that's what's going on behind the scenes.


Yes this is actually what I was trying to get at while keeping it brief. I remember [reading an article once](https://pitchfork.com/features/article/8865-harnessing-ineffable-desire-beach-house-and-the-creative-commercial/) about a band who refused to let an ad agency use their song for a commercial so the ad agency just contracted a commercial sound design company to create a "legally distinct" rip-off of their song and used that instead. That's the sector of the music industry that I assume Ru is drawing her producers from. That said, if these producers don't want to be associated with something that they think is creatively bankrupt, why do they sometimes get featuring credits? Like what benefit is there in giving Skeltal Ki a featuring credit if they're not trying to build an audience or reputation under that name? I feel like my tone is giving off "i think there's a conspiracy afoot!" vibes, and it's fun to joke about that, but to be clear I don't think it's that serious. I just think that whatever setup Ru has with her producers is odd and kinda fascinating.


I wrote music for commercials for 10 years and this was easily 9 out of every 10 gigs. Ad Agency: "Here's a track we can't afford. Get as creatively close as we want and please indemnify yourself so you get sued instead of us"


Yeah often it's not that black and white. When I did this sorta thing, I was never actively hiding my name from it, but i'd also never go around actively advertising it because I was so proud of my work. I guess some people don't care at all and try to get exposure from a RuPaul collab nonetheless which I wouldn't blame them for, gotta get that bread 🍞


so rupaul searches charli xcx type beat on youtube, records a top line and sends it to spotify. got it 🤘


Haha, more like googling for "current queer music trends" ... ahh oho, hyperpop? -> "most streamed hyperpop songs" 😅


Charli's been a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars


Yeah and ru picked fucking boom clap for the lipsync so it's safe to say he dont know shit about her lmao.


Those people you are describing are literally AIs with human skin.


Hahaha totally!!


Also, two questions: do you use an alias for your corporate gigs? And how did you get into doing corporate work?


Nah, I never really cared about the whole "losing reputation" thing that much. Also because, funnily enough, those kinda songs rarely ever get successful at all, because ironically as hard as people like that try to do everything as the Max Martins of this world, they rarely -actually- get what makes a song successful, which is some kinda soul, taking risks and daring to do something different than all the others (even RuPaul is a good example, his music is hardly relevant at all nowadays, I don't think that if he wasn't who he is anyone would care about it at all). What those people (at least in my case) never get is that, once a trend made it to number one in the charts and played on the radio for weeks and months, it makes little sense rehashing it to the smallest detail because it has been played through pretty much. That's why if you are a smart corporate leach, you steal from the "next big underground" thing instead and commercialize that (ugh), which I feel is what they tried here, just that some people are seeing through it - not all tho, the popheads thread about his album is actually full with people who go hard about how good the album is!


This is so true I tried to find out who KUMMERSPECK was and lol good luck.


Lucian's songs were at least fun, shame about... Him...


I always find it really strange when people talk about Lucian as though he's like.. a bad person. He's extremely ill and the worst of his behaviour occured when he was literally having a mental breakdown. Ru, who was himself targeted by Lucian being racist, defended him afterwards.


Doesn’t mean it’s less of a shame to hear the fall from Grace he’s had though. Shame can mean a loss of respect or honor and that’s definitely happened.


poor Grace


idk about his mental health but ru’s music with lucian produced many bops


I slept with his remix artist DJ Shyboy!


That's nice.


y r we referring to ru as her when he’s been super transphobic in the past concerning drag


Because usually drag queens go by she/her when in drag, and by their real pronouns (she/her, he/him, they/them) when they’re out of drag. Though in this case, Ru has stated he doesn’t have any preferred pronouns. And since he goes by the same name in drag, fans just use he/him or she/her interchangeably. I personally tend to refer to Ru as her when it’s anything about the public persona, and her artistic endeavors, and he when it’s about his private life.


right, i just think it’s gross how ru goes by she/her while also denying people who r proudly trans a spot in his very substantial place in drag for decades. it’s not like i hate him or anything, queer people infighting doesn’t do us any good and i love drag race, but it’s hard to not be upset by.


I think this is what Spotify Wrapped told me my aura was last year


none of these words are in the bible


Condragulations you are the winner of the reading challenge. The library is officially closed 👏🏼


That’s home of phobic


As another home o, it's deserved


your USERNAME!! 🏆🥇


Is this just a song telling me to smile? I’m sorry corporate media is my resting bitch face to real for you? 😠


The song sounds like what I'd expect an SNL recreation of hyperpop to sound like


is that... a good or bad thing? i can't tell from the title alone edit: it's not good


the description in the title sounds like a bop


It isn't, though


i agree! hence the confusion!


Glad I wasn't the only one who was unsure.


That’s a lot of emotion for ~~safe~~ hyperpop


wowza... that is a haterade review for the ages


People really will try anything to downplay Ru. It's crazy. What he, especially as a black queer person in America, has achieved is incredible. Yet everyone will trip over themselves to negate his success and throw out things he's said or done, just to justify their issues. That's not glossing over what he has said or done, but people cherry pick when it comes to other people's problematic behaviours. Yet when it comes to Ru, cherries are out of season. I'm really over that aspect of cancel culture. People don't actually care about what they've done or who it hurts - they want to dislike the person and appear to have "just cause". As if young gays care about fracking. Give me a break. Obama was pro fracking too. Where's that everytime someone posts his "fave songs"? - and he's an actual politician?? If Rupaul, who made a song that sounds like Charli after poppers, is the enemy - you're on the wrong side. Ru is far from perfect, but damn do people like to vilainise him for everything. I do really have to wonder would it happen if he was white. I genuinely mean that.


"As if young gays care about fracking"??? not sure where you've been for the last 5 years but please go ask literally anybody under the age of 25 how they feel about climate change.


To the level they use it to dismiss Ru, I don't think people actually care. It's just an excuse.


Sorry buddy but if you can confidently believe that young gays respect Obama but don't seriously care about the environment then you are officially out of touch


[Uh huh](https://www.reddit.com/r/popheads/comments/ohkjgb/barack_obama_shares_his_2021_summer_playlist/)


Obama is a fucking war criminal, fracking is like not even top 5 on why we should hate Obama.


Well that's refreshing to read


It's not hate on Ru. We been knew she doesn't produce these things


Honestly my biggest problem with Ru was how he wouldn't let transwomen on the show for so long. The rest I can attribute to rich boomer bullshit; I don't really expect better from a 61 year old man worth $60 mil


If the producer of this song had sat on it for 15-20 years and released it then, it would be hailed as a "faithful tribute to the hyperpop era of the early 20's, cleverly incorporating every trope of the genre"


People listen to Rupaul’s music? Like, unironically?


> It's a reminder that everything that made the OG hyperpop scene interesting and different is quickly being swallowed up and watered down for a larger audience, particularly one that embodies hegemonic, straight-approved forms of LGBTQ expression. This makes no sense to me. Pink and blue, supernatural, Friday night, Keri baby, be your USA, Lemonade, etc… are all bops, but I do not see how someone ripping off the hyperpop sound is a form of ‘sanitising’ lgbtq expression for a straight audience. Not least because AFAIK a bunch of the og hyperpop stars aren’t lgbtq while rupaul literally is. It feels like the review author just lifted the usual argument about how drag race is sanitised lgbtq expression (ie it doesn’t represent the full range of drag artistry/doesn’t allow the very subversive elements you’d see at a drag show or on Dragula) and tried to apply it here, but I don’t see it. Sometimes people just hop on a bandwagon and make a mediocre imitation and it’s just that.


Don't think it was a commentary on the queerness of hyperpop but rather a broader conversation of queer conformity and how Ru could more largely represent a commercialization and commodification of queer culture. Which is an issue worth discussing.


Right? Most of the main producers in the hyperpop scene are straight white men. Hannah Diamond, Liz, Charli, GFOTY, etc are all straight white women as far as I’m aware. God forbid a gay black man likes a genre and makes some songs that sound like it? And why is this so serious? Lol it’s not like Ru’s music has a huge following.


Agreed on all points, just wanted to say Charli is half asian - her mother is Gujarati Indian.


Maybe the author found out about hyperpop in the obituary of SOPHIE...


Yes and?


She's not wrong but this is also a lot of emotion for drag queen music which is almost always derivative as a rule edit: like just post your "rupaul is an evil fracker!!!" take and go 🙄


It really does feel pretty aggro for some pretty typical trendchasing. I doubt Ru doing this is the death knell they write about.


agreed, they’re right and the article is funny in how venomous it is but… it’s not that serious


I mean just because it's typically bad doesn't mean that it gets a free pass to be criticised less than it would be otherwise. Ru Paul isn't the Wiggles, at this point I think he can take the criticism as attempting to be a genuine artist.


I don't think the idea is Ru shouldn't be criticised, it's more... why bother. We all know what his music is and I don't thik he pretends that it's that deep either.


That sounds amazing though??






I'm late to the party on this one but this pisses me off lol, if you listen to Ru's other music this feels like a perfectly natural extension of his brand, which has always been built on over-the-top autotune heavy songs that draw from club sounds. Nothing on this album was surprising coming from the man who made ["Call Me Starrbooty"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6kd7OJD3bM) and ["Lick It Lollipop"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoaH8Z6ZHM8) and ["Shady Shade (Now Prance),"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG18HqiDkc8) he's just following trends and exploring new sounds that are popular with his audience. If the author doesn't like the album that's fine but calling it the "death knell of bubblegum hyperpop" and complaining that RuPaul is corporatizing it or whatever (as if he isn't also an independent artist writing his own songs and working with a small team of producers) is so overdramatic. Yes RuPaul is very wealthy but newsflash, so are half the people making hyperpop (at least, the ones who get enough attention for it to be mentioned by NPR) and even though his show is popular the only people who are actually listening to this album are gays who already know about hyperpop. This reads more like it's written by someone who's just upset that someone they think is "uncool" is daring to touch something that they think they're special for being interested in. It's some hipster bullshit. And tbh the way they're gatekeeping a queer black man like this doesn't sit right with me, especially given how white the hyperpop scene is and how much it also pulls from a club culture that owes a lot to people of color. There's a lot to criticize RuPaul for but this goes about it in the completely wrong way because the people RuPaul is "appropriating" from aren't the rich white kids kids making autotuned bubblegum, it's the queer underground scene whose image RuPaul has repacked for mass audiences. The thing that rings false about *Mamaru* isn't the fact that it sounds like a Charli XCX reject, it's the way RuPaul cosplays as a Mother of the House queen of nightlife who vogues the house down when it's become increasingly apparent how disconnected he is from this scene. /end rant


Exactly. I find this reviewer is digging for something to get mad about and trying to write a fiery review that will get turned into a hit tweet.


“Catwalk” and “Just What They Want” were the standout tracks on this album! RuPauls music used to sound and feel very generic to me but I love it now. You can never go wrong with uplifting, confidence boosting pop music, especially when keeping it in the theme of all things drag


I have several of his songs on regular rotation tbh. In and out, crying on the dance floor, Feel like a woman, and Rock it to the moon are genuinely good songs! Not groundbreaking but a good uplifting song to not skip in a queue iykwim


I cant figure out if thats supposed to be an insult or make me listen to it immediately.


Sorry but this review is cringe. Dear reviewer: Charli XCX is also a millionaire and has a hundred times more money and privelege that a lot of struggling hyperpop artists do, Rupaul hopping on an semi-underground pop subgenre isn't the end of the world. It's literally not that deep, Christ... I doubt Ru even knows what hyperpop is.


I wonder if Ru found out about Charli and hyperpop a couple of months ago, when there was a meltdown from fans about the lip sync song being Boom Clap, and not Vroom Vroom or Taxi


Did fans really expect them to use Taxi?


Girls night out was right there


Agree. This writer seems like they’re trying to get a hit tweet.


>Charli XCX is also a millionaire and has a hundred times more money and privelege Ru Paul is a transphobic fracker who has millions of dollars and privilege that not even the majority of people in her field (drag) do. She can afford some originality in literally anything she does lmao downvote me y'all know i'm right lmao


ok but what does that have to do with what I said?


I love RuPaul and I love DR, and I'm gay as hell. Maybe it's not meant for me, but I've never cared for most of Ru's music. I've never listened to a song (Supermodel being the exception) and thought, "Yeah, I'll listen to that again."


Their tone seems very pointed rn


Mitch grassi sent me here




Now where is the pulitzer of the writer? Quickly


I worry that as hyper pop becomes mainstream that it's anti-capitalist and satirical Roots will become lost. Fred's song last year shows that the mainstream audience thinks that creating hyperpop is simple, when in reality if a single element goes wrong the carefully stacked elements that make hyperpop hyperpop falls apart completely


Anything counterculture loses its original roots and message once it becomes pop culture


Yeah and so what? It's still awesome lmao


Fascination is a hyperpop bop though.


Wow. These have to be two of the most brutal (but accurate) paragraphs ever written.


ended charli and katy at the same time


this isn’t the replies under a PopCrave tweet


I know but thanks for clarifying


lmfaooo 💀




I guess a Tiny Desk performance ain't happening anytime soon




"It's a reminder that everything that made the OG hyperpop scene interesting and different is quickly being swallowed up and watered down for a larger audience, particularly one that embodies hegemonic, straight-approved forms of LGBTQ expression." NPR really had time today 💀