let's dance!

Black and Queer Artists Make Us a Very Black and Queer Playlist

Vincint. Photo by Gabriel Goldberg.

If there’s anything that brings the people together, it’s music. With Black History Month slowly coming to an end, we’ve gathered eleven of our favorite Black, queer, and trans artists to celebrate other Black, queer, and trans artists. Between rappers and DJs, producers and singers, there’s an old-school or contemporary track here for everyone. Below, artists like Honey Dijon, Mykki Blanco, Vincint, and more discuss their favorite songs produced or performed by other black LGBTQ+ artists, and why they’re just as inspiring now as when they were made.

Honey Dijon

“Leviticus: Faggot (The Glee Club Vocal Mix” by Meshell Ndegeocello

Photo by Ricardo Gomes.

“I remember hearing this for the first time at a club in Chicago and was completely blown by the lyrics. I had never heard the word faggot used in an artistic way. It was usually a word used to hurt or reduce queer people and here it was being used to describe the painful experience of coming out. To hear it on huge club speakers was powerful and healing. The fact that it was created by a queer woman of color and remixed by a white lesbian DJ by the name of Teri Bristol was so important for me because queer women and their contributions are often overlooked in dance music culture.”


Mykki Blanco

“NITEVISION” by Bambii

“Bambii is a Kingston/Toronto based producer and DJ. She created and hosts ‘Jerk,’ an incendiary biannual party celebrating Dancehall culture while curating exceptional local and international lineups. Bambii and I have worked together for years as she was also my touring DJ on about three world tours I did. I was so excited and proud when I heard ‘Nitevision’ because it’s the first song she’s released as a solo artist/producer and it’s genuinely such an amazing track! What a beginning! Bambii says of the song herself: ‘Nitevison was a track I made in 2019. After touring the EU and throwing an event series centered around how expansive Caribbean music was and is, I knew I wanted to make a dancehall track that represented the nostalgia I grew up with and the global sonic influence I picked up DJing around the world.'”



“Bisexual Anthem” by Domo Wilson

Photo by Darrin Baldridge.

“My favorite song by a black LGBT artist is Domo Wilson’s ‘Bisexual Anthem.’ Domo is an upcoming artist and popular YouTuber. She dropped this song in 2019 amidst being put inside a box as a masc-presenting woman. The reason the song is so inspiring is because she exudes confidence and sends a message that whoever you are, whoever you love, it’s okay to be yourself, love who you love, and go out and be confident to kill shit.”


Shea Diamond

“Any Other Way” by Jackie Shane

Photo by Bridger Scott.

“Jackie Shane is by far one of the most iconic black trans musicians in American herstory. She came out as Trans at age 13, she fought racism and transphobia, was kidnapped by mobsters, disappeared for over 40 years, the world thought she was dead. In her seventies, she made the ultimate comeback when she not only re-emerged but she got signed and was nominated for Best Historical Album at the Grammy Awards for her album Any Other Way. Her story and undeniable talent are just as unbelievable as it is inspirational.  For me it wasn’t just her talent, it was the way she turned tragedy into triumph. Her story has empowered me to stay encouraged and reimagine all the possibilities that exist in the music world for my trans siblings and me.”


Cakes Da Killa

“Cruel Cruel World” by Jackie Shane

Photo by Cakes Da Killa.

“I can reflect on so many black LGBTQ+ artists who validate my existence. If I had to focus on one for the moment I would pick Jackie Shane. The track ‘Cruel Cruel World’ is really fitting for the trying times I’m maneuvering. Miss Jackie Shane is a soul powerhouse, trans pioneer, and a perfect example of living your life for you.”


Moore Kismet

“Rumor” by Moore Kismet and WYN

Photo by @dnz_media.

“‘Rumor’ is a song that I started when I was 14, around the first time I publicly came out as an LGBTQ+ individual. I was receiving a lot of hatred and unkindness from people who I didn’t even know saying that I shouldn’t exist, that I should repent, that I was using my sexuality and gender identity for clout, and other horrible things. To make matters worse, when I tried coming out to my dad, he decided to give me a near two hour-long lecture about the ‘perks’ of being straight and why being gay and trans is wrong. It ruptured our relationship in an irreparable way, but that feeling I had after that call and the feeling that I had from the comments I’d received is what inspired the song. When I hit up Madeleine (WYN), the lyrics and melodies that we wrote together brought a whole new meaning to the song. I’m so proud of what we’ve written together and the story that this song tells. I hope that anyone who listens to ‘Rumor’ can find the strength within them to push past the hatred, the struggles, and the hardships. It gets better. It always will.”


Ray Moon 

“Godspeed” by Frank Ocean

Photo by The Nikon Icon.

“‘Godspeed’ makes me feel like I just went to heaven. It’s so spiritual for me. It’s like he’s telling someone that even though they are not around him anymore physically, they will always have a special place with him. Frank Ocean is not from here, his work is inhuman. I appreciate how he tries different weird things with his voice and his elaborated lyrics. Frank Ocean makes me teleport. That’s what ‘Godspeed’ does every time. I’m at heaven’s gates, tappin’ my foot with headphones on.”


Joy Oladokun

“Baby Can I Hold You” by Tracy Chapman

Photo by Noah Tidmore.

“This is a queer woman singing a pop love ballad. It’s a unicorn. I appreciate a good song about longing with a killer chorus and Tracy does all those things so well. I think she’s so good at conveying emotion in her vocals alone. I hope people will feel a little hope listening to this one.”


Siena Liggins

“I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston

Photo by @victorianprime.

“Whitney Houston flawlessly opens one of my favorite ballads with, ‘Share my life, take me for what i am ’cause i’ll never change all my colors for you…’ And obviously, we’ll never get concrete confirmation about her sexuality from Whitney herself, but we’ve got Robyn Crawford’s side of the really complicated story of their love and the homophobic pressure they endured throughout their relationship. Somehow, Whitney made impossible things look easy; embodied a heartbreak most can’t imagine and made you feel like it was your own on this track. It’s an incredible experience to listen to her belt and maneuver the scales in headphones 20 years after ‘I Have Nothing’ especially within the context of a forbidden love between two black women in the ’80s. Honestly, she’s one of the few celebrity deaths I’ve truly mourned (and I’m still mourning), but her strength and charisma continue to inspire me to be my full self all the time, and unapologetically at that.”



“Free” by MNEK

“This track is off of MNEK’s latest album Language, and it’s one of my favorites from the project. I listen to it when I need to let go of anxiety, stress, or just some form of heaviness. At the time it came out I had just gone through a breakup and it felt like all the things I had written in my diary. The production is so open I feel like I’m at a festival dancing in a crowd and light while the vocals cry out and pull at my heartstrings. It’s a perfect moment of release.”



“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester

Photo by Andy Mac.

“I love the aura of this song. It makes me feel like a vibrant Disco Queen, but only half as glamorous as Sylvester. ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’ came to our speakers in 1978. The songstress Sylvester was one of our earlier nonbinary icons whose falsetto brought them massive success. I first heard this song many times growing but I experienced this song during Pride Week in NYC 2017. The energy, the grace, the sassiness in the room was unmatched.” 


Listen to the playlist below, and follow Interview on Spotify for more.