20GAYTeen the Rate: WINNER!! | Page 94 | The Popjustice Forum

20GAYTeen the Rate: WINNER!!

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Trouble in Paradise, Dec 8, 2018.


What's your favorite album from the main artists of the rate?

  1. Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko

    15 vote(s)
  2. Bloom by Troye Sivan

    13 vote(s)
  3. Palo Santo by Years & Years

    16 vote(s)
  4. Language by MNEK

    10 vote(s)
  5. O by Ssion

    5 vote(s)
  6. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

    60 vote(s)
  7. Chris by Christine & the Queens

    15 vote(s)
  8. Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides

    15 vote(s)
  1. Been ages since I last checked up here but whew I have thoughts:
    a) As always, @Trouble in Paradise your professional and rate work is fantastic, inspiring and always a pleasure to read and find out something new about LGBT trailblazers or the artists we already love. Thank you so much
    b) This top 4 is 10 after 10 after 10
    c) Seeing Annie and Uzo being so beloved warms my heart! The original Slow Disco was near perfect and she made it flawless with the remix, and while MNEK flopped I'm glad PJers came together to love the single, the whispers still get me in a hot mood
    d) For all the problematic, annoying and downright asshole commentary I had to drop on Mr. Sivan, I've come more to terms with Bloom and him in general. I don't dislike him now, although I'll still take The Good Side over MMM
    e) Janelle and Rina owned 2018 in terms of high quality alt queer bops, so them being here is unsurprising yet SO deserved
  2. I love both the finalists! I think I'm rooting for Cherry because it's the underdog.
  3. "Fast Slow Disco" is so damn good, oh my god. I think Peter wrote about it on the website and I got the glimps of it and the rest is history, and by history I mean that I listened to this a lot.
  4. Cherry has revealed itself to be absolutely amazing to me so I'm glad it's top 2. But I think we all know Make Me Feel is the true deserving winner here. Miss Janelle really did THAT.
  5. Hello everyone!

    One of the reasons it’s been so slow to wrap this all up is that I am moving on Sunday! I was hoping to get the finale out today while taking a pause from packing but my roommate had to return our internet router so I won’t be able to get on WiFi until at least Tuesday. I am so sorry for the delay, it feels like tripping at the finish line (after a rather arduous marathon...)
  6. I know this rate isn't over yet but I'm already perched for the 20BITeen edition to start next year.
  7. Anyone and everyone is invited to host! I think we’ve all learned that I am not built for rate hosting!
    vague likes this.
  8. I hope it's fine/people don't mind but one of the extras (and one of my fave discoveries of the rate) Black Belt Eagle Scout released her new full length "At the Party With My Brown Friends" today. It's a big release day and it's easy to get lost in the shuffle when so much stuff is constantly dropping so I thought I'd just mention it in here for those who might want to try it.

  9. Ooh I quite liked Soft Stud so i'm gonna check this out. I was actually watching this shitty Netflix show recently and she had a cameo on it where she was performing that song in a bar. I was like where have I heard this before?? 20gayteen rate's continued impact!
  10. I would be ready and willing but I don't think anyone could do it justice like you can.
    Also I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to have more than one rate at a time so nevermind.
  11. Hey y’all! I still don’t have any WiFi in my apartment so I can’t get online to access the spreadsheet for score and obviously want the finale to be done right! Once I have WiFi, I’ll schedule an official finale date!
    vague, GimmeWork, slaybellz and 11 others like this.
  12. [​IMG]
    I finally have internet at my new apartment! The finale can finally happen with everyone's scores and commentary included and this rate can finally come to an end! I'm planning either Wednesday or Thursday depending on when our couch arrives #movingstruggles

    What time works best for everyone? Early evening EST works best for me, but I also realize this has been much awaited so I can swing some other options for our British and Pacific friends! So happy to finally give this rate a big Pride finale!!

    I'm still planning some fun main artist write ups and artist averages and such, but Imma take this one step at a time!
  13. You as I'm about to tell you more about moving and getting engaged:
    Me, fully wishing to stop feeling randomly anxious about a pop music forum, sensing your desperation for this to end:
    Me, reviewing the spreadsheet one last time and seeing all of y'all's choices:
    Me, bopping to our Top 2 and writing their eliminations:
    You, clicking on this notification and praying it's the finale only to discover it's an announcement about the finale happening tomorrow night:
    Me, having the time of my life looking at Titus gifs and not giving a fuck cause this ends TOMORROW NIGHT!
  14. This edging session is endless sksksksk
  15. Introducing our Runner Up is Harvey Milk! If you don’t know who Harvey Milk is, go read his wikipedia page this instant. He was the first gay man elected in the state of California and one of the first openly gay people elected in the United States ever. Though his career was short, he sponsored a bill against gay discrimination that became law! His legacy lives on in the myriad of LGBT political leaders fighting for our rights today!

    2. “Cherry”
    By Rina Sawayama

    Highest Scores: 11 x 1 (@Reboot) 10 x 20 (@Ana Raquel @CorgiCorgiCorgi @Sanctuary @soratami @dylanaber @yuuurei @constantino @londonrain @Untitled @Cutlery @inevitable @Posh Spears @Empty Shoebox @ohnostalgia @Music Is Life @Untouchable Ace @kalonite @Remorque @KingBruno @LE0Night )
    Lowest Scores: 6.5 x 1 (@Remyky22) 7.5 x 1 (@Lost Boy )
    My Score: 8.75

    When they tell you that you've got yourself to blame
    Even though it's not your fault
    But your heart just wants to know, know

    Always the queer bridesmaid, never the queer bride! Rina’s big coming out moment almost made it the the top of the chart here, but a lack of 11’s and some pesky sub-8 scores weighed her down! I will say that “Cherry” was the first (and so far only) Rina song that made me sit up and take notice. “Valentine” and “Alterlife” set the forum alight but have done nothing for me. I think there was a bit of a “feeling left out/I’m not getting it” bias in approaching another Rina Sawayama song the forum was telling me to love. On my first few listens, I could hear that it was catchy and I enjoyed it significantly more than her other songs. But by the time I really dug into it and spent time with this rate playlist, it’s charms fully showed themselves to me. Nonetheless, it’s more of a fun queer bop to me than a certifiable rate winner!

    One thing that made me really come round to “Cherry” and Rina was just how thoughtful she came across in all her interviews and discussions of “Cherry,” bisexuality/pansexuality, and her coming out process. Speaking to Paper about the inspiration behind the song and those iconic opening lines, Sawayama had this to say:

    "There was a girl on the tube that gave me the "look" before a session and it set the song in motion in my head," Sawayama said. "I've identified as queer/pan since several years ago but because of experiences of shame when I was growing up that's the main emotion that comes up whenever I have non-heterosexual feelings. In the past, my feelings have been erased, minimized and mocked, and I've been told by people that my desires are temporary, even suggestions that it's just a concealed desire to cheat. All of those anecdotes are included in the song."​

    I’ve tried my very best to keep the overall feel of this rate to be positive and open (despite Julien Baker’s best efforts!) but I think it’s important to reflect on just how overwhelming the feeling of shame can be for queer people and especially young queer people. We are constantly bombarded from a young age on how we’re supposed to feel and love and act. I see it every day in Kindergarten. Nearly everything becomes gendered and there’s already kids talking about growing up and marrying a person of the opposite gender. I work really hard to present counter-narratives- from playing Troye Sivan swishing and getting his life on Ellen to reading stories about transgender characters to talking about being engaged (!!!) to a man- but there’s something incessant about these attitudes and they cling into the minds of young queer people and kids. I see it when the more feminine boys refuse to dance when they feel like someone is watching. Shame grabs hold of our demons and doesn’t let go without a whole lot of work. Sawayama not only faced the shame of the prevailing culture but also the stigma related to both queerness and sexuality in general of her family’s home culture. As she explained to Vice:

    When an older Sawayama told her mom that she was going on dates with girls, she remembers her responding with: “Why would you say that to me?”​

    Sometimes the slightest of hits hurt the hardest. You can feel her mother pushing her back into the closet. Willfully shutting her eyes to her child’s truth no matter how much she needs to be seen. Rina’s spoken openly about the way she’s found a second family within the queer community which I’m glad to say I’ve found both in my physical life and here on this wild pink mess!

    Now let’s move on from shame and talk about biphobia!! How did i make a write up about such a fun little song such a downer? Cause of society!!! Let’s start with this truth bomb from Vice:

    “It’s the truth for a lot of bi and pan people—they don’t feel authentically queer when they’re in heterosexual relationships, and that is what the song is about.”​

    And fall it up with this thoughtful and heartbreaking take form Billboard:

    Biphobia is an extremely frustrating issue -- folks who are bi/pan often face invalidation from both hetero and gay people. Do you hope this song will make other people who are bi/pan feel seen and heard?

    Definitely. This really validates what I was saying about biphobia and bi-erasure, but I didn’t receive any messages from my friends after I came out. That made me really sad, because they’re all queer people. Not that I was doing it for anyone’s approval, but like, if one of my friends came out as gay in the media, I would be there calling them and congratulating them for their bravery.

    Obviously I want to preface this by saying that bisexual people don’t experience homophobia in the same way that people who are gay or non-bisexual people do. There’s an issue of passing and I get that, but at the same time, that was a bit hurtful. It spurs me on to make more of an issue about it. Because then, I hope, that people will realize that the bi and pan experience is very unique. It takes one to know one, I think, to understand what’s going on. It’s like with any sort of movement; we’re not erasing anyone else by talking about our issues. I just want people in the queer community to understand that.​

    As a gay man who 100% used to be wicked biphobic (and still has to work against that programming) this really hit me hard. When Rina said “It takes one to know one,” that really landed with a thud for me. I’ve been so caught up in my own frustration around the privileges of passing that I didn’t think to step into the shoes of another person. I fear that I could easily have been one of Rina’s friends who didn’t think to reach out and congratulate her- especially knowing that she is currently in a relationship with a man. I can see now the wrongness in that move, but I think the only way to grow as a person is to be honest with yourself.

    Alright, we’ve spent much too much time on the dark! Another reason we’re able to talk about such heavy subjects is cause Rina wraps it in the sweetest of packages. As she told Vice:

    “I love the format of the late 90s sound and I love the melodies, but obviously back then it was a lot to do with ‘me and this boy and the boy breaks my heart,’ you know?” Sawayama says. “Why can’t you do a bit of politics? I love disguising it in that way.”​

    I mean, isn’t that what we live for here at PJ? I’ve never gotten the 90’s feel from a lot of Rina’s earlier stuff but “Cherry” definitely burst with some nostalgic magic!

    Speaking of magic, “Cherry” has one of the best visuals in the rate. She talked with Billboard about the creation of her music video and just how queer it was!

    There’s a princess in Japanese folklore that has ‘cherry’ in her name, and director [Isaac Lock] references that. We were able to cast incredible dancers in a really short space of time, literally the day before rehearsals. It was an all-queer POC cast. Literally everyone on the creative team and on set was queer, so it was such a celebration. In the video I’m celebrating tenderness, the strength within that, and femininity, but in lots of different forms. That’s the message of the song as well​

    On of the unspoken truths of all that shame is that when you finally confront it and fight it, you gain a whole new love of the world around you and inside of you. The “Cherry” music video speaks to that joy in a transformative way. Shame can drive us to want our life to be over, banishing that shame can help us embrace our life with a verve unknown to us before these struggles.

    Okay, enough of my ramblings, what did you all have to say about our runner up?

    Posh Spears
    God I love Rina so much. And that video??? Queer Asian excellence always wins.

    Londonrain A euphoric pop MOMENT. There is literally nothing I would change about this song. Just wow.

    Slaybellz That chorus is euphoric. I also really love the bridge.

    Untitled "i wanna love myself cause nothing else is guaranteed" is such a fucking line. and so fucking hard to achieve.

    Constantino Flicker might have been a bit terrible, but Rina really came through with this one. Refined, bright and catchy - this is A-grade pop. What a fabulous way to come out. Imma need the good sis to branch out production-wise going into her album, but her sound works brilliantly on this song.

    Yuuurei While my favorite Rina song ever is probably Alterlife, this one is pretty amazing too and I always find myself singing along with it. Like some of her other songs, this one feels somewhat relatable to me. The video is ... very interesting!

    Ufint So this is the natural winner of this rate, and I’m not at all mad. I’m probably going to be low scorer, and that’s totally fine by me. This ain’t a 10 or 11, but it is pretty darn good. I’m getting all Darkchild vibes and Rhona wishes she had released this as her second single after Satisfied, but coulda shoulda woulda but I guess she didn’t do that. This doesn’t leave me screaming YAS QUEEEN and that’s what I want from a 10. The chorus is magnificent, her voice is impeccable but the verses are not.all.that.co.uk. Sue me.

    Ana Raquel ICONIC.

    Gimmework What a great year for Rina, and Cherry might be the best moment of all.

    CorgiCorgiCorgi this sounds like it's from 2003 and 2050 at the same time. futuristic throwback queen

    The Hot Rock A bop.

    KingBruno This is a mellifluous ode to a love in blossom, with a beautiful lyrical references to the artist’s own pansexuality.

    Untouchable Ace She has such star quality. She is a queen to us but I hope that she blows up soon so that she can re-release 'Alterlife' and tule the world.

    Music is Life The chorus is everything. The verse are perfect framers for that chorus.

    & finally, our 11 giver:

    Reboot I really, really wish this song had been in my life when I was 17. I identified as bisexual at the time, but I found it incredibly confusing because to /me/ being bisexual kind of implied liking girls and boys equally, which I didn’t. I now realise that this isn’t true - and that I probably don’t like people in a sexual/romantic way at all, which I desperately wish I could find a pop song about because most love songs go over my head -, but I feel like hearing “Cherry” aged 17 would have made me feel a lot better about who I was at the time. It also helps that the song is a massive bop and that Rina is an incredibly promising, interesting artist.

  16. Here to introduce our WINNER!!! Is Sister Rosetta Tharpe- a pioneering musician who helped invent Rock N Roll and who’s been shut out of music history for too long I wonder if it’s because she’s a queer black woman? Give a listen to this absolute classic that still moves me to this day:

    1. Make Me Feel”
    By Janelle Monae

    Highest Scores:
    11 x 4 (@Ana Raquel @GimmeWork @ohnostalgia @Hurricane Drunk ) 10 x 19 (@CorgiCorgiCorgi @Sanctuary @ufint @yuuurei @pop3blow2 @constantino @londonrain @Blob @inevitable @Cutlery @Remyky22 @Empty Shoebox @Lost Boy @Music Is Life @kalonite @Verandi @LE0Night @Remorque @Trouble in Paradise)
    Lowest Scores: 6 x 1(@Reboot ) 7.5 x 1 (@Untitled)
    My Score: 10

    It's like I'm powerful with a little bit of tender
    An emotional sexual bender
    Mess me up, yeah, but no one does it better
    There's nothin' better

    Was there ever any doubt? Well, yes actually! Janelle had the top spot from the get go with our first voter Ana Raquel coming in with an 11! However, as voting was wrapping up, Rina had the lead! It was a last call of 10’s that saved the day for “Make Me Feel!” Honestly, I love an underdog story as much as the next person but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want Janelle to win. Everything she did this era was perfect and encapsulated exactly what I’d want from a pop star in 20GAYteen!

    Let’s start with the quote of the year:

    “Being a queer black woman in America,” she says, taking a breath as she comes out, “someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.”​

    Janelle coming out felt like a beam of light blasting through the dark clouds of the times we’re currently living in. I’ve always loved the way she plays with both gender and sexuality (and anyone who stans “Q.U.E.E.N.” as much as me knew she was never fully in the closet) but the times we’re living in call for staking your claim. Janelle did so in a way that ceded none of her individuality or freedom but instead did it to reinforce that freedom itself.

    A lot has been said about the ways in which Janelle opened up and exposed the person behind the cyborg with Dirty Computer. In talking with okayplayer, Janelle spoke to the way her acting- cause she’s a fucking multitalented STAR- inspired her writing:

    We know that we exist in so many different ways,” she says. “The fact that we have those stories on-screen, and I was a part of both those movies, made me feel more emboldened and encouraged to dig deeper inside to be more vulnerable and more honest in the way that I approach my storytelling. Dirty Computer digs deep into the viruses and bugs of Janelle Monáe. And ultimately, it’s an album that encourages you to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.”​

    As I’m sure many of you know, she held onto the title of Dirty Computer since before the Archandroid. It took both the political and personal movement of our times to push Janelle to release such a moving statement. She’s spoken many times about the fear she felt in releasing this album and being so vulnerable in such a public way. As she succinctly told the Guardian: “I’m terrified.”

    While that fear was rooted in so much truth and lived experience, Janelle knew the benefits outweighed any of the negativity. As she told the Guardian about “Make Me Feel”:

    “It’s a celebratory song,” she says. “I hope that comes across. That people feel more free, no matter where they are in their lives, that they feel celebrated. Because I’m about women’s empowerment. I’m about agency. I’m about being in control of your narrative and your body. That was personal for me to even talk about: to let people know you don’t own or control me and you will not use my image to defame or denounce other women.”​

    I mean, yes! I love that our Top 2 is made up of songs by queer women of color celebrating their identities and pushing back against so many voices speaking against their very existence wrapped up in a complete BOP! “Make Me Feel” came on last summer when I was out dancing in Seattle and when I tell you it went off, it went OFF!!!!

    Now let’s take things full circle with my favorite interview of all, Lizzo interviewing Janelle for them as they discuss raising up other amazing black woman and Lizzo name dropping Sister Rosetta Tharpe!!

    That’s the fear of being part of any marginalized group. That fear — of being black and queer and a woman and young — that fear of erasure is really real. And being a public figure, coming forward with your identity and allowing people to be emboldened by that and inspired by that — back in the day, women like you were erased.

    I talk about Sister Rosetta Tharpe all the time. She was black and queer and big, and invented rock and roll. And where is she? Where are her monuments? And by setting the example, you can help us change that, and counter that kind of erasure.

    Are there any black queer women and artists that you wanna shout out? I feel like we need to get the flowers to these women.

    Yeah! I love Lena Waithe. Having her representing on the film side and as a producer, a writer, and the fact that she's thriving and so successful, it’s encouraging. Lorraine Hansberry. Bell Hooks. Meshell Ndegeocello. Who else? I just hope we can get to a point where black women who don’t identify as strictly heterosexual are normalized.

    Yes. And making it more intersectional as well, and including trans women in that narrative. I love Janet Mock. I am obsessed with her.

    Yeah, me too! She is an incredible woman. And I love MJ Rodriguez. I love Indya Moore. I love Laverne Cox. Those women are amazing, and they are, every single day, normalizing what it means to be a trans woman, and speaking their truth and walking in it.​

    Now, you all have one last opportunity to speak your truth:

    Posh Spears I gotta admit it’s not my personal favorite from this album, but I still adore it and recognize it as a standout technically and lyrically. And I won’t complain when it inevitably wins because Dirty Computer is album of the year and Miss Monae deserves it. Queen!

    Untitled his one's a bit of a moment once it gets to the middle 8. the pre-chorus is still exquisite and my fave part though

    Reboot This is objectively quite a nice song, but there’s a lot about the production that’s putting me off truly enjoying it. It’s a bit shouty.)

    Pop3blow2 Classic. I tend to ramble a lot, so I’ll keep it that.

    Constantino Prince truly lives on through Janelle. We love an imperial phase, don’t we girls? She really went out there and gave the gorls a masterclass in how to pay tribute and avoiding pastiche entirely, Bruno Mars found passed out in a cubicle somewhere.

    Yuuurei It's impossible to not dance a little when this song comes on, it's just such a fun and groovy little jam. I love it.

    Ufint The way this makes me feel… MAN, I feel like a Monaen. I’ve never particularly been a fan of Prince or funk, but this is sublime.

    CorgiCorgiCorgi cast Janelle Monae in the Prince biopic plz

    The Hot Rock This is good but the mouth pops were really annoying.

    KingBruno A pretty ambitious funk piece – it basically sounds like an homage to Prince’s “Kiss”.

    Kalonite Bowie-inspired, with impeccable visuals showcasing black excellence? What's not to love here? This was a statement, a moment, a comeback. Janelle staked her claim to pop-culture, and tbh, she can have it.

    Untouchable Ace K-Mart kept this on everyone's radar for months.

    Music is Life I absolutely love the production on this, and her vocals fit perfectly. The video is great as well, really colorful and fun.

    And our last 11 givers!

    Gimmework There is a lot here to tempt my 11, but ultimately no matter how much I love the others, this was always going to win. One of the best songs, videos and albums of the decade. I will still be playing this song on the regular

    Ana Raquel One of the best songs of the year. She did THAT. One of the easiest 11 I've ever given.

  17. As someone who identifies as bisexual, as with many other queer people, there was a lot of shame and guilt that came with figuring that out and working through it but there was this later of confusion cause like @Reboot I thought being bi meant being attracted to males and females only and equally, but as I got older I realized that I am more attracted to males so there was this running question in my head of "Why can't I just be gay?", and then I found myself being attracted to gender fluid and transgender people, and thinking I should change my "label" to pansexual, which also really confused me cause it kinda felt like it didn't fit but I recently found an article where bi people talked about their definition of bisexual and the most commonly used one is actually "having the capacity to be attracted to the same and different genders" and it really stuck with me. So no matter who I'm attracted to, or who I'm with, I identify as bi.
    I've been lucky enough not to have experienced biphobia specifically, but it is something I'm worried about in my future. Bi-visibility day is on October 23rd, and I actually think that's the same day as my school's talent show so I'm hoping to give a little speech before performing a song that I've always felt has a queer message.
    Yay at Make Me Feel winning.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  18. Well "Cherry" got a lot further than I expected it to, so second place ain't too shabby! Congrats to "Make Me Feel", even though it's not the Janelle song I would have personally picked to win, it's still a pretty good winner.

    And thank you @Trouble in Paradise for hosting this rate! This has truly been one of my favourites! The time and effort you put into this, definitely did not go unnoticed!
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