June 12, 2018

Tuesday Tunes: "Forbidden" Album by Todrick Hall

      Continuing with my theme of LGBT+ artists for Pride Month, this week I am highlighting Todrick Hall and his newest album, "Forbidden".

      I was first introduced to Todrick Hall while I was in high school by my best friend, and I've loved him ever since them. His Youtube videos were so unique and entertaining that he just drew me in from the start. Some of his most known works are Disney covers and mashups as well as popular artist mashups, but all with a very queer twist. All his videos are so lively and just bring me a lot of happiness. His videos were also the first time I was introduced to drag in good light, and he made me appreciate the art and opened me up to an entire community. 

     His newest album/visual album "Forbidden" was quite the dark turn away from his usual works and it through me off edge, but in a good way. It takes a look at what life would be if black was the majority and being gay was the norm. It addresses race and sexuality in a very powerful and poignant way that I have only ever seen in other works done by Janelle Monae. 

      My favorite song without a doubt is "Lullaby", which is actually sung and performed by Brandy. Her voice is so smooth and clear and just gives me goosebumps. The visuals that go along with it are just as stunning. The juxtaposition of these women dancing in all white with their babies in this dark room make my breath stop. 

      As far as my favorite song actually by Todrick on the album, it is definitely "Painting in the Rain". This song is such a powerful take on hypocrisy and bigotry through the idea of "painting in the rain". You can really hear the emotion and importance he feels in this song, and I feel like this song is what really captures the message of the album. 

      Overall, despite this album being a detour from his usual material, I really appreciate it. He demonstrates the intersection between race and sexuality and how they still need to be worked on today. So if you haven't gotten the chance to watch and listen to his newest work, below is the visual album as well as the album on Spotify. I highly recommend watching the album because it has a narrative you can't get in just the music.

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