Yvie Oddly's Drag Trap isn't just "Drag Race music." It's expansive, creative, uplifting, and devastating all at once. Moving from the dream-like sounds of tracks like "Watermelon Bubblegum," to flows and punchlines that would make veteran rappers sweat, to what surely would've been the club song of the year, the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race season 11 is making a big statement with her first album. And that statement says "don't underestimate me, bitch."
"Welcome to the Drag Trap... my groupies are wicked, we look like a coven," Oddly sings on the opening title track, setting the stage for her debut album that doesn't disappoint. Expectations were high for the queen after she put on a show stopping performance in the top four challenge of her season of RPDR but Oddly was excited to get to work and prove that she has more talents than fans might've thought.
"It just feels really good to know that I'm showing the world a skill that they may or may not have thought I had before," she tells Out.
The Denver-native has been hard at work on the album ever since she won, between touring and the Vegas show. Writing it "was just this stream of consciousness thing where I've been writing nonstop over my reigning year and a little bit before and now a little bit after," she says. She wanted the album to cover the gamut of her experiences over the last few years, "going out to the club and dancing, getting on hookup apps, and being pissed, all of it!" And girl, did she come through.
While many of the songs feature the braggadocio we've come to know from Yvie, she also sticks to her roots and thanks the people who've been with her the whole time. "It means a lot to me that I got to work with my drag daughter Neurotika on Drag Trap," she told me. "That song is about our actual house." She also brought along close friend Willow Pill on the track "Sick Bitch" where both of them rap about experiencing living with chronic illness and still managing to be sick as hell -- Oddly opened up about living with ehlers danos syndrom first on Drag Race, then in an as-told-to for Out, and later on the Drag Race Vegas Revue series.
"It was nice to get to bring in a lot of my own personal circle and really make a project that not only was just about me and my experiences, but somewhat about the people and places that have lifted me up to be here," Oddly said.
Other highlights on the album include the infectious "Watermelon Bubblegum," a sexy, braggy song, which would fit nicely on any Frank Ocean album, and of course, the single "Hype," featuring fan favorite Miss Vanessa Vanjie which would've been my favorite song to dance to in the club if the pandemic never happened. "Grind Me" has a flow that would make Mykki Blanco jealous, and features a killer flute-based beat that immediately makes you want to pop your ass to lines like "want my consent? Oh yes indeed! I be so wet that you think that I peed."
The real showstopper is the political diss track "Karen," which Oddly wrote after a non-Black friend made a comment following the murder of George Floyd.
"He was like, 'hey I'm so sorry to hear about this. I wish there was any way I could understand what it feels like or what you're going through. Maybe you should write a song to help all of your allies understand better what it's like to grow up Black in America.'" Oddly explains. "I was so angry, that instead I wrote a diss track."
The song hits hard with it's call out of Karens and white America, and ends with Oddly listing off the names of Black people murdered by police. "Fuck you Karen," Oddly sings, "when I'm fighting for my freedom and I'm starin / down the barrel with my hands up in the air in / it's a feet that I survived past the age of 25 in America / Fuck you Karen." She does a great job of balancing the seriousness of the song's subject matter while also being true to her own voice.
"I've always loved words," she says. "I've always been a word nerd. I got that from my dad. So getting a few sharp cuts in there just was bound to happen."
Yvie Oddly hopes that Drag Trap will take listeners through the "rollercoaster of what I feel like on any given day." She says that she hopes "there's some songs on there that they really enjoy, that help them shake that ass at home and really forget about the craziness of the world. And then I hope that there are some songs that slap them in the face that they hate, that remind them of the craziness in the world." Mission accomplished.
You can listen to Drag Trap right now on Spotify, iTunes, and wherever music is sold.