Is Jaboukie The Next Queer Alt-Artist To Watch?

Images via Twitter @Jaboukie & Interscope Records

This is definitely for the alt-girlies. This is for the skaters and the dive bar regulars. This is for those repressed suburban babes just dreamin’ of getting out. This is for the gaymers who like CorpseHusband. This is for the black folk who love Paramore, prefer the word queer over other labels, or like hyper pop and anime. 

Comedian, writer, actor, and musician Jaboukie Young-White has just dropped a new song & visual. In what is a crowded day for music releases – with drops from artists like Rihanna, SZA, Chle Bailey, Jin from BTS, and more – jaboukie released the new song “Rockwhyler.”

The song, which is titled after a mispronunciation of the dog breed jaboukie grew up with, is grungy and grating. As Vents Magazine analyzes, jaboukie uses distortion effects and a combination of sound bites, like the Myrtle-Broadway J/M/Z train brakes and recorded conversations with his Jamaican family, to create the song’s punk rock and hip-hop vibe. 

“Pushing those sounds, those structures, and those attitudes to their breaking points makes me giddy,” he said. “Usually my lyrics are more narrative-driven and punchline-heavy, but the repetition and crassness in this track tap into a more visceral, archetypal kind of character that I both can and can’t relate to.” 

Note, caution is advised for photosensitive viewers.

Related: Comedian Jaboukie Young-White Drops Provocative Dance Track ‘BBC’

As for the song’s title and theme, jaboukie says he was influenced by how people treated & labeled his childhood dogs.

“Growing up I had two rottweilers, Juno and Athena. When my family walked them, we’d always get stopped by awestruck strangers asking, ‘Is that a ‘rockwhyler’?’ The pronunciation ‘rock-why-ler’ feels like home to me,” jaboukie said in a statement. “My songwriting and song production processes usually occur in tandem. The distortion effect I used on the bass created a delay that sounded like a snarling dog, so I built everything else around that.” 

There’s a reason this song is titled “Rockwhyler.” jaboukie wants his listeners to bark. Whenever he holds his first concert, I expect a mosh pit. This gives speaker on blast and screaming crowds energy. Honestly, I see the vision. 

But, I’m not gonna lie. At first, I was a little surprised, a little taken aback, by this single. This song won’t click with everyone. And it seems that jaboukie is fostering an alt persona and vibe to his music. This may be surprising at first, but if you think about Jaboukie’s career so far… it really isn’t.

Jaboukie Young-White first hit the entertainment scene as a stand-up comedian. He then broke into television by writing and acting as a corespondent The Daily Show. There, Jaboukie covered topics like corporations taking over Pride; Trump, Bernie Sanders, and socialism; and Jussie Smollett with a bit of shock humor and sass.

I mean, reporting on Pride while wearing a gaudy rainbow two-piece? Lowkey funky and iconic. And that’s it. That’s the jaboukie brand, funky (in all meanings of the word) and iconic. 

Related: There’s A Gay Teen Romance In Disney’s ‘Strange World?’

And then there’s Jaboukie’s sarcastic internet presence. Jaboukie’s been known to make many jokes over social media. Some of them have even gotten him in trouble. On Martin Luther King Day in 2020, Young-White received a temporary ban on Twitter for posting a tweet posing as the FBI and claiming that they were responsible for the activist’s assassination.

Then a month later, Twitter suspended Young-White AGAIN after he changed his display name and icon to the CNN Breaking News account. He then tweeted, “BREAKING: Joe Biden is not DEAD. He just getting some dick. We’ve all been there cnn.com.” While his account was restored less than a day later, Jaboukie lost his verified status.

So is it really that Jaboukie Young-White is creating an alt image around his music? Or is it that his music is highlighting and spotlighting the alt vibe he always had?


Sources: Vents Magazine

1 thought on “Is Jaboukie The Next Queer Alt-Artist To Watch?”

  1. I believe it was Instinct that I first learned he was a singer. It’s nice having gay representation like we have, way better than when I was a teenager. Which is all I could ask for.

    Reply

Leave a Comment