Written By: Sam Marshall
Originality: (2.0 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (2.0 / 5) Lyrics: (2.0 / 5) Production: (4.0 / 5) Average: (2.5 / 5)
Avid fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be well versed with the lovable drag queen Peppermint. Second in the 9th series, Peppermint was known for being genuine and somewhat nicer than the other queens on the show, but like most of the more successful girls on the show, she has gone on to release an album. Black Pepper, like many of the Drag Race alumni albums, relies heavily on the fans of the show to buy it.
An issue that I have is that everything that people like about Peppermint- she is nice, she is cute, she is genuine- are lost, in favor of the bitchy, shady sounds of the likes of Willam Belli or Alaska Thunderfuck. This would all be okay, if there was an element of originality in her songs. Whilst it is worth mentioning that Peppermint did release music prior to her stint on RuPaul, but that doesn’t excuse some of the lyrics and musicality on the album. The album opener, “Black Pepper” is packed full of Drag Race references, but it is pretty much the same idea as all the others before her have had; insert shameless RuPaul saying, shady comment and then heavily electronic drop.
My highlight of the album is “Civil War”, which gives an intense, almost emotional sound. This triumphant anthem is a credit to Peppermint, and I wish there was more of this on the album, rather than the generic queen-bashing of other similar artists. Even the cover of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”- a guaranteed party anthem- brings nothing fresh to the production, and is more of an example of excessive auto-tuning. The classic overproduction of the gay bar electronic song is rife here too. The penultimate track on the album, “Shady Phone” has some amusing lyrical lines, but the overall piece never feels complete, more of a RuPaul/LMFAO weird mashup.
Black Pepper is a disappointing album from a queen that perhaps is too nice for this kind of industry. It does show, however, that the pink dollar music industry has no sign of stopping, and that for a Drag Race star, a recording career is almost a dead cert.