The lead singer of the New York band Dakota Jones takes us through her ultimate Pride soundtrack


I had to take this moment to shout out some of my very favourite Black, queer artists and writers in the game. These songs are purely dope, and purely moving – for the mind and the body.

(Spotify playlist here if you need!)

Misbehave Me – Dakota Jones

When I wrote this song, it was the most playful I’d felt in a long, long time. To me, Misbehave Me is about finally finding your self expression, leaning into your sexual freedom and prowess, and really wearing it on your sleeve. It’s sultry, playful, and unabashedly joyous.

Mango Butter – Durand Bernarr

The audacity of Mango Butter is infectious. It’s the Black queer joy, for me. The strength and duality that lies within this chorus, you just can’t deny it. You gotta bop to it.

Explode – Big Freedia

Before this song was sampled in Break My Soul, it was already one of Freedia’s greatest hits. Release your wiggle, honey! The feeling that this song gives me is indescribable. It’s an anthem.

Girl – The Internet

Syd was always a queer legend to me, since the Odd Future days, but I remember the first time I heard this song I felt like Syd had really arrived. This song makes me feel sexy and fluid, and you can just feel what Syd is feeling on this track.

Rude Boy – Rihanna

I have to include this track just to give Ester Dean her flowers. Ester Dean is another black queer legend, she’s written so many of our favourite songs, but this bop stands alone to me. It’s so damn confident, unbothered. I bet you never heard a woman asking “is you big enough” on the radio before. What more can I even say?

Bad Habit – Steve Lacy

This song is undeniable. Charming, warm, familiar. It makes me feel like a teenager, so at home yet vulnerable at the same time. Then it suddenly turns, Steve stops biting his tongue and gets raunchy and lets his feelings fly. UGH! It’s brilliant. 

Make Out In My Car – Moses Sumney

This song makes me feel everything. The joy and pain and intensity of falling in love but trying to keep your cool. The need to just make out with your person, whoever they are and for however long you’ll have them. Moses gets it, every time.

Wut – Le1f (or Kalifa)

This brings me back to college. We were SO amped to have a bop like this from an openly gay rapper. And from NYC. You simply have to shake ass to this song, you don’t have a choice.

Make Me Feel – Janelle Monae

I feel like up until this moment, Janelle was acting like she was an android with no sexual preferences, but all the queer folx kinda knew what that was about. I remember this track dropped, and the video, and my friends and I were like yuuup. From that moment Janelle began to outwardly speak about her queerness, and it made us feel strong to see another member of the community outwardly expressing their desire. Plus, yes, this song is pure funk, baby. Sexy!

Glowed Up – Kaytranada

This song was my introduction to the glory of Kaytranada, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Kaytranada has been repping since day one, and that always made me feel comfort and power. This song has two movements, both of which totally speak to me, both bops. It’s like a day at the beach partying, and then the feeling of coming home.

Forrest Gump – Frank Ocean

My favourite songwriter probably ever. Frank posted his coming out letter right before this album dropped, and that moment was a gut punch for me. I could cry just thinking about it. To be out and queer in the R&B and hip-hop game, my god. 2012! The freedom that I felt in that moment, how profoundly overwhelming. Forrest Gump nearly closes out Channel Orange, and it brings me that same feeling of joy every time. A blatantly queer love song from the baddest man doing it. That’s power.

I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross

This really needs no explanation. I’m in the club as soon as this song comes on. That intro. The drums. The voice. The Diana. It’s everything.

Dakota Jones new album ‘Heartbreakers Space Club’ is out now, listen here:

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