Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Bob the Drag Queen ft. DJ Mitch Ferrino – Purse First

Whether you’re entering a room, building an outfit or paying a bill, look to Bob!


Thomas Inskeep: Bob the Drag Queen, the winner of season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is pretty much flawless. “Purse First” became her catchphrase during the season, and caught on like nobody’s business, so it made sense that she’d record a single around it. The difference between “Purse First” and most other singles by RPDR alumni, however, is that Bob brought along DJ Mitch Ferrino, who constructed a killer vogue/house track for her. Most drag singles are, frankly, pretty boring. This is in the spirit of RuPaul’s own “Supermodel” — not just attitude-filled, but also a well-made house track that everyone, not just the queens, can love. Having seen Bob in person earlier this year, I can attest that she’s one of the rare RPDR queens who may yet cross over, out of the queer world, because like “Purse First,” she’s funny as fuck. And like RuPaul before her, Bob knows she’s a star, and this is just the first salvo.

Katie Gill: This is campy and beautiful and amazing and oh my god, the song had me cracking up the entire time. That “oooooh QUACK” is comedy GOLD. I don’t watch RuPaul’s Drag Race so I knew the bare minimum about Bob the Drag Queen before I saw this video, but if she’s got half the comedic timing on the show as she does in this video, then I’ve got something new to binge.

Madeleine Lee: I love Bob and her Paris is Burning ball MC drawl (now that she’s taught us how to vogue), and I understand this as a piece of the dogged self-branding that made “purse first” a thing in the first place. But if a joke gets funnier the more it’s repeated, a single idea in a song only wears down the more it’s heard.

Alfred Soto: I’m of two minds: that twitchy beat is seductive as all hell, the catty lyrics a nuisance. I know she can work it better than this.

Claire Biddles: This is sort of fun, but as someone whose favourite look is a £1,250 Dolce dress (ok, I got it on sale for considerably less than that) paired with Topshop platforms, I can’t get behind “Givenchy with a K-Mart dress” as a viable insult. Isn’t clashing extreme high with extreme low the essence of camp?

Will Rivitz: It’s almost so, so, good, but a beat that sounds like a Black Eyed Peas outtake from 2011 can only take you so far.

Brad Shoup: I would have listened to four minutes of kack sounds, so this is a nice consolation. Rounded-off percussion with neglectful editing, over which Bob gives a nice gloss on the Prada-from-nada aesthetic. This was the year of scamming, and it’s nice to have the playbook extended kindly, rather than getting beat to shit with it.

Will Adams: The RuPaul’s Drag Race economy’s biggest export is music, which is often terrible but still exists because it’s easy to slap together and throw on iTunes. “Purse First” is a rare exception thanks to Ferrino’s thwacky house production, but its use beyond novelty is unclear. Bob is charismatic, and she created a golden catchphrase, but it’s not like it needed to be stretched into the antithesis to the OMG Girlz.

Edward Okulicz: I appreciate (note: not like) the music from Drag Race the same way I might a well-made sketch comedy piece, one which relies too much on context or visuals to work solely as an audio piece. I don’t watch the show myself, but Bob’s big personality is obvious and her flow is compelling and I would dance whatever steps I’m told if she were on stage before me, but this house track doesn’t hold up on strictly musical terms for me — again, it’s a skimpy production and sketch piece at full-song length.

Anthony Easton: Working class corrective to the Hermes Handbag subhouse of Countess Luann and ilk, if RuPaul’s Drag Race was a comeback played as a canonical self enshrining, this is a reminder of what costume means in a post-austerity economy. Also, a hell of a lot of fun.  

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5 Responses to “Bob the Drag Queen ft. DJ Mitch Ferrino – Purse First”

  1. katie: you should binge drag race bob or not, it is fantastic

  2. it’s on Netflix, right? maybe I’ll start binge-watching this weekend while I do Christmas cards.

  3. Katie, I don’t think it’s on Netflix, but it IS on Hulu — including season 8!

  4. (modern-day drag culture is transmisogynistic)

  5. kamal, half the drag queens i know are trans women, and most of the others fall somewhere else on the spectrum of gender identity than “utterly cis gay dude”. sylvia rivera and marsha p johnson were drag queens. acting like ‘drag culture’ is something separate and removed from trans women is super problematic.

    like yes, clearly it’s not okay that rupaul uses “tranny” but please do not throw the largely-trans-women-created-and-sustained baby out with the bathwater here.