Today's extra has naughty music videos. If you're sensitive to explicit sexual content (in a bad way) then please, for God's sake, don't press play on them.
Maybe it's the anarchist in me, but I relish the disruptive subversion of type. Really I do. And in all of its forms. Political disruptive subversion is my favorite, because I just love it when that rare politician decides to fuck over the establishment to actually live up to the ideal of a government of the people, by the people, for the people. When they're telling lobbyists and corporate political owners to fuck off, I'm... dare I say it... gleeful. And how could I not be? That's America right there.
Disruptive subversion is fantastic when it comes to art. Some of the best art comes out of playing against types and norms of the day. It's wonderful when it comes to food. This is how vegetarians like me end up with so many terrific culinary options rather than just having to stick with a salad. Cinematic disruption has lead to groundbreaking trends that keep us from being stuck in thematic ruts. The list goes on and on.
But this post is going to be about disruptive subversion when it comes to music.
I'm a huge, huge fan.
It's how I got into punk. It's what drove me to appreciate metal. It's how I ended up a fan of old-school rap. Using music to throw a middle finger to establishment is a time-honored tradition. Not just in the USA, but in countries around the globe. If there's a protest against something, you can bet that somebody somewhere has used music to lash out.
Which brings us to Dixon Dallas.
Last night I was scrolling through TikTok while waiting for an important email response to come through. Then proceeded to fall down a rabbit hole of epic proportions because of a song called Good Lookin' by the afore-mentioned Dixon Dallas.
Now, there's a lot to unpack here.
First of all, I have listened to music of all genres where there's been explicit sexual content. There are rap artists built on the concept. But this is the first time I've ever heard explicitly gay sexual content.
My first reaction was to laugh. It was such a shock as to feel like parody. Except... Dixon Dallas seems like he's playing it straight. So to speak. He wasn't making fun of the idea of gay sex, he was singing about explicit sex that just happened to be with a man.
Which took me back two years ago to this sexually explicit country song by Trey Lewis, which is arguably far more raunchy than Dixon Dallas. But it doesn't get the same harsh reaction because it's not gay...
Country music is being pushed into territory that's far beyond the boundaries it started with. Country used to be regional, then it went global. Country used to be all-white, then we got loads of non-white country artists. Country used to be straight, then along comes k.d. Lang, T.J. Osbourne, Brandi Carlile, Lil Gas X, Orville Peck, and many more... and then it isn't.
It should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody that there are calls to cancel Dixon Dallas. But you might be surprised to find that some of the calls for cancelation are coming from the gay community.
Buckle up, because here's where it starts getting strange.
Because Dixon Dallas is not Dixon Dallas. Dixon Dallas is a character played by musician Jake Hill.
Jake Hill crosses all genres, having released songs in rap, rock, metal, punk, pop, and now country. Many times these songs are focused on queer love and gay sex. And that's where the questions start. Is he a straight guy queerbaiting the gay community? Is he a straight guy making fun of the gay community? Is he gay? Bisexual? Well, according to this interview I found with his Dixon Dallas alter-ego, he says that it doesn't matter what he is, that his music speaks for itself, and he's not commenting on his sexuality right now (though apparently he was linked to a girlfriend at some point)...
He says "My music is kinda a big fuck you to my past," which is the Conservative South he grew up in. And that's why he does it. He's being a disruptive subversion to country music which, as I've made clear, is something I value highly. So good on him.
And his songs, as gay and explicit as they may be, are damn catchy...
People are going to feel about Dixon Dallas however they're going to feel. From what I can tell, his motives seem genuine (and he's genuinely talented), regardless of what his sexuality might be and who he really is. But if you want to feel that he should be canceled because he's too gay, too filthy, too explicit, or too offensive to country music... you do you, I guess.
As for me?
Keep being a good kind of disruptor, Mr. Dallas.