RuPaul Vs. Piracy

Tom Crowe

Just a small gay in a big gay world. A big believer in the power of perseverance. For ramblings about learning Chinese and French, water polo and anything else that takes my fancy. @tecrowe

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The first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 may have seen the gorgeous April Carrion wear an adorable sailor’s hat, but it seems that the show’s eponymous drag superstar is making a stand against other seamen – pirates of her latest album Born Naked.

In a genius marketing ploy, Mama Ru has uploaded a special version of the album to The Pirate Bay. Anyone who dare take a walk on the wild (and illegal) side and download the album receives a full length ‘diss’ album – yeah that’s right James Arthur – this gurl gon’ dun’ better than you could ever hope for. Who is getting read? The naughty bitch who forgot to sissy that walk on over to iTunes and pay like the rest of us.

“I wasn’t even gonna cuss” Ru explains. She’s a good girl. However, then she realised that you were listening to the “boot-motherfucking-leg” of what, quite honestly, is Ru’s best release yet. And while she ain’t getting political up in here, she’s keeping it real and letting you know that she will never be as rich as Britney because she is a gay man. And bitches don’t be buying from the gays, because of the hetero-fascist orthodoxy or some shit.

The effort must have been particularly time consuming, considering the scope and length of the effort. Perhaps this is of little surprise, given the enormity of the modern question of piracy prevention. #RuPaulvsSomalia. As usual, RuPaul has smashed the typical response from record labels into pieces – there are no computer generated voices interrupting your listening here. By speaking directly to her fans, Ru is appealing to both our conscience and our humour in attempting to salvage what losses she made have made. It’s not the most usual method, but it’s one that’s both entertaining and thought provoking.

Will it werk in the long run, though? I’m positive that it will. In fact, I’m willing to bet that anyone who buys her album on iTunes will also be downloading The Pirate Bay’s version too. While not too malicious, the comforting feeling of being mildly insulted by the mother of modern drag has certainly piqued my interest.

If drag is a parody of modern culture, then I’m absolutely behind this light-hearted but powerful effort at reducing the amount of dolla lost to internet thievery. With a cult following as large as hers, why should RuPaul be losing money that she has worked hard for? We need to get behind the icons of our community and push them to the levels of their straight equivalents*. It ain’t no lie that Mama Ru is at least ten times as fabulous as any of her competitors – if anyone deserves your £7.99, it’s her.

Now there’s drag on a dime, and there’s just plain cheap. And cheap hoes don’t get boys. Medically proven fact. Serve your own brand of realness over at iTunes and then download the alternative album. That shit will be a collector’s item in a few years – watch this space.

* (I’m claiming getting behind Phi Phi O’Hara, before anyone else does).