Yeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!! *spins cowboy hat around* Ahem…*cough* whoa! What’s that? What’s with my fringed and rhinestone-studded jacket, bolo tie and boots? Well, I want to be a cowboy, baby! Here, grab some whiskey, preferably from a dusty and potentially dangerous saloon, while we celebrate the birth of our country by diving headfirst into fanatical cowboy mania.
As you may know, dearest Filthy Dreams lone rangers, pop culture is going through something of a Yeehaw explosion right now. Cowboys are everywhere! But, these aren’t your same old weathered John Wayne types. Booooring! These are gay cowboys, and Black cowboys. And Black gay cowboys! The draw to Yeehaw is perfectly understandable. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a cowboy. Aren’t you just yearning for more fringe in your wardrobe? A ten-gallon hat to stun people on the subway? And speaking of the subway, wouldn’t you rather be riding on a horse through the Wild Wild West with the breeze in your hair than stuck sweating next to copious other city slickers through the blistering heat of the summer?
Anyway, cowboys are outlaws, outsiders, grifters and drifters. Just the people we like here at Filthy Dreams. And speaking of unseemly types, this is a perfect topic to raise at your family or friends’ 4th of July barbecue. Do they have a cowboy fetish too? Do they got all hot and bothered by the Marlboro Man or Randy from the Village People? If they say no, question their patriotism. What’s more American than a cowboy?!
To get you in the mood to never get invited to another Independence Day event again, I’ve selected five videos to send you right into a psychotic Yeehaw spiral. After that, startle your relatives as you clank your way into Mom’s house in spurs. Torture your soon-to-be former friends as you poorly and drunkenly attempt to line dance! Change their lame pop-riddled playlist to entirely outlaw country. This is a free county, isn’t it?! So giddy-up and get!
1. Azealia Banks “Liquorice”
While some of y’all celebrated Pride by yelling at Chick-Fil-A, I spent it drinking for hours at a Williamsburg gay bar waiting for Azealia Banks to finish dying her wig rainbow and arrive for her Pride concert. And you know what? It was worth it. With her “I could give a fuck less” attitude that rivals, well, pretty much everyone, making her one of my ultimate role models, Azealia is basically a cowgirl in her own right. Isn’t being a cowboy/girl essentially about riding independent without giving a fuck what anyone else thinks? I can’t think of anyone who fits that bill more. So naturally, AB has to be the first Yeehaw pick with her music video “Liquorice.” From gnawing on straw to horseback riding, AB nails the Old West aesthetic. Plus, adorned with enough American flags to rival any Lana video, it’ll just make you want to stand up and sing “America The Beautiful.”
2. Lil Nas X “Old Town Road”
Can there be a list about the rise of Yeehaw without Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring achey-breaky hearted Billy Ray Cyrus? I don’t think so. I’ve been obsessed with this catchy song for awhile now, but my love for it just grows and grows with the anger from old racists, disappointed Taylor Swift fans as Lil Nas X’s keeps her from the top of the Billboard charts, and now, homophobes. White country music fans were burning their Wranglers over a Black man doing country better than their old red Solo cup-guzzling snoozers have for a long time. And now, since Lil Nas X came out in a cryptic tweet on Pride as a part of the queer community, the phobes will get their knickers in a knot too. A Black queer cowboy is exactly the America I want, and with Lil Nas X, it’s the America I’m going to get. Plus, I just want his bedazzled jacket.
3. Orville Peck “Hope To Die”
Doesn’t “Hope To Die” just sound like a Lana Del Rey b-side? And if romantically doomed is the atmosphere you want to create on this 4th of July, Orville Peck is the one for you. Play “Hope To Die” at your barbecue, while you stare wistfully into the middle distance and imagine a gay Lone Ranger dancing in slow motion, sporting copious fringe, and crooning through this instant depression classic. Related, where do you get a cowboy hat that is so pointy it looks like bull horns? Asking for a friend. And the hay-stomping dance break toward the end of the video is so tragically beautiful that you’ll have to take another swig of your Lone Star just to keep from choking up.
4. Divine “Walk Like A Man”
Can we have a list of Wild Wild West takes without mentioning Divine whipping the shit out of some poor horse? *WHOOP-IIISH* No! Walk like a man! Talk like a man! Cowboys are the height of American masculinity, and nobody will whip your macho-ness into shape like Divine stuffed into a froofy Western-style dress resembling a nightmarish version of a cyborg from Westworld. That corset is doing more work than the background bit characters who already seem tired by the prospect of filming the video. But they don’t matter! It’s all about “Divine: the beauty of the west,” as the back of her horse-drawn wagon reads. That’s for sure. She’s so beautiful I can’t even stand it myself!
5. Loretta Lynn “Fist City”
Does a 4th of July barbecue really honor the founding of our country without a fist fight? Or at least almost getting into one before drunkenly forgetting why you were mad? I don’t think so. It’s as American as apple pie or McDonalds or Walmart. Well, the best fighting song I know is Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City.” Would you mess with her? I certainly wouldn’t. Loretta doesn’t even need to dress up in cowboy garb to be the queen of the cowgirls. Take her as inspiration as you open up a can of whoop ass on whoever insults your newly purchased assless chaps. Yes, grandma this IS appropriate attire! What do you have against AMERICA, HUH?!