Presenting The Fabulously Self-possessed Todrick Hall
Where there is delicious chaos, this all-rounder basks in abundance.
Todrick Hall (Photo: Sherlaine Forrest/Getty)
He sings, he acts, he dances. He directs himself doing all the above. This up and coming star may have risen to current heights via a TV talent show, but didn’t need it.
In the pink
With an image campaign that’s part Cardi and Megan’s ‘WAP,’ part Gaga’s Chromatica, Hall’s recent high-octane magenta-styled artwork for the recently unveiled album Femuline proves he’s on top of the game. His homage to divas is undeniable and massive, his presence unavoidable and in fact, infectious. Like his contemporary Lil Nas X, he is a product and producer of and for the internet generation, opting not just to rest on his laurels or the spectacularly generous fruit of American Idol’s attention. Fresh from the show he launched into performances, skits and tutorials on YouTube which soon went viral, leading to his own MTV documentary.
Hall’s advocacy for the rights of queer black artists (and despite rumors, womxn) has been tireless from the get go. Tyra Banks, Brandy and Chaka Khan are just some of the huge divas Hall managed to recruit for Femuline’s all-star cameos. His brand of camp is not particularly new - gushing and quippy adoration of powerful women, hyper-glamor, drag looks and gestures - but his ethic is. As consistent as his bubblegum outfits and pristine makeup is his lobbying for equal voting rights. Constant urging and rallying to raise funds and encourage people to vote come hand in hand with the more fun side of his performance.
Thou shalt be judged
Hall’s drag act judgement on season 8 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race was a major success because it took the art back to its OG finesse of fierce energy and authenticity of caricature. In an age where Drag Race is beginning to exhaust itself, seemingly no hetero bachelorette party is without a tired and disenchanted drag queen fulfilling their own cliches with a big old yawn: the queer community needs queens/judges like Hall (known also for his epic turn in Broadway’s Kinky Boots, adapted from the famed movie).
Both his appearance on Ru Paul’s mammoth 13-season spectacular and the turnout of his album Femuline prove he pulls no punches: the energy and the lyricism has been brilliantly scandalous from the start. Listen closely to loud and proud LGBT+ anthems ‘Queen’ and ‘Boys In The Ocean’ for some pure Pride energy, and to cheeky tracks like ‘D!ck This Big’ and ‘Rainin’ Fellas’ for their subtle flirty nuance ;-).