It’s been more than 20 years since it was released, but people are still talking about Paris Is Burning. Its legacy, the criticisms around it and more.
A few months back, I even wrote about my own love for the 1990 documentary. It seems that earlier this week, NPR posted a blog entry about the music behind the film, including interviews with various musicians on how the film, the people portrayed therein, and the sounds they heard in the film influenced them and their art. Artists who were influenced by the film include sissy bounce queen Big Freedia, Hercules and Love Affair mastermind Andy Butler, emcee Zebra Katz and disco edit maestro Prince Language.
To get you in the groove, here are a couple tracks by these artists that you could easily find on any current ballroom dancefloor, from grand Philly soul sophistication to contemporary walking records.
Prince Language’s “Please Don’t Go.” This edit of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is a beautiful rework of the soulful, Philadelphia-style records that were often heard during the balls in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Style and sophistication.
Hercules & Love Affair, “You Belong,” a song strongly influenced by the early ‘90s New York sound that was popular in ballrooms.
Zebra Katz’s “Ima Read,” a record with a bassline made for duck walking.
Big Freedia’s “Y’all Get Back Now.” This record is made for the new floor, the new queens and the new sissies. Bounce that ass, baby.