“The Wreckoning” by Willam Belli — TVocalizers CD Review

| Mar 25, 2013
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The-Wreckoning-AlbumLast month, this column featured an exclusive interview with well known drag artist Willam Belli. Willam is perhaps best known for his TV and film work, which includes his role as Cherry Peck on Nip/Tuck, and his most recent stint on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Other television credits include The District, Boston Public, Cold Case, and The Shield. Film credits include American Wedding, The Last Shot, Unbeatable Harold, and Because I Said So. Other previous mentions in TGForum include a November 5, 2012 interview with Angela Gardner, and a February 4, 2013, brief mention of the video for Chow Down (At Chick-fil-A).

Willam’s music, however, is our focus here. His new album, The Wreckoning, proves that the often overused phrase “multi-talented is not only applicable but more than definitely warranted here. While my first impression — that the album would be mostly dance and/or rap material — was accurate, there are some unexpected moments on the project that really caught my attention.

First off, though, the album open with two high energy dance floor fillers — Love You Like A Big Schlong and Trouble. Other dance tracks specifically aimed at clubs are Starf***er (which offers some great harmony along with an extended rap featuring Detox and Vicky Vox, and is one of the better production moments), Let’s Have A Kai Kai (with Rhea Litre), and RuPologize , which sort of comes across as a possible behind-the-scenes look at backstage drag queen cattiness. How else can you explain the line “I’m gonna take those other bitches down”?

[mp3t track=”Trouble.mp3″ title=”Trouble (Clip)” bold=”yes”]

[mp3t track=”Love-You-Like-a-Big-Schlong.mp3″ title=”Love You Like a Big Schlong” bold=”yes”]

The aforementioned unexpected moments include two country songs — Potential New Boyfriend (Dolly Parton’s 1983 hit, written by Steve Kipner and John Lewis Parker), and Tammy Wynette’s 1968 hit Stand By Your Man (written by Wynette and Billy Sherrill). Boyfriend is done with a techno-dance groove, while Stand By Your Man is presented in a bit more traditional country mode. Willam duets with Drake Jenson — and for some reason, this conjured up visions of the old Blues Brothers version of the song when I first heard it.

The closest thing to rock on The Wreckoning is She Doesn’t Know, which is actually also one the project’s better production moments. The Vagina Song, done as reggae with extremely graphic lyrics, is another of those totally unexpected moments.

The hit song on The Wreckoning is of course Chow Down. This is the parody of Wilson-Phillip’s hit Hold On , only in this instance, the song is talking about the fast-food chicken restaurants, Chick-fil-A, or rather taking a stab at the company owner’s anti-gay stance. The parody lyrics were written by Belli, Detox and Vicky Vox. When the video for the song was released, it immediately went viral.

Just to give you an idea of the song’s impact, here is the first verse and chorus:

Chow Down (At Chick-fil-A)

You might feel shame
We might crossdress but that’s not what’s to blame
Making our coins, but it’s all for food
We’ll do anything
We’re down with groups
After taking some dudes from behind
All we wanna score is chicken fried

Someday somebody’s gonna make you wanna gobble up a waffle fry
But no go
Don’t you know Chick-fil-A, say
You’ll make the Baby Jesus cry
Dudes with boobs
Gay for pay
Even dykes will say yay
So chow down at Chick-fil-A
Chow down at Chick-fil-A
Even if you’re gay
Chow down at Chick-fil-A

[mp3t track=”Chow-Down-Clip.mp3″ title=”Chow Down” bold=”yes”]

There are also other great lines such as “tired of eating meat that just went moo,” as well as a lengthy rap towards the end. The song has it’s defenders and it’s detractors, but overall doesn’t offer any kind of criticism regarding Chick-fil-A cuisine.

Regarding the parody, when asked during an interview with The Advocate if he felt any remorse for patronizing Chick-fil-A because of the company owner’s anti-gay views, Willam said: “I am no one’s role model. I am a novelty at best. My opinion is not available to the general public. I’m only available for entertainment purposes.”



The Wreckoning closes with Trouble WDWD Doot Doot Mix , a remix of the opening cut. While most remixes don’t often do justice to the original track, I have to say that as a reviewer, I was really surprised how good this particular version is. It’s another of the best production moments on the album, and also a very good way to end an entire album. Very full sounding and upbeat.

Willam Belli is more than just another drag queen. Along with his acting talent, The Wreckoning proves he’s also a very talented singer, with a surprisingly feminine voice, and an excellent lyricist. While being a contestant on Drag Race might have gotten him more mainstream exposure, his overall talent would have taken him there anyway, eventually. He’s just that good.

Willam shares writing credits throughout the project, plus you’ll have to check out the liner notes for production and musician credits. Also, please check out Willam’s website. Also on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Music is also available through iTunes and some of the singles can be found on Amazon.com.


We have news from two musicians usually featured in our companion Perpetual Change column.

Rev. Yolanda

Rev. Yolanda is now a supporter of the organization World Vision, which is a Christian humanitarian organization working in almost 100 countries to help fight the causes of poverty and injustice. Through Rev. Yolanda’s ReverbNation page, when you purchase a song marked with a red heart next to the title, half of the proceeds will be donated to World Vision.

In other Rev. Yolanda news, her song Home from the new album Rev. Yolanda’s Country Gospel Kirtan Vol. 1: God Is was voted to the #6 slot on the Top Ten Song chart on OutVoice. You can still vote for Rev. Yolanda online. And, if you’re in the NYC area, you can catch Rev. Yolanda on April 28th at The Duplex. For more information and other upcoming events, check out Rev. Yolanda’s website.

Storm Miguel Florez

On Good Friday, March 29th, Storm Miguel Florez and his Bad Flower Productions company will be co-producing an event entitled Sing Along Jesus Christ Superstar with The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence as part of their Easter weekend. The event is at The Victoria Theatre, San Francisco, 7-10 p.m. Tickets available through brownpapertickets.com.

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Category: Drag Queen, Music

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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