RuPaul's Drag Race star BeBe Zahara Benet slaps haters with 'Jungle Kitty' music video
You definitely heard her proclaim herself a "p—y bitch" earlier this year during the most memorable musical challenge on RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars 3, but chances are you're still not entirely sure what that means. Luckily, the season 1 Drag Race champ has roared onto the music scene with a ferocious music video for her new single "Jungle Kitty" that'll (partially) fill in the blanks — and EW has the bonkers clip's exclusive reveal below.
"I feel like everybody can be a p—y bitch," Zahara tells EW of the song's sentiment, which she first introduced on All-Stars 3 in character as the tune's titular alter ego, but has now translated into a full-length single from her forthcoming album. "It's a mix of different things…to me, Jungle Kitty is a frame of mind where you don't apologize for who you are. You're very ferocious, you're a free spirit, you're outgoing. You don't conform to labels. It's really that side of me…she's so regal and she's so royal. That frame of mind allows me to be very unapologetic in owning my power and who I am as a person and as a drag personality."
And the new music video jives perfectly with that attitude, as BeBe — seemingly playing a mysterious international agent of fierceness who's recently apprehended a hunky foe — and an accomplice flaunt their ferocity in front of their prisoner via a few b—- slaps and extravagant costume changes in the middle of the desert. Meow.
Watch the full "Jungle Kitty" music video below, and read on for EW's full interview with BeBe, during which she explains the logic behind the bonkers "Jungle Kitty" lyrics and teases a song on her forthcoming album that (might) finally reveal whose elimination lipstick remained perched in her bra after she lost the most controversial lip-sync-for-your-legacy in RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars history. <iframe id="player" src="https://embed.vevo.com?isrc=QMGR31907622&partnerId=62ad9671-cfce-4a19-af16-7313322bc844&partnerAdCode=timeinc" width="640" height="390" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" class="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>åÞwçÎ5çow¾]iÝžë–œ†Þ÷Æ›åÞ]ã‡Ú
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Hi BeBe! How are you?
BEBE ZAHARA BENET: Oh my God, tired. [Laughs].
You've been so busy, it's been quite a year.
I know! The word of the day is tired. I can't complain, you know, because it's better to be busy and tired as opposed to just sitting at home staring at the ceiling, eating your nails.
You certainly have this new song going for you.
Of course I would assume you've seen it. What did you think about it? Tell me the tea, now!
Right from the start, I was like oh girl, because you come into that room and slap the hell out of that man. Who doesn't want to see a fabulous drag queen beating the hell out of someone?
[Laughs] Right? It doesn't mean I'm violent, though! Sweetie, we don't just go out and beat people!
I am curious as to why you felt it was necessary to take the song you did on the show and make it your own pop song outside of the show.
My fans and supporters, they asked for it. It was almost like they demanded it. They couldn't get enough of what was on the show…on the show you never know what people will catch on to or what will go viral…there were all these things on social media where people kept sending messages to me like, "Please do a full song!" So I decided to do a whole song as Jungle Kitty… it's great, right? Did you ever think it was going to go viral?
Absolutely. I think Adam Lambert's reaction to hearing it for the first time sums up everybody's. It's like a Rorschach test: Nobody knows quite what "Yeah, I'm p—y b—-" and "rakatatiti tata" have to do with each other. It's just so wild and adaptable that it can fit any fierce emotion. It's something different to everybody.
[Laughs]. When I was writing it on the show, because they didn't show all of it, even Shangela and Kennedy were very suspicious…when we were dividing all the parts Shangela wanted to take the bridge, but I said I wanted to take the bridge…the bridge in the song is very important. It can take it all the way down or all the way up…Shangela and Kennedy [thought] I took it right to the bottom, honey…once we went to Adam Lambert and we were recording the song…my first take, everybody looked at each other like, b—-, really? [Laughs]. It was so funny.
I know you have the references in there of the girl's voice saying "oh those aren't even lyrics" and stuff, but is there a method to the lyrics?
It's a mix of different things…to me, Jungle Kitty is a frame of mind where you don't apologize for who you are. You're very ferocious, you're a free spirit, you're outgoing. You don't conform to labels. It's really that side of me… she's so regal and she's so royal. That frame of mind allows me to be very unapologetic in owning my power and who I am as a person and as a drag personality…while the show was going on, some people would be like, "Oh my god, she's always wearing animal print." I call them the trolls on social media, honey…it happens to every single girl, no matter how loved you are. There are always those people who have something to say… so I thought it was really funny [to include]. I feel like everybody can be p—y b—… Do you ever tell yourself that?
Not really, but after this conversation I will. You've awakened the p—y b—- inside me.
We love p— b—–s. You better work it, honey. You better join the tribe now. It's a positive frame of mind.
Does that mindset carry through on the rest of the album?
I just started creating. The Jungle Kitty thing was the main thing. With my album, it's not all going to be about Jungle Kitty. That's just a persona… with my album, I want you to get a really good sense of who I am and the different colors that I do celebrate, so it's not just Jungle Kitty. I'm working to bring out what I want to say, what I want to share, and whom I want to say it with…I'm still in my creative process right now.
I just have one more question, Miss BeBe… I have to ask: Can you please tell me the secret of who you would have picked to go home on All-Stars 3?
I would love to tell you. But let me ask you a question: Tell me, would it matter? We already have our All-Stars crowned queen…don't you respect somebody who is all about their word? If somebody says, "This is what I'm going to do" and sticks by it, do you have more respect for that person or not?
I have respect for someone who has integrity.
So when I mention that it's something that I will not share with anybody, would you respect the fact that I stick to my word? You can respect that, right? If you follow me with the album, you might just know whom I was going to send home. I can tell you that, because there's probably going to be a song about it [Laughs].
Oh, that is some tea!
There's a lot of conversation so maybe we need to have a song about it, right? Just stick with me and you might just figure it out. What did you think when I said I wasn't going to reveal it on the show?
I know how harsh the fans react, so to me it seemed like you were trying not to piss off the fans of the person you picked to leave.
It's so funny, it's the opposite…I don't let the fans rule my world and rule what I do, or how I do it, because as artists we give what we give and you receive how you want to receive. The worst frame of mind to be in is what the fans like or what the fans want, because then you lose the authenticity of who you are as an artist and who you are as a person…that decision was made very much in the moment…I was like, you know what, everybody has been mad now, there's so much chaos going on, I'm just not going to add who I'm sending home because at this point it does not matter…I'm not going to add to the tension.
Ok, I respect that decision, but I'm going to be listening to those damned lyrics on your album to figure it out.
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