Listen to This: BabiBoi Is Better, Badder in “Boyz 2 Men”

Queer hip-hop artist sets their creative comeback to a badass beat

On Saturday, June 25, queer hip-hop artist/entertainer BabiBoi, aka Dorian Delafuente, will take to the Long Center stage to perform pulse-pounding, body-quaking music – including new single “Boyz 2 Men.”

BabiBoi at Cheer Up Charlies (Photo by Jana Birchum)

But before that moment, all the way back in 2020, they weren’t so sure about what the next note in their songmaking career was going to be. “It was really hard for me to find motivation to write anything during the quarantine,” they relate over email. “I just wasn’t feeling myself, the way that I’m sure many of us felt, and I couldn’t get myself to sit down and put my pen to paper.” Much of the self-doubt fueling BabiBoi’s break from making music flowed from worries about being forgotten in the wake of pandemic unrest. “The problem, I think,” they say, “was that I was stuck with my thoughts for too long.”

Those thoughts, however, were soundtracked to a beat they’d received at the cusp of the pandemic – produced by Jacob Sinay, who worked with BabiBoi before on their tune “Molasses.” It was a beat so delicious that it kept the hip-hopper considering creative endeavors despite anxieties. “I knew I had to come hard on a beat as nasty as this one,” BabiBoi recalls of their motivation, adding that making the song really reignited their passion. “‘Boyz 2 Men’ has definitely resparked a fire in me,” they say. “I left my first studio session thinking, ‘Damn. I had nothing to worry about that whole time.’”

The song is, in their own words, “a breakneck, spitfire, song that is dripping in confidence and self-gratification,” that starts with a word of warning from House of Lepore Mother Natalie Ms. Girl6 about listening up to what BabiBoi’s about to say. It’s also their first solo record since July 2020. After the two-year pause in making new solo work, “Boyz 2 Men” sees a more authentic, more ferocious BabiBoi taking the mic. “I finally know my style,” they say. “I know how to express myself, I know the energy I omit, and I know what I’m good at. I’m back, badder than before and better than ever.” This song also continues them on a path toward BabiBoi’s ultimate goal: making a living off music alone. No day job (amen!) and the ability to support themselves and their loved ones – their dreams extend even further than those deep desires. “If we're talking about the very end of the road,” BabiBoi muses on what their ultimate future would be, “I would love to one day create my own label with a roster of all Queer artists, and find ways to leave a legacy for my community.”

Putting out new music is daunting – but BabiBoi is more than ready to let their creation stand tall this Pride Month, and every month after that. Feedback is sure to come in, and dealing with all those opinions is no easy task, especially since, they say, “when it comes to opinions on pop culture, the gay community will certainly not mince words!” But thumbs up or thumbs down don’t matter as much as folks understanding the work BabiBoi put in to be up on the stage, confident in exactly who they are: “What people should know about my music is that, you don’t have to like it, you don’t have to love it, but you definitely have to respect it, because it takes a lot to do the s#!t that I do.”

“Boyz 2 Men” is out now on streaming. Catch BabiBoi performing at Pride in Local Music on Saturday, June 25, 1pm, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

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