Ranked: The 20 greatest RuPaul’s Drag Race verses of 2022
‘Fashion, beauty, runway pose – Icesis nails it on the nose’ 💅🏻
I think of all the challenges on RuPaul’s Drag Race today, it’s any time the queens have to write and record their own verses for a girl group challenge or RuMix finale task that has the most lasting impact on their Drag Race legacy. I know in my personal circle of friends that are fans, when a new song drops we spend inevitably the next six months quoting it to each other – for better or for worse. Some lyrics this year have made me laugh (I say “HACONICK STAAAAL” like Raja in Legends literally every day) and some have wordplay so clever that it’s changed the trajectory of my life forever. So – without further ado – I present my top 20 ranked Drag Race queens verses of 2022.
20. Silky Nutmeg Ganache – Bonjour Hi
AY-O, DONTCHA KNOW, THAT I AM BIG SILK AND I AM THE SHOW! You know what, I love Silky’s trajectory. I will admit I wasn’t a fan of her at all on season 11, but her All Stars 6 legendary run and her next level upped game in Canada VS the World has made me a convert to the church of the Reverend Doctor Silky Nutmeg Ganache. This verse is a call to arms – bursting with personality. Can’t get “Slaying is my occupation, the reverend doctor got education” out of my head.
19. Black Peppa – UK Grand Finale Megamix
Peppa opens the season four finale megamix with an absolute BANG. “A bad gyal rhythm with a Caribbean twist” is the kind of lyric that has me grinning maniacally at the TV screen.
18. Danny Beard – UK Grand Finale Megamix
How on EARTH has it taken this long for a queen to namedrop Buffy on a verse that mentions slaying? That’s how you win a crown, bitch. So much star power in such short verse it’s unreal. The beard is truly here to stay.
17. Blu Hydrangea – Living My Life In London
I can’t believe this was THIS YEAR? Charli XCX retired when she heard this robotic masterpiece. No shade to Blu, but I think she’s got the voice of a children’s TV presenter – so for her to sound like she’s serving a mature or cool bop the odds are stacked against her. On Living My Life in London she defied those odds. “Creator, eliminator, Belfast queen is a gender breaker” – we stan the autotune.
16. Baby – Come Alive
You’d be hard pressed to find a better fist pumper of an opening line than “HANDS UP SAY HEY BABY”, which truly makes me want to bellow “hey baby” at the top of my lungs. Every time I hear it I visualise the satisfying stomp that comes with it. She deserved a solo win for this challenge.
15. Monét X Change – Titanic
Whilst I don’t think the writing is quite as wow as what we’ve heard from Monét elsewhere, her vocal performance and delivery on this is so satisfying on my ears. If Monét’s got a verse on a Drag Race track, rest assured it’s going to slap.
14. Lady Camden – Catwalk
Love the “Step, SMACK” jumpscare more than I love my own family. Absolutely terrifying. New drag name unlocked: “Anna Padda Bouxray”.
13. Vanity Milan – Bonjour Hi
This verse has had such acclaim for good reason. It’s so euphoric seeing Vanity back with such oomph, she’s such a star. The “Black queens don’t look the same so remember my name” lyric hits even harder after the BBC blunder just a few weeks ago when they mixed up Baby and Black Peppa across all their social media channels. Vanity gobbled this UP.
12. Raja – Titanic
Atlantic deep, my loots I keep
Sink my bling-bling, bye-bye ring
Treasure chasin’, danger facin’
Baby, your drownin’, frozen frownin’
Honey, your heart, why so cold?
“That’s hot”, melt like gold
Clubbin’ in our Juicy Cou’
Call me Angel, Lucy Liu (Hi-Yah!)
That’s what we call: Performance art. Ahead of her time. I love that it’s all about Titanic until she shoves in the final two lines about Juicy Couture and Charlie’s Angels, for no good reason. Trying to decipher this verse would disintegrate a Victorian child.
11. Icesis Couture – Bonjour Hi
The chokehold “Fashion, beauty, runway pose – Icesis nails it on the nose” has on me needs to be studied at universities. It’s faultless.
10. Jinkx Monsoon – Legends
It’s a testament to Jinkx’s unmatched talent and how outstanding she is at Drag Race that she manages to reach top 10 queens verses of 2022 ranked with ease. Rapping is obviously not Jinkx’s forte, but wit and humour and performance ability are qualities she has in spade loads. Every line is so funny. RUB A DUB DUB GET IN MY TUB! So stupid, so perfect.
9. Mo Heart – Living My Life in London
No joke – this is a verse good enough to be a feature in any main pop girl single. Mo raps like she was born to top it. This bit in particular, “Started out in KC, moved out to Hollywood / Where stars are made and dreams come true, what’s good?”, hits so hard.
8. Daya Betty – Catwalk
Urgh, Daya Betty. What an iconic queen – someone who had a real arc on season 14 from villain to fan favourite. It was on Catwalk where she really hit her peak – a verse that hits every beat so satisfyingly that you can’t help but want to listen to it on loop forever. She looked BEYOND hot, too – which just makes it all even better.
7. Jaida Essence Hall – Legends
What I love about Jaida’s Legends verse is she manages to take something that doesn’t come naturally to her and make it feel like she was born to do it. She’s so good at looking immaculate but still being hilarious and not taking herself too seriously at the same time. When she wallops Raja on “beast” I laugh literally every time.
6. Sminty Drop – Come Alive
Manchester mannequin, got the dolls panicking
Legs long, tum tight, tell me can you handle it?
Blow you away with a glossy kiss
Modern Renaissance with a bad girl twist
They pack big, but I’m packing bigger
Your Visa low, so you can watch my figure
“Oh my gosh, like, who is she?”
What a shame that Sminty didn’t quite nail it on stage, because of all the queens verses ranked from Drag Race here, this is honestly some of the best lyric writing of the entire year. Not to mention the speed with which she manages to rap it – it’s a wordy verse but she nails every line with precision and personality. It’s dynamic, varied and cool as fuck. I just WISH she’d nailed it on stage. We’d still be shaking from the perfection now.
5. Spankie Jackson – Bosom Buddies
SPPPPPPPPAAAAAANKIE MOTHERTUCKER IN THE HOUSE TONIGHHHHT!!!!!
4. Willow Pill – Catwalk
This verse is just impeccably smart. Not a word feels wasted, with Willow either referencing a moment from the season or referencing her own struggles with her chronic illness and what she’s done to overcome them. “Cute, absurd and a touch of ugly – I celebrate life let’s poor the bubbly” is one of the most delicious pop melodies of the year, and the “We live in the matrix I’m the solution” line is too wow for words.
3. Shea Couleé – Titanic
Murderer: You’ve got 15 seconds to live.
Me: *presses play on Shea’s Titanic verse*
Sorry, but wow. The volume of 90s references Shea manages to shove into 15 seconds is outrageous. I LOVE the lyric “What’s wrong boo, your CD skipping?” so much!!! The ferocious way she performs this verse from “Like Titanic it’s going DOWWWWN” to “Turn around boo let me see that back” lives in my mind rent free. The fact this isn’t even the best Shea verse this year is mind blowing.
2. Monét X Change – Legends
“Realise the triple crown’s why I’m here, it’s what I’m after / Bow down, kiss the ring, call me master”… erm, okay! Daddy Monét! Every second of this verse feels special – and I think Monét highlights her skills as a singer AND a rapper perfectly. The lyrics are clever, the vocals are tight and the BOP BOP BOP bit is one of the most euphoric Drag Race musical moments of the year. AND she nails the performance. She’s soooo good at this.
1. Shea Couleé – Legends
When it comes to queens verses on Drag Race, Shea Couleé is Beyoncé – and I say that in the sense of that all the queens ranked here, she is untouchable at what she does. Not only is she untouchable with one or two good verses, but she has FOUR outstanding ones. She raps and writes like she’s got a multi platinum greatest hits rap album and she’s doing a Super Bowl spot to promote it. And I’m not joking. With her Legends verse, Shea proves why she’s the GOAT of Drag Race queens verses – an easy top spot of the ranked 20 greatest this year.
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