Peppermint Takes Us To Church With New Trans Anthem “Blend”

Pep teams up with out rapper Cazwell on her new single.

Peppermint was a standout star in Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the show’s first openly trans contestant. Now readying for her Broadway debut in the Go-Go’s musical Head Over Heels, she still found time to work on a new EP, titled Blend. It officially drops March 9, but the title single—a collab with out rapper Cazwell, is out now.

“We’ve practically been married to each other for years,” Peppermint told Billboard of Caz, a fellow staple on the New York scene. “We’ve worked and performed together since 2000. We also started a successful hip-hop class party in NYC at the Ritz and he was featured in my first music video.”

“Blend” is something of an anthem for the trans community, a celebration of unique identity in the face of pressure to “pass” or “blend” into society.

“I wanted to write a song that proved the importance of not needing to blend into society to be happy with yourself,” added Cazwell.

Last spring, Pep told NewNowNext she was nervous about doing Drag Race.

“There are a lot of people who think that drag queens can’t be trans and trans people can’t do drag, that there’s always a separation,” she said. “There is a separation of course. Not all drag queens are trans and of course most trans people aren’t drag queens. But there are certainly plenty of trans people who work and perform in the context of drag. And there’s a lot of drag queens who transition and there’s a little bit of a margin where they are kind of both.”

“For Ru and the judges,” she added, “it was a total non-issue.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 3 airs Thursdays at 8/7c on VH1.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.