Cynicism is a growing phenomenon in music. Real love songs are hard to find these days. Named after Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” Yellow Diamonds is a lyric series in which VIBE editor Austin Williams celebrates songs that sound like love found in a hopeless mainstream.
The canon of great love songs wouldn’t be what it is without the contributions of queer songwriters. Having broken down lyrics written by Frank Ocean, Syd and Kehlani in the past, this is something I’ve subtly tried to highlight ever since Yellow Diamonds debuted on Valentine’s Day earlier this year.
To celebrate Pride Month in this special edition of the column, I’ve chosen the brains of three queer music journalists on the love songs that best represent their romantic experiences. Getting this group together was not difficult, as I have already spoken with all of these people (one of the benefits of doing what I do is having access to my peers via the internet).
Khaaliq Crowder, currently a social media producer for entertainment tonight and former VIBE intern, reached out to me on Instagram to congratulate me when I was named Senior Music Writer at his old stomping ground. We’ve had some great conversations since, including him giving me an education on the impact of the Spice Girls on queer culture. I met Donna-Claire Chesman, Senior Director of Editorial and Content Strategy at Audiomack, back when she was managing editor at DJBooth and I was an eager freelance writer. And I’ve been on Twitter with freelance writer and editor Taylor Crumpton for so long I can’t even remember exactly when it happened, but I’m sure it was before I edited it while I was there. at BET.
I felt as much joy catching up with these people as listening to the music they sent me. As Yellow Diamonds continues to celebrate shining examples of romantic optimism, read on to find out which queer love songs shone a similar light in the lives of these journalists.
These interviews have been edited for length and clarity..