After fleeing his Wisconsin native to study in LA and wreaking havoc in Chicago’s underground for a brief, boozy summer, nightlife scene kid Linux has finally landed in New York City. Proudly polarizing, the nocturnal “robot” has since been shaking up local club culture with his consistently bizarre looks, whether he’s covering himself with bloody tampons, creating makeshift bras from plungers or shoving his head into monstrous traffic cones.
Like with any new kid, Linux has inevitably attracted naysayers, which he’s unafraid of pointing out on his debut self-produced album, Everybody Hates Linux: a hilarious, DIY dance project that runs the gamut of cultural queer markers, from daddy issues to makeup addiction, bottoming to Grindr rebounding. Think Jeffree Star’s 2007 Plastic Surgery Slumber Party EP meets present-day mixtape Lil Kim, laced with the DGAF attitude of a Donald Trump “anti-PC” rant.
We caught up with the NYC newcomer in lieu of his album release to talk about all things sugar daddies and meth addicts.
Bring me through your drag background.
Immediately after high school, I ran away to Hollywood where I studied fashion design (at the same school Lauren Conrad went to, hello) and began going out. In order for me to get into the same clubs that Kylie Jenner and Rihanna were going to, I started dressing up so scary and wild that the LA bouncers were too afraid to even question me at the door. After about a year and a half in LA, I decided a change was in order. I had always dreamed of living in the city, so after a long drunk summer of playing in Chicago, I ran to NYC this past Christmas and the rest was history.
Do you even consider what you do “drag?”
I love that performance art and pure passion is embodied in drag. I don’t really think about labels too much. Call me a drag queen, rock star, veterinarian—it’s all good girl, just pass me a vodka cranberry and buy my album.
What perspective do you think you bring to the queer club scene?
Teamwork is key. We need to remember that we are all in this together. My constant goal is to just bring all that I have to the table, and hope that everyone else will follow suit. I like to bring the vibe that “Hi I’m Linux, this is my gig…show me yours!”
Tell me about the album name, Everybody Hates Linux. Is it true?
When I first arrived to NYC, I came to the club ready to turn the party and twirl with the East Coast girls. I immediately felt hazed. In this industry, especially, I see people tend to hate the it girl of any moment. This energy should only propel you to stay major, do better, and love harder. I used the negativity that was thrown at me to fuel the fire that is this album, and I couldn’t be more excited.
You cover very polarizing topics, almost as satirical commentary on this album. After one listen, I can’t help but feel like you’re the Donald Trump of drag. Do you consider yourself an instigator?
Oh my God, stop—I’ve been planning a Donald Trump look for weeks now, don’t ruin the surprise. The only thing I consider myself to instigate would be regarding the popular belief that we should all behave a particular way. Truly, I just like to unveil what queer society chooses to sweep under the rug. As long as you aren’t harming anybody, don’t be afraid to celebrate what you love and what you feel.
Let’s talk about these topics, from pnp to daddy issues, incest to religion. How’d you decide what to discuss on EHL?
Every topic on the album came one hundred percent naturally. I had a sugar daddy, I shat taco bell on my ex’s dick, I lived with a meth addict, I fucked my brother. I love to turn intense moments of mine into comedy and a beat we can dance to. This album is the perfect extraction of that.
What’s the story behind “Brothers?”
When I was young, my late father married my step mother and she brought with her a step brother for me that was GAG WORTHY. 10/10. He played every sport imaginable and since he was just a step brother, I didn’t think it was wrong at all what we were doing. I was only in my early tweens and he was my first love. After my father passed away, he started dating my best friend and I moved in with my mother. I’ve never seen or heard from him since.
How’d you decide who to feature on this album? I love the Bon Bon moment
All the girls on this album are so close to my heart, and constantly add positive energy to my life and the lives of those around us. I got to rap about anal prolapses with my girl Dominatricksss from my hometown, Milwaukee—that was a fun one. Also, the Bon Bon and Ariel Zetina moment in “Wifi Jungle” was especially major because it represented the unconditional love I got from my Chicago family when I spent a summer there.
I’m assuming you created most of these tracks on a laptop. What was the production process for creating EHL?
I’m classically trained in piano, violin and GarageBand. With the help of Red Bull, I truly put put a lot of time and effort into the production of this album. With each track, I really tried to have fun and continue to top the last one. The accessibility of a laptop when it comes to music production excites me because I not only get to create music within my own means, but I get to share it with my gurls around the world.