Review | Doja Cat Addresses Her Fans in ‘Scarlet’ | Cultures

If there’s one thing Doja Cat can’t do, it’s bore us.

After a year filled with endless controversy and mischief, Doja Cat released her latest album, Scarlet, in September. 22.

Doja was accused of devil worship satanic panic Conspiracy theorists after posting a series of creepy Instagram posts and discovering a large tattoo of a misshapen bat skeleton on her back. The fans were outraged letter to her on the page.”

Her answer? A tweet that read: “If you call me a demon, honestly, it means I like that you ate fr.”

After all, Doja is a troll at heart. No. She literally is. Her alleged story on risky platforms like 4Chan and TinyChat has gone viral. reported. But it’s this attitude that makes her and her online persona so attractive and compelling to watch. While other pop stars sing clichés about “don’t care what other people say” and “be yourself”, Doja truly doesn’t care what people say and she – for better or worse – remains herself .

The album’s first track, “Paint the Town Red”, contains the same sentiment as Doja’s tweet, with introductory lyrics stating briefly but poignantly, “Bitch, I said what I said.” Oh Doja, she doesn’t mince words, does she?

While her previous work tended to focus on the rapper’s playful sexuality and melancholy love life through her signature rap song verses, the lyrical content of “Scarlet” primarily features Doja in her first real rap feud.

From the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac to Nicki Minaj and seemingly every female rapper in existence, controversy between rappers is a story as old as time itself. Often Shakespearean in nature, themes of betrayal, deception, loyalty, status and tragedy are explored through the lens of diss tracks. It’s one of the most intriguing and subtle features of the genre, inviting listeners to pick apart and analyze wordplay, punchlines, and double entendres for any “hidden disses.”

However, Doja’s feud on “Scarlet” is not with a fellow rapper or artist, but with her own fans.

Aside from his alleged devil worship, Doja Cat has also been criticized for supercritical your own fandom. When a fan wanted to hear her say “I love you” on Threads, Doja replied, “Not though, because I don’t even know y’all.” When asked how her fandom – “Kittens” – should rename itself, Doja succinctly replied: “My fans can’t call themselves shit… if you call yourself ‘Kitten’ (it) means you need to go crazy. call, find a job and help your parents around the house.”

Decades ago, the separation between celebrities and fans was greater, softened as much by the physical distance between fan and artist as by the veil of television. Over the past twenty years, the Internet and technology have gradually destroyed the physical and psychological distance between artist and fan. Artists livestream and update social media with their every move, speaking directly to their viewers and looking into their iPhone cameras as if looking into the eyes of their fans. It’s not surprising that fans can feel like they know or own the artists they collaborate with.

The relationship between artists and their patrons is not often explored in pop music. Perhaps it’s too meta for the average listener. Or maybe it would shatter the illusion that many pop stars have built their brand on – the fantasy that fans have legitimate, intimate, personal relationships with the artists they listen to.

In “Scarlet”, Doja constantly asserts and maintains distance between himself and his fans by being empathetic and aggressive. In “Fuck The Girls (FTG)”, she addresses them directly, saying that they act like children and belittle her talent. She says, “Y’all taking charge, bypassing my abilities / You’re just here by proxy, you don’t feel me” and “I’m so grateful to you, patron / I don’t love you whores, you worship everything you couldn’t would be.”

“Love Life” takes a much more compassionate approach, with Doja rapping, “I like to hear the roar when I hit the stage on tour / They like it when I embrace my flaws / I like it when they do the same / I I love it when my fans love change. This is how we change the game.”

There is a lot of material on the album that is not related to the parasocial relationships of Doja and her fandom. The highlight is “Agora Hills,” where Doja raps about hiding a new love. Doja’s vocal delivery is addictive as she raps in a female valley accent. It never devolves into a ridiculous parody or satire, but instead feels like a genuine ode to modern femininity. Throughout the track, Doja talks about how everyone has that friend who constantly wears a lot of lip gloss and vocals.

Doja’s instincts also lead her to other genres she hasn’t yet explored. “Often” is a neo-soul track in the style of Erykah Badu, with Doja accompanied by live jazz instruments. “Skull And Bones” and “Balut” are laid back lo-fi rap tracks. It’s great to see her expand her sonic horizons while maintaining the playful, playful spirit of her earlier work.

The relationship between fans and artists will always be a difficult ethical dilemma, but Doja’s views on fandom are truly refreshing. Too often artists are put on a pedestal and idolized and then not allowed to speak their minds. They are expected to be diplomats or politicians, even though they are not required to be politically correct or hold themselves up as a moral standard. In fact, it often interferes with their artistic vision.

Doja’s willingness to speak about how she truly feels, without fear of digital or financial resistance, is inspiring to the mainstream pop artist and will undoubtedly guide her in whatever direction her career takes.

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