Doja Cat: ‘She A Rebel’

Doja Cat music video thumbnail for Paint The Town Red.  Thumbnail courtesy of RCA Records.
Doja Cat music video thumbnail for ‘Paint The Town Red’. Thumbnail courtesy of RCA Records.

Social media and hip hop listeners are wondering how Doja Cat’s discography transformed into ‘Demons’ and ‘Paint The Town Red’ from ‘Woman’ and ‘Kiss Me More’. 

Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, Doja Cat released her 4th studio album — “Scarlet”. The most notable songs thus far are the two singles ‘Paint The Town Red’ and ‘Demons’. Both these songs have had a very prevalent presence on social media, especially TikTok and Twitter.

Along with famous dances being made to the songs, controversy regarding the message of her new music has made these singles the most talked about on all platforms. 

Before releasing music, Doja Cat had surprised the internet by first shaving her head and eyebrows out of the blue. Then, her presence at the Schiaparelli fashion show, covered with 30,000 Swarovski crystals raised more questions about her sudden change of appearance. 

Last and certainly not least, the artist had gone on social media and mentioned how she doesn’t love her fans. 

“i don’t though cuz i don’t even know yall,” she responded to a fan’s tweet requesting her to say she loves her fanbase. 

Along with her problematic actions, the thing that has triggered the most controversy is the change in lyrical style and message in her music. 

Previous songs would mention mostly her struggles as a female artist in the industry, romantic relationships, and what it means to be a woman. Now, they have transitioned to messages with demonic undertones that have upset many. 

“I understand that people will be who they want to be, but there is definitely a line people are crossing and I simply do not like it,”  junior Lana Jabr said. 

Jabr, being a muslim, opens up about how she’s been taught to steer away from Satan’s influence her entire life, and now it’s being idolized in music. 

“It’s like, why? Who came up with the idea of putting this message into songs?” she questioned. 

Jabr also expresses her concerns about these messages spreading on social media due to the increase in users over all apps and platforms — especially since each platform has users of all ages. 

“With social media, these messages just spread so quickly. Like in TikTok, people will be lip syncing to it, then it becomes a dance, and it’s all over the app. I don’t know if I want this message to spread,” she said. 

Gabe Geiger, a junior, brings his point of view to the table and how he interpreted the ‘Demons’ music video. 

“It feels kind of wrong that demons are being so idolized […] but maybe she’s talking about how her demons — the hardships she has gone through — don’t have power over her anymore, that’s how I looked at it,” Geiger said. 

Being a student involved in the arts, Geiger understands self-expression and how incredibly diverse the different ways are to showcase your art. 

“I think new art is always trying to break away from what is ‘normal’, and it will always be questionable. I think that’s kind of the point of art,” he said. 

The IB World Religions teacher, Jennifer Shawley, expressed her feelings and thoughts about Doja Cat’s creation. 

“In every faith, there’s almost always a good vs. evil. The ancient texts are, well, ancient. So for a while, there has always been this struggle of choosing or preference — siding with the ‘good’ or ‘bad’,” she said. 

Shawley talks about how interpretation of what is good and what is evil is up to the individual and is not for someone else to decide. 

“I don’t know her intention behind her words or behind her music video, but I would be curious as to why people find it offensive and why people find it comforting. But, when I viewed it, I viewed it as someone’s personal self expression of art,” Shawley said. 

‘Paint The Town Red’ is currently in its 7th week in the Billboard Top 100 at 2nd place. ‘Scarlet’ has yet to make a top 10 ranking. 

Variety magazine has reviewed her album as ‘the best one yet’ and commends Doja Cat for being so free and expressive about the art she creates. Recognizing her lyrics that are straightforward and have the ability to take someone by surprise, the magazine does not hesitate to see the fun side of Doja Cat’s music. 

Doja Cat has also mentioned how this album is the one that ‘represents [herself] as an artist most accurately’ and critics from Album Of The Year were not happy about that. They mentioned how this style of Doja Cat was ‘not intriguing’ and ‘quite underwhelming’.

Doja Cat currently sits on number 6 in the world on Spotify with around 76 million monthly listeners. Be it marketing strategies or personal beliefs, the controversy surrounding the artist made ‘her money pile knee high’.

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