The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

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The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

Doja Cat’s “Scarlet” Belongs in the Litter Box

Doja Cat
Doja Cat released the album “Scarlet” on September 22.

My first memory of Doja Cat is her viral song “MOOO!” and its green-screen cow-themed music video. My, how far we’ve come.

For a brief period, Doja was a respected, up-and-coming artist — Grammy-winning and record-breaking — but she’s fallen from grace before even reaching her peak. A stark shift in persona left her fans feeling alienated and attacked, and she traded her pop sound for darker hip-hop in her newest album “Scarlet.”

Released Sep. 22, Doja promised “Scarlet” to be a dark, experimental album: the masses took this to mean demonic, even Satanist. She embraced this in just about all aspects, humiliating dedicated fans on Threads (Meta’s Twitter), shaving and bleaching her hair, and getting tattoos of traditionally Satanic figures. Clearly, she was desperate to escape the image of herself known to the world.

But “Scarlet” is lackluster, and audacious in all of the wrong ways. Nearly every song contains some sort of monetary flex and follows the structure of any basic hip hop track. Short, off putting instrumental loops, largely static flows, and gratingly high-pitched singing don’t do her any favors, either.

A few of the tracks are catchy, and it’s clear why they were picked to be the lead singles. “Attention,” undoubtedly, is a good song. Earworm “Paint The Town Red” has all the qualities of a viral hit and more. But when you look a little deeper, the rest of the album is just regurgitated versions of the themes hit on in those two songs: disinterest in fame, excessive wealth, and being content in her relationship.

It gets old quickly. There are a few exceptions, though. Most notably, “Love Life” seems to contain an apology for her fans, though it’s buried in a heap of vain-feeling gratitude. “I know I’ve had a temper before, but still y’all don’t quit,” she raps, continuing “I understand the cause and effect now / like dog-eat-dog and cat-eat-fish.” It’s a warm sentiment, yet still somehow reeks of ignorance, and seems to lack a genuine appreciation for the fans that gave her the life she loves so much.

In July, Doja and some of her biggest fans, self-dubbed “Kittenz,” had fiery interactions on Threads. “[Y]ou need to get off your phone and get a job and help your parents with the house,” Doja wrote in a long-deleted post, firing back at fans that defended themselves by claiming “I don’t even know ya’ll [sic].” She criticized their fixation on her to the point that multiple well-established fan accounts deactivated. Understandably, people were upset. Of course, she deserves privacy, and she never would’ve been successful without endlessly hard work, but claiming that her fans had zero involvement and are wasting their time is outrageous.

An obsessive, chronically online fanbase watching your every move is the greatest marker of success for the celebrity of today, whether or not Doja wants to accept it. The people who run accounts for her, run up the streams, start TikTok trends to her music — they’re the direct cause of the indulgent lifestyle she spends her entire album bragging about. Frankly, it’s infuriating.

Especially when you consider that these die-hard fans are the ones that stayed when most everyone else turned. Her demonic “possession” was clearly an orchestrated stunt to try to loosen up her image; that makes complete sense. She doesn’t want to be typecast into bubblegum pop for the rest of her career. 

But that stunt repulsed millions, and it was so obviously performative that it only makes her seem more entitled.

If she actually cared about breaking out of the system, about just being an artist, there were a million better ways to do it. A surprise drop. A social media blackout. No tour. Anything would have been better than dogging on her most loyal fans in an extremely public forum and adopting an ungrateful, petulant persona. When combined with the lyrics off “Scarlet,” her real motives are easy to unveil.

It’s money. It’s all just money. Any publicity is good publicity, and I’d bet that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people streamed “Scarlet” to see if any of it was real at all (myself included).

There may be no morals left in the music industry, but they’re still alive in fanbases, scavenging around wastelands of greed and corruption. Maybe Doja thought no one would care, or maybe that people would appreciate her crudeness, that most people are as debauched as she is. But we aren’t, and she has half a million less Instagram followers to show for it. 

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About the Contributor
Katya Roudakov
Katya Roudakov, A&E Editor & Design Manager
Howdy! I’m Katya, a senior and third-year USJ member. I love writing, reading, space, and science, and I’m super excited to continue working with the USJ as A&E editor and Design Editor. When I’m not doing things for school, you can find me rock climbing, watching movies, or mediocrely playing a handful of instruments.

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