Why Did Nobody Tell Me About Doja Cat?

I predict that one of two things will happen when I publish this article: I’ll either be praised for sharing a musical gem with the world, or I'll get absolutely roasted for being behind the times. I like to think of myself as fairly in touch with trends, but alas, that’s not always the case. So here goes:

What I share with you today is my very recent discovery of LA-based rapper and singer Doja Cat. Being an avid fan of everything wonderfully weird in the music industry (Björk and Melanie Martinez are among my favorites), I’m genuinely shocked and a little disappointed that I didn’t come across her sooner. Her aesthetic can only be described as a technicolor playground, complete with cartoonish motifs, ranging from the sugary pastels of kawaii culture to the neon animal prints reminiscent of Lisa Frank in the ‘90s. Oh, how I miss thee, obnoxiously adorable school folders…

The visual appeal doesn’t end there though. In her music video for “Juicy,” published on Aug. 15 and featuring Tyga, Doja is depicted as a variety of fruit-human hybrids. In one scene, she is dressed quite fetchingly as a halved watermelon, lying on the floor and singing while donning a vibrant red wig. In others, her hair and color scheme channel Betty Boop, while her bottom end is made to look like a pair of cherries. It all sounds super wacky on paper, which it undeniably is, but the video is entrancing.

Her bubbly and eccentric visuals are not all she has to offer. Her singing voice is playful and pleasant, and her rhymes are clever, delivered with just the right amount of sass and accompanied by energetic beats. She also pairs her talents with body-positive and sex-positive messages. Doja flaunts her curves and is an advocate of embracing natural beauty in both her songs and in interviews. Her 2018 single “Go To Town” is one giant innuendo, making light of the often taboo subject of female desire and sensuality. A playlist with some Doja Cat songs mixed in is sure to make you feel like the kick-butt vixen you are as you walk to class. Trust me on this last part; I speak from experience.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of Doja Cat and her artistry is the fact that she is, in all senses of the word, a meme. The most indescribably funny music video I have been lucky enough to see is “Mooo!,” which was released just over a year ago. It consists of the artist bouncing around in front of low-quality green screen images, showing off a tight cow-print outfit and munching on fast food. As pixelated burgers, anime clips and cow GIFs scroll behind her, she boasts of being the baddest cow on the farm. The concept reminds me of something you would do with friends for fun – procrastinating and goofing around on a computer – except the music quality is genuinely good despite its silly subject matter. I’m not entirely sure I can do the video justice, but, rest assured, I have sent it to every friend still willing to take my music and/or meme recommendations.

All this goes to say that I am likely going to begin identifying myself as a member of the Doja Cat fandom. If she isn’t one already, this woman is pop-culture icon material, and she is a living hodge-podge of the cute, the quirky and the raunchy. She has been professionally making music since 2013, and to that I say, “Do better, YouTube recommendations.” You could have blessed me with knowledge of her so much sooner.

A little disclaimer: Doja Cat’s songs are definitively NSFW, so maybe don’t blast it at your next family reunion. But who’s to say you can’t enjoy your new girl anthems in the comfort of your own home or on a night out with friends? Rock on, ladies, and turn up the volume a few notches the next time “Tia Tamera” comes on.