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As a Doja Cat Lover, Here Are My Takeaways From Her New Album ‘Scarlet’

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Amala Dlamini, known to most as Doja Cat, is famous for her previous pop and rap hits that do lyrical cartwheels with a sexy flare. Many idolize Doja Cat for her ultra-feminine presence in the rap industry which was shaped by her first three albums Amala, Hot Pink, and Planet Her. However, her iconic image recently changed with her fourth studio album, Scarlet. I’m here to say that while I mourn the old Doja Cat style, I am loving this change.

Let’s Recap

To truly understand Doja’s new musical era, we must first look at where she has been in the past six months leading up to Scarlet‘s release. Anyone who’s been on Twitter or has so much as taken a glimpse at Doja’s Instagram has noticed a change, and it’s a pretty big one. 

You may have noticed she’s gone a little crazy with posting. She’s in what fans have interpreted as her “new era,” which features posting social media content that is almost scary. Her posts utilize a new fiery, angry, and somewhat bloody (listen to “Paint The Town Red” here) persona. Contrast this with her old eras where she was hyper-feminine, pink, and stereotypically flirtatious; one could say it’s quite the change that fans are not used to.

That’s not all: she also had a series of questionable deleted tweets. Those tweets included her denying her love for her fans. She replied to a fan asking her to say that she loves them with “I don’t cuz I don’t even know y’all.” Additionally, Doja tweeted that her fans shouldn’t name themselves the “Kittenz” because her fans “don’t name themselves.” Following all of this, Doja’s fans were having a hard time adjusting to her new aesthetic and persona. After all, they are the ones who built her fame.

Where is she coming from?

As it would turn out, Doja Cat had a motive for her new method of posting. She was building a new presence for her first all-rap album, Scarlet. Many fans can claim that Doja fell off with this change since she’s not acting like her old self, but is that not the purpose of being a musical artist? Aren’t artists supposed to be all about constant self-discovery, persona inventing, and style exploration? While Doja may not be doing it conventionally, she is certainly gaining attention. In the wise words of P.T. Barnum, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Breaking down Scarlet

I will admit to you now that I was hesitant upon listening to the new album. I was such a stan of the original Doja Cat sound. She had a way of making me feel empowered while embracing my girliness, and I was scared she was going to lose that energy. 

After my initial listen of Scarlet, I was impressed. It’s more of a rap album than a pop album. I would mentally struggle to see any of these songs on mainstream radio, and I think that’s exactly what Doja was going for. The album is moody and strong in its lyrical tone. It isn’t subtle, it’s bold.

One of my favorite songs is “Go Off.” It has this upbeat track that is bubblier than the rest of the album. I think that element speaks to her past music, but it’s pure rap. The track “Skull And Bones” has this distinct R&B sound that is comforting. When the rap picks up around the one-minute mark with the line “Can I say I digress, you the aggressor / Now y’all say, y’all impressed/ I’m the successor,” I couldn’t hold back my excitement. That lyrical flow is classic Doja Cat and music to my ears. 

With every song, it’s evident that Doja is adjusting her style. She doesn’t want to be categorized, put into any box, or folded to the pressure of anyone’s standards. This is purely her sound. It’s kooky, in-your-face, and bold, the same way Doja lives her life. While it was an adjustment from the Doja we watched grow to fame, it’s almost comforting to know that she is embracing the music she wants to and doesn’t care about others’ negative opinions.

Doja Cat is coming to Miami, Tampa, and Atlanta in late November on the Scarlet tour. If you want to catch her performing with Ice Spice and new rapper Doechii, buy your tickets today!

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Maggie Metz is a Staff Writer in the Florida State chapter. She is a freshman who is majoring in Advertising and minoring in Sociology with an interest in working with an advertising agency in her future. She enjoys a hot latte, social media, nature walks, yoga, and Legos.