Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

On Sept. 22, Doja Cat released her fourth studio album, Scarlet. As you may know, this artist has been in the spotlight recently due to her interactions with her fans online. These comments have left her fans questioning whether the artist is grateful for them and their support. Despite where one stands on the issue, I have been rather interested in this album. In a cover story with Elle magazine, the rapper announced that this album would be “predominantly rap,” compared to her previous bodies of work. She also continued to mention on social media that her albums Hot Pink and Planet Her were “cash-grabs and mediocre pop” which caused a lot of commotion on X (formerly known as Twitter). The rapper’s bold statements have turned many away but have also left many fans anxiously waiting on the edge of their seats. Nevertheless, I listened to the album over the weekend and thought I would share my opinions on the anticipated album.

I should preface by saying typically when I listen to an album for the first time, I tend to listen to the production over the lyrics. Typically, if it doesn’t appeal to me on the production side, I have a hard time going back to it. On my first initial listen, I was intrigued by the beats which consisted of a mix of ’90s-inspired, west-coast, lo-fi, and nostalgic pop, just to name a few. However, I knew I needed more time to digest each song. Tracks such as “Wet Vagina” and “Agora Hills” were immediate likes for me, but I wanted to pay attention to the lyrics and give a more in-depth listen to every track.

I won’t lie, I think it’s difficult for any artist to create an album without any features. Scarlet has a total of 17 tracks and is almost an hour long. After doing some research, I discovered that this album is filled with several collaborations on the production side. While I understand that it takes more than one producer to create a song and an album, I think that it is a risky choice to collaborate with this many producers. Pitchfork wrote an article and listed all of the producers for each individual track. Ultimately, I think that having this many producers made the album incohesive; which is unfortunate because I love a cohesive album from start to finish. This has led me to see this album as two entities: It’s a mix of one half being trap/pop-rap and the other half being R&B-inspired/jazz hip-hop. Tracks such as “F**k The Girls (FTG)” and “Ouchies” not only showed her rapping skills but have a great vocal performance as well. However, there are a lot of tracks on this album that are not that memorable. I commonly found myself wondering when the next song would play, and not too ecstatic to relisten to the album.

Overall, this album isn’t for me. Honestly, I found this album to be repetitive, incoherent, and inconsistent. Yes, Doja Cat leaned more into a hip-hop sound and showed us that she could rap, but I don’t feel that she took a lot of risks on this album. I feel that she stayed within her lanes and didn’t challenge or bring anything new to the table. While promoting this new album, she appeared to give it a dark and edgy aesthetic and bashed her old albums, to make this one seem more different than it actually is. In reality, there are songs on this album that are similar to her older work. Perhaps if the album was shorter and more coherent, I would feel otherwise. Secondly, besides most of the singles, nothing really jumps out to me. I think that if you only listen to the singles, then you can get an idea of this album’s concept. That being said, I will admit that there are a lot of catchy songs on this album. I am obsessed with the nostalgic pop sounds that came from “Agora Hills.” I love how it sounds like she is talking on the phone and giving this “valley girl” type of voice. I also enjoy “Wet Vagina,” “Demons,” “F**k The Girls (FTG),” “Ouchies,” and “Paint The Town Red.” 

At the end of the day, Doja Cat has a lot of potential as an artist and has created a lot of great work visually and sonically. In some ways, I admire that Doja remains true to herself and doesn’t try to appease anyone. She will always put herself first and make the music that she wants to make. This album had a lot of potential, but besides the tracks that stood out for me, I don’t think I will come back to this album.

PK Kennedy is an active member within Her Campus at Pace. They are a social media assistant and help oversee Her Campus at Pace’s Pinterest account and write weekly articles focusing on, but not limited to, local events, music, and film/television pieces. Outside of Her Campus, PK is a senior at Pace University (NYC) and is majoring in Communications and Media Studies with a double minor in Digital Marketing and Arts and Entertainment Management. Recently, PK has been delving into multiple social media and design platforms to further their knowledge about digital marketing. During this school year, and beyond graduation, they hope to continue to learn more about photoshop and video editing software. Beyond school, PK enjoys listening and discovering new music, enjoying a cup of coffee and a sweet treat, having hour-long conversations about Star Wars and/or Marvel. If not doing any of the items listed above, PK is most definitely “rotting” in bed and gaining more knowledge about astrology and rewatching their favorite movie/TV shows again.