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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Liner Notes: Doja Cat cuts fans loose, leaving blood stains behind with ‘Scarlet’

Illustration by Yash Markendey
Doja Cat’s latest album “Scarlet” takes a sharp turn from her past bubblegum pop releases.

Better known by her stage name Doja Cat, rapper and singer Amala Dlamini disagrees with the narrative that the fans are what make you famous. If her fiery presence on Instagram Threads is any indication, it appears that Doja would prefer it if she had no followers at all. 

“Scarlet,” her latest album released Friday, is a testament to this fateful unfastening from her fandom in all its feisty, freaky funk.

This new album is the rapper’s fourth, and it is a pointed departure from the preceding Doja-proclaimed hyper-pop sellouts “Planet Her” and “Hot Pink.” On “Scarlet,” Doja Cat comes out swinging with revenge-filled rhyme and ravenous rage. 

Doja wants it known that she’s doing just fine on her own — making it as clear in this new album as she does in heated Instagram comment battles. 

Billboard chart-topper “Paint the Town Red,” the album’s opener, signifies the beginning of a new, perhaps violently independent, era for Ms. Cat. She’s not out on the town for a good time, but she’s certainly out there waiting for her foes –– and her fans –– ready to give them both hell. Doja raps over a sample from Dionne Warwick’s 1964 song “Walk on By,” the perfect jazzy touch of delicacy for an otherwise fearfully frisky song.

On “Shutcho,” Doja doubles down on her new defining message to fans, saying, “Stop-callin’-me-sis body b—h, we not akin/You do not exist to me, miss, I’m not your friend.” This missive is scattered throughout the album on tracks like “Agora Hills,” where Doja quips, “F–k what they heard, I don’t f–k with them birds,” a reference to the Twitter-sphere that her fanbase primarily occupies.

This anti-fan personality trait isn’t a new face for Doja; in fact, it seems as though she actively seeks out adversity amongst her admirers. This summer, in one of her more controversial moves, the artist took to Instagram, calling her fans “miserable hoes” after they deigned to weigh in on her alleged relationship with comedian and Twitch streamer J.Cyrus. 

In the month of July alone, the “Say So” singer lost over 400,000 Instagram followers — perhaps to her personal delight. She’s caught beef with everyone from her own fans to “Stranger Things” star Noah Schnapp and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. 

“Scarlet” pivots from Doja Cat’s previous albums that were perhaps a little more “for the girls” and instead says, like the name of the album’s fourth track, “F–k The Girls (FTG).” Her lyrics are cutting and quick, spotlighting large amounts of juvenile rhyme suited for ease of delivery. But while the lyrical pairing might be just a tad too kindergartener-accidentally-watched-an-R-rated-movie, the message is crystal clear: Doja Cat doesn’t need your validation.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @TabithaParent12

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