Photo Credit: RCA RECORDS
Amalaratna Zandile Dlamini, professionally known as Doja Cat, released her second album Hot Pink late last year and it later became her breakthrough record within the music industry. Most tracks on Hot Pink are catchy, with each one having a memorable line or a familiar beat. The songs are just as colorful and fun as her music videos. Doja shows her “in your face” attitude and leaves us to love or hate it. Her straightforward lyrics are sexualized and empowering.
The album was released in November 2019, but her breakout hit “Say So” is still on top of the Billboard charts currently in 2020. The dance from Doja’s music video became a TikTok phenomenon, and there was a recent remix of the song with Nicki Minaj released, putting the album on top again. Doja and Nicki made history as the first two female rappers to reach #1 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Say So” is an absolute gem of a song. It is very funky, groovy, and has a feel-good baseline and beat. The topic Doja touches on is also relatable: that moment you know someone likes you, but doesn’t say or do anything about it. This scenario causes Doja to ask, “Why won’t you say so?”
Doja Cat’s music videos are vibrant to say the least. The video for “Rules” is set in a desert, where Doja has cat eyes and a pink nose, sipping milk like a kitten. In the video she’s selling dried mice like drugs. Doja definitely has a way with wordplay: “Play with my p*ssy, but don’t play with my emotions.” The song “Rules” came out as a single, right after Doja’s first album Amala. In the video for “Juicy” featuring Tyga, we see Doja wearing a watermelon costume and dancing around a whole lot of other fruit and vegetables. The video also includes girls scrolling through TikTok and a psychedelic scene where Doja and Tyga are turned into lemonade. The lyrics are very straightforward – the song is about Doja’s curves.
Another music video from the album, “Cyber Sex”, shows a porn website where the viewer chooses Doja as their cam girl. Heavily influenced by the topic of robots and cyber-punk, the video has a cat hologram. The song is about the modern day phone sex, with lyrics like: “Is you into that? Lets break the internet.” Funny enough, Doja has already broken the Internet before with her 2018 track “Mooo!” which is a song about her being a cow. She posted it on Instagram just for her community, and didn’t really expect it to be anything other than a funny inside joke. The video ended up going video and is currently sitting at 73 million views.
A song that came out as a promo for the album, “Bottom B*tch”, samples the pop-punk rock band Blink-182. As far as samples go, the song “Streets” uses B2K’s “Streets Is Callin’” in its intro. On the track “Better Than Me”, Doja talks about how all her man’s other women aren’t better than her. Doja sings: “Careful who you f*ckin’ with, ’cause you just lost one”, which might be a nod to Lauryn Hill’s classic song “Lost Ones.”
Doja references ululating in the song “Won’t Bite” (featuring Smino). Ululating is a high-pitched sound, similar to a howl. This style of singing is common throughout the world, including South Africa, where Doja is from. In “Like That” featuring Gucci Mane, we hear a slight resemblance to Mariah Carey and a possible reference to Cardi B’s “I Like It Like That” in the outro of the song. Doja’s flow has also been compared vocally to Nicki Minaj. We can hear the resemblance on the tracks “Talk Dirty” and “Shine.” Where as in the song “Addiction” she sounds a bit different, more electronic and similar to The Weeknd. Overall, Doja Cat’s transformation has almost been unrecognizable: this pink haired diva is the same person that sang about being a cow with fries in her nose? Hot Pink was a project that really got Doja the attention and admiration she truly deserves.