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Doja Cat’s return to controversy with fans and latest album

Graphic by Audrey Garcia

After reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 with her song “Say So” and achieving platinum status with her last two LPs, Doja Cat has firmly established herself as a superstar in the music industry. 

Her fans eagerly awaited the Sept. 22 arrival of her new album “Scarlet.” However, excitement waned when Doja Cat made questionable remarks about her fanbase. 

In an exchange on the social media platform Threads, the pop artist expressed disapproval of her fans naming themselves “kittenz.” She wrote, “If you call yourself ‘kitten’ or ‘kittenz,’ that means you need to get off your phone and get a job and help your parents.”

Confused by her attitude, one Doja Cat stan account replied asking for alternative names. Doja Cat responded by saying, “Just delete the entire account and rethink everything. It’s never too late.” 

In response, fans did just that. Shortly after this exchange, prominent Doja Cat stan accounts deactivated in protest of her ingratitude. Since then, the singer has reportedly lost more than 500,000 Instagram followers.

This wasn’t the first or last time Doja Cat sparked controversy among fans. In 2020, videos of Doja Cat in a TinyChat video room resurfaced on X, formerly known as Twitter. In the videos, she can be heard exclaiming homophobic slurs and racist remarks. Although she apologized in a written statement, her history of hostility toward gender and ethnic minorities left a lingering distaste among many fans.

Despite rising backlash, Doja Cat followed through with her initial plans to release “Scarlet” after rolling out singles “Demons” and “Paint the Town Red.” Both tracks received negative attention for satanic portrayals in the respective music videos.

In the visual for “Demons”, Doja Cat reveals an all new look characterized by black body paint, bloodshot eyes and long horns protruding from her head. After its release, the Los Angeles native was mocked by fans and met criticism from panicked religious followers.

Last spring, Doja Cat announced on X that her previous two projects were merely cash grabs and taunted her fans for weeping over “mediocre pop.” Ultimately, she appeared to denounce her prior albums in celebration of the style she exhibits on “Scarlet.”

The problem? Audiences believed many tracks on her latest record resemble the same pop sound she triumphed on her 2021 album “Planet Her” and 2019’s “Hot Pink.” This lack of artistic evolution coupled with her recent attitudes have made Doja Cat a target for criticism.

After listening to the album, it is evident that while auditory changes in her production are marginal, her style of delivery has differed drastically.

“Scarlet” has a run time of 57 minutes, without featuring other artists. In her lyrics, Doja Cat provides an apathetic yet confrontational tone with cutthroat delivery, making this LP a worthwhile listening experience.

Despite so much friction in her career, Doja Cat’s opening track “Paint the Town Red” reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

Regardless of how fans feel about Doja Cat as a person, her artistic potential has grown with each project. “Scarlet” can be described as Doja Cat’s dramatic entrance into a villain era, and it’s clear neither dissent nor critics can slow down her momentum. 

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