MUSIC

Reflecting on Doja Cat, “Moo!" and Cancel Culture (One Year Later)

A few months ago, Doja Cat was trending for her "Juicy" music video, causing people to question: Wasn't she canceled?

RCA Records

In early August 2018, Doja Cat's cow-print top got in the way of her music career.

The distracting clothing choice manifested into a meme-sensation: "Moo!" Overnight, a singer I saw perform for 200 people just months prior was now being noticed by artists like Chance the Rapper (who would give his stamp of approval).

Last year, "Moo!" was more than just a meme; it was the beginning of a movement. It was a part of a cultural shift to meme music, and it became a cash cow, so to speak. It inspired Halloween costumes, overpriced cow-print items on Depop, and Instagram captions. To the casual observer, Doja Cat seemed to come out of nowhere—a breakout sensation similar to Cardi B. Her silliness, vibrant visuals, and sharp lyricism demonstrated more potential than others would care to see.

In actuality, Doja Cat had been on the music scene since she was 16, with her single "So High" released in 2014. Her debut album, Amala, came out months prior to "Moo!" but received little recognition beyond her small cult following. Her fans remained well-fed with her debut's smooth vocals, playful delivery, and bopping raps—until "Moo!"

But then, peak cancel culture snuck up on the then-22-year-old after gaining a massive, too good-to-be-true herd of fans. Someone read through three years of content on her Twitter feed to find transphobic and homophobic slur-ridden tweets written when she would've been a senior in high school. Doja Cat's initial response to being "canceled" failed to take accountability and used the same homophobic slur in question in her "apology." Her fumbled contrition took a few times to nail. She tried multiple times to apologize afterward, but the damage was done.

And just like that, it was as if Thanos snapped her out of our collective, mainstream consciousness.

But on Thursday, Doja Cat dropped an enthralling music video for her remix of "Juicy," featuring overrated and outdated rapper Tyga. The original track was released back in early 2019 on her deluxe album of Amala. Only now is it getting attention after its inclusion in HBO's Euphoria and with this attention-grabbing music video.

Doja Cat, Tyga - Juicy (Official Video) www.youtube.com

When the video began trending on Twitter, it reintroduced her music and fun, flirty aesthetic to mainstream audiences. People began tweeting to praise the slick, rich visuals, her natural body, and how fantastic the song itself was. Still, some remembered her fall from grace and praised her as their "homophobic queen."

It took one year (almost exactly) for Doja Cat to be fully praised and recognized for her talents after being exposed for her past poor judgment.

Unfortunately, it seems that male performers like Chris Brown and XXXtentacion receive praise no matter how bad their misdeeds are, including verbal and physical abuse. The late XXXtentacion is still remembered fondly, with performers like Billie Eilish and J. Cole coming to his defense—even though he beat his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Most men in the hip-hop and R&B communities are given endless leeway for their horrendous actions; meanwhile, female artists aren't given the same allowance to slip-up and show flaws. People remember Ariana Grande's donut-licking, Taylor Swift's lack of political activism, and Miley's odd, problematic comments more than Chris Brown beating Rihanna or Drake texting underage girls. As a woman, your words weigh more than a man's actions, except if you're loud and have a lot of opinions, like Cardi B (she's not "cancelled", she just sat down with Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders).

Is a year of irrelevance enough punishment? Who's allowed to decide? Why does cancel culture even exist in the first place, when it's obviously an inadequate measure of wrongdoings and demonstrates severe social biases?

Today, Doja Cat may be the only musical artist that went from up-and-comer to breakout sensation to #canceled to up-and-comer all over again. Over the past year, Doja Cat's still amassed millions of views for her nostalgia-ridden hit "Tia Tamera," featuring XXL's Freshman Class rapper, Rico Nasty. The comments are flooded with people wondering why the song and the performers haven't blown up just yet.

Doja Cat - Tia Tamera (Official Video) ft. Rico Nasty www.youtube.com

But this week, it seems that Doja Cat has finally made her way back into the limelight. Should we be thankful? I don't know. But her hard-working, lyrical genius is finally getting more recognition than her problematic past.

MUSIC

I Won't Touch C***s B***n's "Indigo" Album, So Here's My Perfectly Generic Review

C***s B***n is an abuser and I refuse to listen to his album. This is my review.

While we're still vocally holding other predatory celebrities to task for all the awful stuff they've done, we're also dropping everything to listen to notorious abuser C***s B***n's newest album.

Megastars like Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, and Drake lined up to collaborate, because we're apparently all fine with a guy beating the s**t out of his girlfriend, as long as he's also involved in an active rape case overseas. Sorry, Freudian slip. I meant as long as we like his music.

Well I won't support it. I won't touch C***s B***n's dumb Indigo album with a ten-foot pole. I'm still going to review it. I'm just not going to listen to it first.

That's basically the nature of music reviews, anyway. Someone half-listens to an album right after it drops and then frantically scribbles 300 words about their first impressions under the guise of expertise. I'm saving myself half an hour, tops. Besides, you don't actually care what any reviewer says––you don't know them, you don't share their tastes, and you just want them to agree with you so you can feel validated or disagree so you can get mad.

listening to music © Ptasha | Dreamstime.com

So upfront, here are my tastes: I greatly enjoy Broadway musicals, and nothing will ever top Les Miserables: The Dream Cast in Concert from 1995 starring Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean opposite Philip Quast as Javert. The last thing I listened to was this two hour "Most Epic Anime Mix," which is truly indicative of a lot about me. I'm not a fan of Kanye West as a person, but yes, I think his music is phenomenal.

Now that we have all that out of the way, here are my thoughts on C***s B***n's Indigo, which again, I have not and will never listen to:

The first track of Indigo kicks things off with some major audio. The sound designer definitely knows how to lay down a beat, and I found the beat to be both consistent and fitting for the lyrics. The lyrics themselves spoke to me in the literal sense that someone was speaking lyrics and I was listening to them. The voice was on pitch, or maybe it wasn't. (Who cares? C***s B***n is an abuser.)

I thought it was very interesting how that one song sampled that other song. The song it sampled was a song I recognized but haven't actively listened to since I was younger. Now, every time I hear this new song, it brings up memories of the old song, which may or may not be a positive experience. I do think the sample works for this track, but it's also a little lazy, and I'm not sure whether or not I feel comfortable calling it transformative––at least, not enough to warrant hearing this old song on the airwaves again. (Remember when C***s B***n pleaded guilty to felony assault for beating Rihanna?)

man with guitar Generic musician playing guitar.© Gabriel Blaj | Dreamstime.com


Another major part of the album was all the featured artists on so many of the tracks. If I'm being perfectly honest, some of them were a lot better than others. The featured artist I already liked did a really killer job! His/her/their verse was straight fire, and stole the whole track away from abuser C***s B***n. The featured artist I liked least, on the other hand, dropped a lazy verse that sounded like he/she/they were totally phoning it in. It sounded bad to me, and I did not like it a single bit. (I almost liked it less than I do abuser C***s B***n.)

Ultimately, while this album has its ups and downs––some parts are certainly musically stronger than other parts––nobody can deny that this album is something you are technically capable of listening to (unless, of course, you're deaf). My suggestion would be to avoid it entirely, because C***s B***n is a giant piece of human fecal matter, but should you choose to listen, go in with low expectations. You just may be surprised, or maybe not. Either way, the UK had the right idea when they banned C***s B***n from entering their country.

Music Features

Soulja Boy Says He 'Made' Drake

In the hour long interview, Soulja Boy insulted just about every major rapper.

Soulja Boy has had his fair share of beef in the past, but as he's lost relevance, so has his drama. But in a new interview with Hot 97's The Breakfast Club, Soulja Boy insulted just about every major rapper and repeatedly made wildly false claims, receiving a raised eyebrow from host Charlamagne tha God. Things first took a turn when Soulja Boy claimed he had the biggest come back of 2018 and Charlamagne pointed out that Tyga made a bigger record. To which Soulja Boy responded, "Tyga? The n—- that lost his bitch to Travis Scott?" Then, when it was suggested that Soulja do a record with Tyga, he said, "I love Tyga."

After that not-at-all-forced 180, the interview moved on to his beef with Chris Brown, his bizarre new video game console, the Soulja Watch (his knockoff Apple Watch product), Marriage Boot Camparriage Boot Camp, and the shoot-out at his house in Atlanta. He eventually moved on to criticizing Kanye, saying, "I'm younger than you. I'm flyer than you. You crying on Twitter every week about Drake. You gotta stop that shit. You look lame. You look cap. Real street n—-s, young kids like me, and the generation looking at you like you goofy. You up here supporting Trump and shit. You supporting Trump? What the fuck wrong with you? That shit not right. I done sat back long enough. I'm not holding my tongue no more. Kanye, call me. Get in tune with me 'cause if not, I'm gonna keep checking you. You need to stop supporting Trump."

Then, most notably, the hosts pointed out that Soulja had beef with Drake, and Soulja stood up and shouted, "Drake? DRAAAAKE? The n—- that got bodied by Pusha T? The n—– that's hiding his kid from the world but the world won't hide from his kid? Aubrey Graham in the wheelchair? DRAKE? … Stop playing with me like I didn't teach Drake everything he know."

He then went on to rap a segment of Drake's "Miss Me," and Charlamagne pointed out it sounds exactly like "Kiss Me Through The Phone," Soulja's song from 2008. And Soulja said, "That's Soulja! That's my bar! He copied my whole fucking flow! Word-for-word! Bar-for-bar! Don't act like I didn't make Drake."

Watch the full interview below:

Soulja Boy Drags Tyga, Drake, Kanye West & Reclaims The Best Comeback Of 2018 www.youtube.com


Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.



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Congrats YBN Almighty Jay!

Just when you thought news about Blac Chyna was simmering down after her beef with her baby daddy, Rob Kardashian and his family late last year, the stripper-turned-model-turned-reality-star-turned-whatever's next is making headlines again. If you remember, Chyna went after the Kardashians in late '17 for "damaging her brand" after her ex posted nude pics of her on social media and the family "verbally and physically abused" her. But it looks like the lady has moved on… to an 18-year-old – rapper YBN Almighty Jay, her current main squeeze.

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She is reported to be pregnant by the fella – barely an adult himself – and he's over the moon. As Page Six quoted him, "I don't wear condoms. . . I would not want to f–k a bitch I did not want to get pregnant. If Chyna got pregnant, I would keep that s–t like 'ohh daddy love you,' I love that ass.'" If that's not romance, then cupid's a con artist.

This will be Chyna's third child. She has a 5-year-old son, King Cairo, with her ex, Tyga, and a 17-month-old girl, Dream, with Kardashian. And baby makes three. So does YBN Almighty Jay in terms of Chyna's "baby daddies."

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Like an episode of Maury, Chyna's wild love life only gets wackier as she supposedly matures. And by the way, Chyna met her teenage boyfriend on Christian Mingle. Almighty, indeed.

Stay tuned for more Chyna baby news. "Bump" watchers can be sure to see/hear more from the pair as their relationship (and Chyna's belly) grows. In hindsight, Kris Jenner should have kept that reality show, Rob & Chyna on the air. This story would surely bring in better ratings than Rob's sock line sales.

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Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on PopDust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, AMC Daycare, and more.


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MUSIC

Tyga and Kanye West Consummate GOOD Music Signing with "Feel Me"

Kardashian/Jenner royalty has become practically synonymous with the GOOD Music Golden Child.

Kanye West had a big year, for better or worse, that ended mostly on the latter note. And Tyga, whom I cannot help but associate with Soulja Boy because of their parallel struggles for legitimacy, took some Ls for deriving his primary relevance from the instafame and infamy of Kylie Jenner. Those sorts of things, however, obviously do not bother Kanye West. And to be fair, if they still bother you at this point you probably don't like most of modern hip-hop.

One of the moments that made oldheads sneer and groan was Kanye signing Tyga to his label. What do they have in common other both being broadly labelled "rap" and dating members of America's favorite least favorite family? What would that even sound like? Well, we finally have an answer to that question and its name is "Feel Me."

Like most things Kanye does, this goes far above popular expectations. So what do I think of it? It's definitely my favorite Tyga song of 2016.

Look, it's not Kanye's fault that this song doesn't get me there. Blame Apple Music. After seeing the announcement tweet, I did what any good hip-hop writer would do and went to the "What's New" page on Apple Music to see if this song has enough hype or musical value to get a featured spot and most of the time that works. But Apple Music seemed to concur with my assessment of the song and opted instead to re-post Blake Shelton's album instead of Ye's new track (not a decision I can wholly condone).

So what was I forced to do to find this song? I had to type the song's name manually into the search bar and deal with every song titled "Feel Me" ever considered worthy of the Apple Music library. After listening to the song in question, which was a run of the mill Ye-Trap song with dueling verses a la "Facts," the next most searched "Feel Me" came up, which was from Tunechi's Tha Carter II. It was and still is absolute fire.

Overall, Tyga and Kanye's "Feel Me" is a forgettable track that could be the first track off a potentially hot album, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Check out "Feel Me" by Tyga and Kanye West on Apple Music.