Doja Cat trades pop for hip-hop with ‘Scarlet’ album

Doja Cat said what she said: She’d rather be famous instead.

Award-winning pop and hip hop artist Doja Cat released her fourth album on Friday titled “Scarlet.”

The title seems to be a nod to her new aesthetic, which traded in the pop princess vibes of her sophomore album “Hot Pink” for a darker, bloody, almost Satanic mood board for “Scarlet.”

Doja Cat made her genre switch clear to fans on social media last May when she posted the statement via the X platform, formerly known as Twitter: “planet her and hot pink were cash-grabs and yall fell for it. now i can go disappear somewhere and touch grass with my loved ones on an island while yall weep for mediocre pop.”

This public dismissal of her earlier work and ridicule of her fans turned many away from Doja Cat’s music.

She, however, made it clear in “Scarlet” that she can make whatever music she wants, and people who appreciate it will listen.

“Scarlet” is without a doubt a hip-hop album that tries to distance Doja Cat from her past pop hits like “Say So” and “Kiss Me More,” but the effort feels strained.

Many of the songs overlap each other with similar beats and flows, but there are a few that stick out.

The lead single of the album, “Paint the Town Red” was an instant success that hit number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and was the first rap song to take that spot in over a year.

The song exploded on TikTok as well, with over two million videos posted of people dancing and singing along to the catchy beat.

“Paint the Town Red” plays to Doja Cat’s strengths—being the perfect tune just teetering between pop and rap that fits in perfectly on a “Girl Power” playlist.

The other single on the album, “Demons,” is much darker and more bass-driven, with Doja Cat practically screaming on the chorus.

In the song, she raps: “I am on to bigger things / I just bought a limousine / You live like me in your dreams,” telling the world that she’s unbothered by its opinions of her and she’s doing just fine on her own.


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“Scarlet” explores themes Doja Cat covered in her previous albums with an edgier rap twist, including the female empowerment track “Go Off.”

The song is about never letting anyone silence you or make you feel like you’re not in charge of your own life.

Doja Cat’s best lyricism comes when she’s passionate about what she raps or sings about, and “Go Off” is an example of that.

While there’s certainly a razored edge to many of the songs on “Scarlet,” Doja Cat lets her guard down on “Agora Hills.”

Her fans see a softer side when she sings, “I wanna show you off, I wanna show you off / I wanna brag about it, I wanna tie the knot.”

She was serious about someone in her life, enough to start thinking about marriage.

After “Agora Hills,” the album goes on a four-track run of mediocre songs with uninteresting beats and lyrics.

In “Love Life,” she repeats the words “I love it when my life’s like this” 25 times.

Doja Cat has proven herself in the industry to be a talented songwriter, so it’s strange to see songs included on the album that aren’t nearly as compelling as some from “Hot Pink” and “Planet Her.”

The final track of “Scarlet” is called “WYM Freestyle” and has all the ingredients of a great rap song.

Strong beat, accusatory lyrics that can be angry-screamed and Doja Cat letting loose and freestyling towards the end.

As a whole, “Scarlet” is not as strong and cohesive as Doja Cat’s previous work.

Some of the songs get lost along the way, but the ones that stick are powerful enough to be added to a playlist and enjoyed on their own.


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