Though initially released on August 4 of this year, Doja Cat’s trippy, macabre video for her new song “Paint The Town Red” is perfectly appropriate for the comedown off of a mid-week Halloween.
Hot on the heels of relationship controversy, some fiery back-and-forth with fans on social media, and what Vulture.com’s Jennifer Zhan describes as a subsequent “mass unstanning,” Doja doesn’t mince words in denouncing her critics and declaring her Top-40 dominance in this brazen rebuff from her most recent album, Scarlet. On a real ear-worm of a chorus, she asserts: “Yeah, b***h, I said what I said/I’d rather be famous instead,” Despite her detractors, Doja is still in her own estimation “a bad lil’ b***h” and “a rebel.”
The video itself is a vivd collection of lurid and surreal images, kicking off with a bloodied Doja shadowed in inky black-and-white removing one of her own eyeballs, then casting it aside. This colorless intro is starkly contrasted with a vibrantly colored sequence of the singer astride a green Liceti-style monster, animated in a way reminiscent of Monty Python-era Terry Gilliam. We then see Doja clad in a form-fitting crimson robe quite literally dancing with Death, transformed into an argyrian devil (and, incidentally, reunited with her lost eyeball now dangling overhead), and finally lobbing around hunks of raw meat from a butcher block.
It’s hard to contradict Doja’s lyrical braggadocio in the wake of the numerous milestones this latest hit has racked up for the rapper-turned-pop sensation-turned-rapper again. “Paint The Town Red” is now the first solo rap song by a female artist to top Spotify’s Global and US Top 50 chart, as well as the first song by a solo female rapper to top the UK Singles Chart, and the fastest solo female rap song to acquire 100 million streams to date. One imagines Doja is eating it up. As she insists in the song’s second verse: “My happiness is all of your misery.”
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