Well, it was quite the weekend for Doja Cat. The rapper and singer should be feeling on top of the world, as not too long ago, she nabbed her first No. 1 hit with the song “Say So” alongside Nicki Minaj. However, the internet did as the internet does when someone gets popular, and dug up some pretty unsightly moments from her recent past.
The controversy appears to have kicked off after Lana Del Rey’s ridiculous “woe is me” Instagram note about wanting “delicate” women to be featured in the feminist movement, which garnered the ire of the worldwide web due to Lana name-dropping successful women of color to make her point. Doja Cat, who was one of the women mentioned in the letter, responded in the comments by writing “Gang sunk that dunker.” Some have interpreted the now-deleted comment as one of positivity, however, that didn’t stop many others from coming for Doja and her past racist remarks.
Per The Daily Dot, recorded clips of the “Won’t Bite” singer participating in “racist incel” chat rooms made the rounds, where Doja was speaking with white men who made racist jokes while she laughed along. She also reportedly said in the chat that she didn’t want to be black, but didn’t mind being “thick.” (Her father is a South African Zulu and her mother is Jewish-American.)
To make matters worse, her 2015 song “Dindu Nuffin” resurfaced, which many perceived as a mockery of victims of police brutality. The slang “dindu nuffin” is “typically used by racists to poke fun at victims of police brutality and simultaneously diminish African-American Vernacular English,” says The Daily Dot. Virtually all weekend, a #DojaCatIsOverParty took over Twitter.
“I’ve used public chat rooms to socialize since I was a child,” the 24-year-old wrote in her first apology. “I shouldn’t have been on some of those chat room sites, but I personally have never been involved in any racist conversations. I’m sorry to anyone I offended...I understand my influence and impact and I’m taking this all very seriously.”
She followed up and doubled down in an Instagram Live session on Monday, stating that the videos are “not even her,” and that the online hate is one of the reasons she stays away from social media.
“That shit hurts my feelings,” she says in the video. “Seeing people come for me. Seeing people come for my character. Just like any of you guys, it wouldn’t feel good to me so I avoid social media. My friends looked on social media and they told me what was going on.”
She continues by declaring she doesn’t hate herself, discussing her identity and her hair, whether she has a “raceplay fetish,” and the TinyChat chat rooms being “hurtful,” but not racist. (“I’ve seen it, and I know that I’ve been targeted by it...but the narrative that it’s a white supremacist chat is completely incorrect.”)
She also stated that she used the term “dindu nuffin” in song as a way to “flip” the negative connotation into something positive—and it clearly didn’t work.
“Maybe the worst song in the entire world. Not good, lyrically lost, the worst song, the lyrics in the song don’t make sense,” she continues. “I see some of the interpretations of the lyrics. A lot of them are wrong. I can rewrite the lyrics for you guys. I don’t know how important that is but if you need me to, I can. But that song is in zero ways, in no way, connected to police brutality or Sandra Bland.
Personally, I can’t say that any of this surprises me. In 2018, when Doja Cat burst onto the scene with her viral joke of a song “Mooo!,” past homophobic tweets surfaced, and she gave thee most unapologetic apology I’ve ever read.
“I called a couple of people fa***ts when I was in high school in 2015 does this mean I don’t deserve support?” she wrote on Twitter in a swiftly-deleted post. “I’ve said fa***t roughly 15 thousand times in my life. Does saying fa***t mean you hate gay people? Do I hate gay people? I don’t think I hate gay people. Gay is ok.” She was called out and then gave an apology that I still do not believe she means.
A few bops, some cute music videos and unkept promises of showing her boobs followed, and y’all made her a full-fledged star. How quickly we all forget that she’s been showing us how immature and problematic she is for years.
I haven’t boarded the Doja Cat train because so far, I think she’s a straight-up clown. It’s up to her to not only talk about changing but to put her words into action. We’ll see if she does.