Doja Cat Claims Throne as Princess of Rap on “Hot Pink”


Doja Cat is back. (Courtesy of Twitter)

This has been the year of female rap.

Women dominated the rap scene, storming up the hip hop charts and going viral for their dynamic and often humorous lyrics. Lizzo electrified the charts with hits like “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell.” Megan Thee Stallion declared summer 2019 as “Hot Girl Summer.” City Girls motivated listeners to “Act Up” with their powerful tunes. Despite her apparent retirement, Nicki Minaj remains the queen of rap, while Cardi B is gearing up to release her highly anticipated follow-up album.

Among this milieu is Doja Cat, a former SoundCloud singer who rapidly rose to fame with the release of her first album, “Amala,” in 2018. The Los Angeles-based songstress, real name Amala Zandile Dlamini, grew popular from hilarious tracks like “MOOO!” and the powerful “Tia Tamera” with Rico Nasty (another star female rapper).

Her rising fame, however, came to a sudden halt midway through the year when old tweets containing anti-gay slurs were uncovered. She defended the tweets, claiming she said the words hundreds of times but still, on the whole, supported the community. Her comments, and a later apology, did not help her case instead, she was deemed “canceled.”

A year later, however, Doja Cat evolves. After learning from her mistakes and sobering up from a marijuana addiction, Doja Cat reemerges with her sophomore effort, “Hot Pink.” The album initiates her long-awaited comeback, and she is not messing around.

The candy-coated album seamlessly combines sultry, sugary lyrics with hints of R&B, hip-hop and her signature poppy style. Inspired by African melodies, the album feels like a mixture of “Amala” and Doja Cat’s newfound creative juices.

“I think I started with R&B and then things just progressively got more pop ’cause I like to experiment a lot, too” She said in an interview with iHeartRadio. “And I like fun music, like happy music that just feels upbeat, so I kind of went more towards that.”

“Hot Pink” in one word: empowerment. The album comprises four distinctive parts which demonstrate Doja Cat’s many definitions of dominion and self-love.

It begins with “Cyber Sex,” a sexual tune incorporating unique synth beats. The track expresses her extreme thirst and sexual tension, establishing Doja Cat’s aggressive persona. “Won’t Bite,” featuring fellow pop-rapper Smino, further empowers her. “I’m 5’3, but I’ll make that b—h 4’2,” she says, signaling just how “in charge” she is here.

Notable single “Rules” continues Doja Cat’s assertion of power while also empowering her listeners. It’s a warning to players everywhere: don’t play with her emotions, or else.

Her message shifts with “Bottom B—h,” which samples blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” While many female rappers have historically tended to tear their gender counterparts down, Doja Cat instead props other ladies up here. The song simultaneously gushes about her friend’s power while defending her from unwanted male attention. She lifts listeners up, letting them know she has their back.

Following “Bottom Bitch,” the album becomes emotional and amorous as Doja Cat explains the power of her relationships. 

“Say So, Like That” and “Talk Dirty” flaunt an alluring, tempting tone as she coaxes men to come to her and allocate the attention she knows she deserves. 

On “Addiction,” Doja Cat begins by admitting her dependence on her lover, then gushes about the reasons why she loves him. In a way, these songs empower the men she loves, too; she hypes them up and gives them credit for all the good things they do with her. 

Vibes change, however, on “Streets.” The quieter song, notably slower than the others, reveals Doja Cat’s sensitive side. The R&B-influenced lyrics, including “I can’t sleep no more/ In my head, we belong/ And I can’t be without you/ Why can’t I find no one like you?” provide a sense of longing that isn’t seen in the other tracks.

The album culminates in a powerful trio of songs. “Shine,” “Better Than Me,” and “Juicy” all express a powerful sense of self-empowerment. 

“Shine” drips with riches as Doja Cat purrs about her diamonds and pearls. On “Better Than Me,” like she has done before, Doja Cat tells the playboys who take advantage of her that they’re missing out. Finally, on the viral sensation “Juicy” featuring Tyga, Doja Cat celebrates her body and suggests that everyone be happy with the way they are. 

“Hot Pink” acts as a thirst-trap and a love letter to both Doja Cat and her listeners. She knows she’s all that, and wants her listeners to know that they are, too. 

Doja Cat is no longer just the girl who sang “MOOO!” This new record proves she is a force to be reckoned with in the rap world.