Beyoncé, sweetie, I’m so sorry. While announcing her seventh album, Lana Del Rey name-dropped the Queen Bey, Doja Cat, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, and Kehlani on Instagram, saying if they can get Billboard No. 1’s for being unapologetically sexy or imperfect in relationships, her early stuff should’ve been slaying the charts. “Can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful, being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money — or whatever I want — without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse?” she asks. She’s, of course, referring to her early eras, peaking with 2014’s Ultraviolence, where she sings lyrics like “He hit me and it felt like a kiss” and “He hurt me but it felt like true love” on the title track. “I’m fed up with female writers and alt singers saying that I glamorize abuse when in reality I’m just a glamorous person singing about the realities of what we are all now seeing are very prevalent emotionally abusive relationships all over the world,” she continued, saying that she thinks it’s “pathetic” that her “minor lyrical exploration” has received so much backlash. The implication is that Beyoncé, Minaj, Cardi B, Kehlani, Grande, Cabello, and Doja Cat don’t get hate for making music about their sexuality, flawed relationships, cheating, etc., but we’ve all been on the internet, even Miss Del Rey. “Let’s be clear: I’m not not a feminist — but there has to be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me — the kind of woman who says no but men hear yes — the kind of women who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves, the kind of women who get their own stories and voices taken away from them, by stronger women or by men who hate women,” she wrote, seemingly forgetting that most of the women she implies aren’t treated this way are women of color who certainly relate. Funny enough, there is a place in feminism for women who dismiss the struggles of women of color and it’s exactly for people who “look and act like” her.
But now that Del Rey has gotten this off her chest, she’s ready to contend with the feelings, both in two books of poetry and a new album, coming out September 5. Proceeds from her books will go to selected Native American foundations as her form of “reparations.” Beware: She doesn’t specify that the album is dropping in 2020 and if we’ve learned anything from another female singer who sings about complicated relationships, it’s that release dates aren’t always what they seem. In the meantime, it seems like Del Rey — and potentially the world — could benefit from a relisten to 2013’s Beyoncé and a Lemonade rewatch. Bey didn’t body Hov in front of the whole universe to be involved in a narrative like this.
Update, 3:15 p.m.: Phew, the internet is working overtime today. After a morning of memes, Doja Cat logged on and is the first of the seven musicians to address Del Rey’s note. “Gang sunk that dunker,” she commented on Lana’s Instagram post. Yeah, even the stans are confused by what that means. Doja Cat speaks a language all her own. Some are saying it means “suck my dick” or that she’s encouraging her fans to jump (“sunk” in Doja Cat) Del Rey. Either way “gang sunk that dunker” is a welcome addition to the mountains of memes that have been created by stans on all sides. Maybe the real gang sunk that dunker was the friends we made along the way.
Update, 6:30 p.m.: Lana Del Rey has spoken, bro. While she is slightly unclear about her stance on feminism (current status: not not a feminist), Del Rey wants to be very clear that she is not racist. Del Rey returned to her instagram comments to add a “final note” to the unnecessary and tone deaf post she made earlier on Thursday announcing her forthcoming album and book of poetry. As to why she predominantly singled out women of color in the industry like Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion, Kehlani, and Nicki Minaj for getting treated with preferential treatment that so eludes Del Rey? They’re her favorite artists. “Bro. This is sad to make it about a WOC issue when I’m talking about my favorite singers. I could’ve literally said anyone but I picked my favorite fucking people. And this is the problem with society today not everything is about whatever you want it to be.” Exactly what we need, another glamorous person telling us what’s wrong with society today. Del Rey wraps her final note by making it clear that she does not appreciate the Karen comments. “It’s about advocating for a more delicate personality, not for white woman – thanks for the Karen comments tho,” writes Del Rey, which is a very Karen thing to say. In another totally Karen move, Del Rey’s final note was not, in fact, her final note, as she took to Instagram once more to post a video of her dancing on a pole in red lingerie with the caption #fuckoff. Lizzie with the good hair is gonna do what she wants and she’s not going to apologize for it, bro.