Twenty-twenty, the year I realized Lana Del Rey is controversial as heck. Criticized for her music glamorizing abuse and having a burning desire for early death, she’s infuriated Kim Gordon who claimed Del Rey “doesn’t even know what feminism is” and Francis Bean Cobain, having never met her father shamed the singer for admiring his early demise. Her interviews didn’t help, in 2014 she told Fader magazine she found feminism boringggggg. Okay maybe not in that tone, but it was just as tone deaf.
“For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept…Whenever people bring up feminism I’m just like god. I’m just not really that interested.” Although feminism and space technology (Tesla & SpaceX) aren’t mutually exclusive, the songstress found solely the latter occupied her passions.
In May she came under fire yet again- there was a beat between these controversies, but listing them together doesn’t feel like it- when she seemingly targeted mostly women of color who consistently top the charts. Asking the public if it was okay for her to make music without having to strip, cheat, and what not to get a number one hit.
The internet was quick to point out all the ladies named use their sexuality to empower and their merits shouldn’t be minimized to such a niche, respectively.
Was it in poor taste? Yes. Do I think she’s a racist? No. Does she think twice before spewing these ill formulated expressions of self, absolutely not. To learn the consequences of half-baked ideas, as in you didn’t flesh out the thought to be inclusive beyond your self-absorbed notions, accountability is essential. What shocked me most was learning she’d never achieved a number one slot on U.S charts.
My friends and I were obsessed with her one summer, standing under scaffolding until the rain stopped, each with an earbud waiting for weather compliance to hit the next spot.
Arriving to a loved ones home with four French strangers I promised over the phone I wouldn’t bring along. Trecey and I butchering the chorus of Off To The Races, during an intermission to the pandemonium. Our voices crescendo as we match word for word a song we didn’t know the other knew. A drunk bonding moment to what turned out to be a phenomenal night.
Every summer someone’s catalog held biblical and the summer of 2013 as I recall was hers, Youtube hits included. In my humble opinion Lana Del Rey is a prodigious lyricist who waxes poetic, bringing to mind vivid imagery akin to Jim Morrison (one of my favorite writers). Creating a discography vital to the soundtrack of my life.
The songs that crucify her shine a light on the glaringly obvious underbelly of our culture; not only have I experienced the lyrics in the depths of karmic relationship despair and bad breakups, but I see it every time I scroll through instagram. National Anthem is an ode to the yacht girls making their rounds for the façade of wealth, influencers putting out in Dubai for saddle bags (even the ones with money want more, no matter the cost of getting it) and the girls looking to be pampered trophy wives with no obligations.
Money is the anthem of success
So before we go out, what’s your address? I’m your national anthem
God, you’re so handsome
Take me to the Hamptons, Bugatti Veyron
He loves to romance ’em, reckless abandon
Holding me for ransom, upper echelon
Money is the reason we exist
Everybody knows it, it’s a fact (Kiss, kiss)
It’s a love story for the new age, for the sixth page
We’re on a quick, sick rampage
Winin’ and dinin’, drinkin’ and drivin’
Excessive buyin’, overdose and dyin’
On our drugs, and our love, and our dreams, and our rage
Blurrin’ the lines between real and the fake
Dark and lonely, I need somebody to hold me
He will do very well, I can tell, I can tell
Keep me safe in his bell tower hotel
Money is the anthem of success
So put on mascara and your party dress
She’s giving a voice to the women who objectify themselves with those objectives alone. Don’t even get me started on Million Dollar Man, describing a false twin flame who was exactly that.
And I don’t know how you get over, get over
Someone as dangerous, tainted and flawed as you
You got the world, but, baby, at what price?
Something so strange, hard to define
It isn’t that hard, boy, to like you or love you
I’d follow you down, down, down
If you’re goin’ crazy, just grab me and take me
I’d follow you down, down, down
This is the pulse of the current female climate, like the ones who lived 100 years ago we still have barriers of liberation to break. Personally, I’ve incurred the wrath of many insecure women too afraid to love themselves; some slice and fill their faces, contorting their shapes in hopes of getting men to reciprocate their feelings. Screaming I’m a throw rug sully me. I’m submissive you can walk all over me, just give me your attention. Completely unaware that it’s their lack of genuine self worth turning others off. Who wants to purchase the television set that proclaims “I’m a shit T.V with bad channel clarity”? Or the box looks magnificent, but the flat screen inside is broken and doesn’t match what’s advertised.
Patriarchal societies condition women to hate themselves as a means of control, belittling us as sluts for the same sexual promiscuity that crowns our male counterparts legends. Pinning us against one another, seen nowhere else in the animal kingdom, because it’s too hard for them to be emotionally healthy and declare their feelings. No, much better to destroy the self-esteem of the woman they fancy, make her jealous, get her opponent to tear her down too. In their minds it’s alpha, in reality they’re toxic womanizers speaking fluid cowardice. Still, self-proclaimed feminist take the bait like an episode of Jerry Springer. Challenging his other lust interest (if it weren’t infatuation he wouldn’t put you in this situation) to a wrestling match in a kiddie pool full of franks-n-beans for his asshole heart. I’ll pass.
If you listen to understand, Del Rey is making the same point as rapper Cardi B defending WAP :
“There’s a lot of female rappers that be rapping they ass off and don’t be talking about they p***y, and don’t be talking about getting down and dirty, and y’all don’t be supporting them and they be mad dope,” she said. “Bloggers don’t support them, they don’t be getting the recognition. So don’t blame that shit on us when y’all not the ones supporting them.”
Calling out the industry and the consumers rather than the women she used as examples. It was improper articulation on Del Rey’s part, but the message is still the same, misogyny is king, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Why aren’t women allowed range without being called depressing, or two bit floozies, or having to defend themselves?
In regards to her death yearnings the comments were callous, but echo a culture who immortalizes gone too soon artists (from James Dean to Juiceworld). There’s an entire club dedicated to talented 27’s who succumbed to premature deaths through anguish and accidents. On one hand we honor them, but the dark side is our culture’s morbid fascination with youth culture, brimming with ageism and no one giving a damn until you’re gone. Our sentiments as biting as hers.
Lana Del Rey is merely the reflection of our collective psyche, liming the wounds that need sutures but get bandaids. Holding a mirror to what needs healing, like the transition from Obama to Trump. Yeah we had a black president, but this country is still racist af and we can’t fix what we deny. Del Rey just makes ugly truths palatable by homaging Priscilla Presley, so the hard pill is easier to swallow. Via: Charlotte Wales & Lana Del Rey