Personally, I don’t care what Amala says to the people; I’m streaming that album — just like everyone
who swore they wouldn’t.
Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini, otherwise known as Doja Cat, is an artist who has stirred up a lot of controversy
recently for her online antics.
A lot of people had strong opinions, as though her words were those of a cousin or close friend.
However, how many people read the opening line of this article and automatically knew who I was talking about?
Likely very few of us, if any, did because there’s no one named Amala that we know and have a personal relationship with. I even had to Google her first name for the purpose of the article.
For a quick recap, Doja Cat made headlines towards the end of the summer for refusing to comply with some fans’ requests.
She also mocked others calling themselves “kittenz,” in reference to a proposed fandom nickname analogous to Beyoncè’s “beehive” or Megan Thee Stallion’s “hotties.”
I agree that most of what she said could have, and should have, been said nicer.
You can search for the posts yourself; it was pretty rude. But, when haven’t celebrities acted in a loud or brash manner to gain attention? Iggy Azalea, a white rapper, once proudly crowned herself a “runaway slave … master,” flicking her wrist as though whipping an enslaved person.
This was in case the graphic image her words referenced was not clear enough to the audience.
The main thing that got her “canceled” was simply that her music wasn’t that good. She wasn’t writing her own music, and her live performances flopped.
The incident seemed to be lost in the cyclone of celebrity gossip that surrounded her.
After a decade-long hiatus, she’s made a comeback, amassing over 3.6 million views on her new single.
The single was released on YouTube over the span of one month. Another example would be the infamous Dave Chapelle.
A wave of backlash in 2020 following his release of a comedy special that repeatedly reduced trans women
to offensive punchlines.
Thus, there was a national debate on what action should or could be taken to avoid something like this.
Netflix’s response was to give him seven specials on their platform, more than any other stand-up comedian.
I won’t name the specific special, but you can listen to David Khari Webber Chappelle sit on a stool in a dimly lit theater and spout a string of jokes directed towards survivors of sexual abuse. This is not an exaggeration; the entire set is dedicated to the terrible cause.
For bonus points, you can listen to the audience burst into volley after volley of laughter as Chapelle reveals he would have preferred Anthony Rapp wait a few weeks longer to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of Kevin Spacey, just so that he could have known how “House of Cards,” the
television series, ends.
Furthermore, I think that to an extent there might be something to be said for “the why.”
I think this distinguishes Doja Cat from public figures like Azalea and Chappelle.
Aside from what could potentially be a bizarre attempt at rage farming to promote her new album, I mostly just think she wants to distance herself from her more aggressive fans.
One of the more questionable X, formerly Twitter, threads centers around a fan demanding Doja Cat tell her
fans that she loves them.
Her response was direct:
“I don’t though, cuz I don’t even know y’all,” she wrote. This is true. She doesn’t know us, and our relationship is strictly transactional.
We give her money and she gives us hits, which she has delivered time and time again.
This was evident by the response to her latest album release; you know, the one we all swore we were boycotting.
A celebrity’s wish for space, privacy, boundaries and more should be respected by fans.
She’s probably overcorrecting a bit, but didn’t Miley Cyrus do the same back in 2013 at the Video Music Awards and with the release of the song “23?”
This was a song and a genre that she later dismissed as “lewd,” after she was able to successfully remove herself from her widespread image of a Disney child star.
This was at the expense of the entire hip hop community and genre. It is fairly evident that there are circumstances where celebrity commentaries can be very problematic.