We are now witnessing a new phase in Doja Cat’s career, characterized by a fresh aesthetic, a transformed appearance, and a different musical direction. The Grammy-winning artist has unveiled four tracks from her upcoming album, “Scarlet,” with the latest release, “Balut,” carrying a significant meaning.
Doja’s journey to stardom has been a gradual one. She introduced an EP in 2014 and an album in 2018, which piqued the interest of both fans and industry insiders. However, it was her album “Hot Pink” that truly catapulted her to the top of the singles charts, particularly with the hit track “Say So.” Her third album, “Planet Her,” released in 2021, churned out a series of chart-toppers. While her blend of rap and pop was well-received, her upcoming album marks a musical departure.
In April 2023, Doja expressed dissatisfaction with her previous albums in now-deleted tweets, acknowledging that they leaned too heavily into a pop sound. She stated, “i also agree with everyone who said the majority of my rap verses are mid and corny. I know they are. I wasn’t trying to prove anything I just enjoy making music but I’m getting tired of hearing yall say that i can’t so I will.”
With her new singles, “Balut” takes a prominent step towards the rap genre she hinted at. But what is the underlying meaning of the song’s lyrics?
In “Balut,” Doja Cat voices her frustration with criticism, channeling it into her music. While the title might initially evoke the Filipino delicacy of duck eggs, it actually serves as a metaphor for the toxicity that has permeated Twitter. Doja clarified that it symbolizes the transition from the era of Twitter to the new platform “X,” marking the end of toxic tweets. While the reference to a “bird being eaten alive” may not align with the reality of balut, many fans interpret it as a reflection of Doja herself, who has endured significant online backlash.
Doja Cat’s relationship with Twitter has been intricate and at times tumultuous. Over the years, she has been the target of controversies that often trace back to the platform. Instances such as her use of a homophobic slur in a resurfaced 2015 tweet and allegations of involvement in a “racist chat room” led to intense scrutiny. In response, Doja both defended herself and apologized, illustrating the complexities of her interactions with Twitter. In July 2023, her statement expressing a lack of love for her Twitter fans stirred further controversy, resulting in a wave of unfollows. Given this history, it’s evident that Doja’s experiences with Twitter have significantly influenced the themes of “Balut,” which delves into the perceived toxicity of the platform.