Recently, Remy Ma stirred the pot when she said Doja Cat isn’t a rapper during an episode of Drink Champs. The veteran Bronx MC added that although Doja makes “dope records,” she doesn’t belong in the rap category at the Grammys, either. It’s been a constant debate over the past several years as Doja has earned mainstream success, as detractors have labeled her a pop singer despite her background in the LA hip-hop underground scene.
After a pair of sets at Coachella proving she’s more than capable of being a headliner, Doja Cat dropped her new single “Vegas” today. First previewed at the festival, it’s the lead single for the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis biopic and also serves as a reminder of the multi-hyphenate’s talent as both a songwriter and rapper.
Over production by Yeti Beats & Rogét Chahayed that flips the original version of “Hound Dog” by Big Mama Thornton, Doja employs her talent for melody on the chorus before showing off her skills as an MC. With a swaggering delivery and multi-syllabic rhyme scheme, Doja calls out a man on his bullshit.
“There’s more sides to the story, I’ma tell everybody,” she raps. “Had your ass sittin’ courtside with your arm around me/ Had your ass sittin’ first class with your burnt ass out in Abu Dhabi/ Coulda been what we shoulda been, but you lost a bet, now you gotta find me.”
In a world where men like Drake and Tyler, the Creator get to freely move between genres without their skills as rappers being diminished, it’s unfair that Doja Cat — like Nicki Minaj before her — continues to be on the brunt end of criticism for doing the same. Although Doja has understandably sometimes taken the criticism to heart, she ultimately gets the last laugh with big boss moves like teaming up with Taco Bell for the honor of announcing the return of Mexican Pizza.