Lana Del Rey has a new album coming out, and confirmed the follow-up to 2019’s Grammy-nominated album Norman Fucking Rockwell! will be released this coming September. She made the announcement at the end of a lengthy note posted to her Instagram on Wednesday night, May 20. But before she confirmed the news, she defended herself against detractors who criticised her work for “glamorising abuse” and expressed her frustration with “female writers and alt singers saying that I glamorise 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.” It’s a valid point, as Rey is known for her sweeping, melancholic songs about the dark side of romance, like 2014’s “Ultraviolence” in which she sings “He hit me and it felt like a kiss” and “give me all of that ultraviolence.”
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But her remarks at the beginning of the note threw her into the Twitter lion’s den. Rey name-dropped artists (mainly women of colour) and implied that she has faced more criticism than them for her “minor lyrical exploration of detailing my sometimes submissive or passive roles in my relationships.”
“Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, cheating etc—can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by 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 glamorising abuse?” Rey’s note comes just one week after Doja Cat’s “Say So Remix” featuring Nicki Minaj topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Both made history as the first Black women to hold the number one spot on the Hot 100 chart.
Fans were quick to point out that Rey could’ve gotten her point across without mentioning the artists in her message; including them implied the other artists haven’t endured as much criticism as her.
Lana blatantly ignoring the criticism Beyoncé, Nicki, and other black women have received (and continue to) for being confident in their sexuality doesn’t sit right with me. Commercial success hasn’t made them exempt from misogynistic attacks masked as constructive criticism.— C (@BOYCOTTCAMILLE) May 21, 2020
lana didn’t drag anyone but tbh she could’ve proved her point in a better way, all the women that she named have been through backlashes because of their works. she’s not the only one going through it. women in music industry really deserve better.— rafia (@repromantics) May 21, 2020
I like Lana but her as a WOC, her statement just comes off as very tone deaf.— mani???? (@BLACKGIRLMANI) May 21, 2020
Mentioning a majority of black women in music who’ve all been literally crucified bc of their sexually explicit and trying to seem as tho it’s “easy” for them when it’s not is just not it.
think Lana’s post would have been fine if she hadn’t compared herself to a group of mostly black women with the clear tone that she thinks she’s been treated worse by the media when that’s observably untrue— shon faye. (@shonfaye) May 21, 2020
I’m not saying she’s not getting criticism but she shouldn’t overlook these womens struggles especially their racial struggles in the industry because she can’t breakthough or get a number 1 hit.— Tayoncé Defense Attorney (@BlueIvysDoormat) May 21, 2020
Lana tried to reduce these BLACK WOMEN + attribute their success to their sexuality. A sexuality that BLACK WOMEN, especially, have had to FIGHT for to claim ownership of. A sexuality that has YET to stop their expressions about things OTHER THAN: being sexy, fucking, cheating.— Angel Lenise (@angellenise) May 21, 2020
What’s really interesting about Lana Del Rey’s post is that we see how quickly some women are willing to participate in patriarchy to serve themselves.— CiCi Adams???? (@CiCiAdams_) May 21, 2020
She has been an overtly sexual artist for years. But now that she’s facing critique, it’s “Beyoncé songs about f*cking!”
This article originally appeared on ELLE US.