Doja Cat's “Hot Pink” album is leagues better than her first studio album “Amala” from 2018. “Hot Pink” dropped right after I listened to “Amala” and you can hear the focus and extra effort put into her music.
“Amala” had the hit track “Go To Town” and later incorporated her successful singles “Tia Tamera,” “Juicy,” and (how could we forget her most viral single that arguably lead to her fame?) “MOOO!” These are fantastic singles but they came notably later when she dropped “Amala” and you can see the huge potential that these singles carried when you listen to them. Looks like her record label had the same thought process and gave her the boost that she needed in “Hot Pink.”
“Hot Pink” is more or less a collection of singles as every song is independent from each other and does not build up to any central theme. This is an album for the fans who want to listen to more of her bangers and you can tell that this is a technique to get her even more viral. The production quality in each of these songs is absolutely killer and adds credibility that Doja Cat is a well-established rhythm and blues star that can rival the greats such as Summer Walker, SZA, Daniel Caesar and 6lack.
Knowing all of this, how is the album? Is it worth a listen? I would say that this is one of my favorite albums of 2019 and it is worth all the hype you have been hearing from friends. Every one of the songs in this album is about sex and love and that becomes more apparent if you see any of the music videos associated with this album. Each one adds more to the song by showing you exactly what Doja Cat is envisioning when she is singing. Just be careful when you are searching these videos up as they are INCREDIBLY sexy and that might make the casual observer faint when not properly warned.
With that being said, you will not hear any of her songs and think “What artful prose. Well said Doja, well said” and compare her to Kendrick Lamar or Frank Ocean. But you will notice how well Doja Cat can deliver her lyrics in many different ways. “Cyber Sex” sounds like it taps into Janelle Monae’s android aesthetic while “Bottom B----” is much more in line with the punk aesthetic as it samples Blink-182. “Say So” is much more poppy and reminiscent of 90's R&B while “Like That” channels the contemporary female rapper aesthetic as she raps with ya homie Gucci Mane (God, what a feature).
My top three tracks are in the latter half of the album. They are “Streets,” “Shine,” and “Better Than Me.” “Streets” is such a strong feat of modern R&B that convinced me that Doja is wanting to mature into a respected R&B artist and not just some viral meme music maker. The production is so haunting and makes me feel as if she has invited me into her soul. She is talking about the angst of loving a man who does not want to be with her and you can FEEL it. Makes me wanna parade the streets and shout that men ain’t s---.
Right off the heels of listening to the heartbreak that is “Streets”, “Shine” is a song that empowers the listener. “Shine” makes the case that no matter how you feel, especially after a breakup, that you are valuable like a diamond and you should shine like one. After all, everyone likes shiny gems and how they glisten in the sun. The production adds emphasis to this and makes you feel like a much more confident person.
As you feel more confident, you hear Doja Cat airing her frustrations in “Better Than Me.” She is feeling frustrated at a boy leaving her for a, presumably, better partner. You can hear the heartache as she sings in her pre-chorus: “Better than me / Better than me / The best p*ssuy / Come from wifey.” You can hear the betrayal that this man caused her as she thought he was the one and that they might get married. This would just suck for anyone in this situation. This song is probably the most authentic Doja Cat has ever gotten on the mic and I am glad that she has graced my ears with her struggles.
“Hot Pink” is a fantastic album that is filled with all types of emotions. It has 12 tracks and clocks in at 39:49 minutes so it should not take too long to complete the album. I find myself wanting to listen to the album again since the emotions in each song are where you want them to be. It has songs for every type of listener and I guarantee there is a song for you in there.