If I were to brainstorm all of the words that could get me fired if I said them out loud, the majority of them are in this song. But before I dive in further, who, exactly, is Doja Cat?
Amala Ratna Zandile Diamini—known professionally as Doja Cat—is a 26-year-old American rapper and singer originally from Los Angeles, California. She dropped out of high school during her junior year and went through many tough years before she reached the fame she has now.
Though Diamini had a few songs that would be noticed every so often through uploads to SoundCloud, it wasn’t until the release of songs “Candy” and “Mooo!” in 2018 that Doja Cat’s solo career began to take off. In 2019, she saw great success with the release of her second studio album, Hot Pink, which peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200.
For those of us who are more innocent, the “Doja” of Doja Cat is a reference to marijuana. Her songs are usually explicit, often referencing sex and drugs. Her latest hit, “Need to Know”is no exception.
Plugged In strives to give as fair a review as possible. That said, I struggled to find any positive content in this song. It references Chuck E. Cheese. And I sat staring at these lyrics for a long time before I even settled on even that reference as something that could be construed as positive. So, let’s just agree that there’s really no positive content here.
It doesn’t take the prompting of your high school English teacher to figure out the meaning behind this poetry: sex, sex and more sex. The title “Need to Know” refers to a woman wanting to know the measurements of a man’s private parts as well as what it would be like to sleep with him all night long. Her desires aren’t obscured in any way, and they leave little to the listener’s imagination.
Doja Cat explains in probably the cleanest lines in the song that she’s “been fantasizin’/And we got a lotta time/Baby, come throw the pipe/Gotta know what it’s like.” These lines are both preceded and followed by verses so saturated in sexual imagery that they’d likely make even the prostitute Gomer blush.
As is custom in raunchy songs about sex, there are multiple uses of foul language and various euphemisms, with multiple f- words thrown in as well as an active encouragement to cheat on your spouse. The n-word is also used, as is “a–,” and we hear a couple vulgar words describing male and female genitalia. In addition, many of the final words in each line are repeated in a moaning tone.
But that’s just the lyrics that we’ve looked through. We still have a music video with 3.3 million likes to watch.
The video shows a bunch of female aliens in underwear drinking as they imitate thrusting. They go to an alien nightclub in a flying limo, where they consume even more alcohol, and everyone dances seductively. A cyborg man purchases Doja Cat a drink, and they go into a private room where she straddles him, and they imitate having sex.
Both the song and the video seem to have the sole purpose of glorifying sex for pleasure alone. The explicit lyrics in “Need to Know” perpetuate the entertainment-industry idea that there are no consequences to unrestrained sex and the pursuit of maximizing pleasure—which perhaps makes it appropriate that the setting for the music video is a fantasy alien world. Doja Cat’s beats are definitely catchy, but her glorification of self-indulgent pleasure is bound to be a snare for many of her young fans.
Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”