Could first-time Grammy winner Doja Cat quit music once she finishes touring with The Weekend amid Paraguayan controversy?
by Julieta Miquelarena
“North America, I’m coming,” announced Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini (widely known as Doja Cat) on the 64th Grammys Award’s red carpet. The performer confirmed to “Entertainment Tonight,” aired by CBS, she is joining The Weekend on his “After Hours Till Dawn” tour.
Kicking off on July 8 in Toronto, The Weekend and Doja Cat will be touring in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. In addition, Australia has been announced for the duo in 2023.
The tour confirmation is a powerful update for Doja’s fans, aka “Kitties,” who felt different ways amid the controversy triggered in Paraguay some weeks ago after Doja Cat intersected tweets and “seas” with her Paraguayan fans via a spiced-up sequel of tweets that divided her followers.
“It’s what it’s; you gotta do what you gotta do,” she said, adding she hadn’t prepared any speech if she won.
Speculations of Doja Cat quitting music were initiated by herself on Twitter after she visited Paraguay. Kevin and Nischelie, who were on live television from the red carpet, didn’t doubt saying to Doja on air they didn’t want her retiring music.
Regardless, when asked explicitly about it; the rapper ‘answered’ by not replying, pronouncing instead a prolonged “Ahhhhhhh,” leaving the chances of Doja Cat retiring from music still open:
“We are here at the Grammys, great time, I’m so happy to be here,” she said, changing the focus of the conversation.
Sunday, April 4, Doja Cat finally carried her first Grammy Awards home. Winning the Pop duo/Group performance with SZA for their co-hit “Kiss Me More.”
Announced by Avril Lavigne, what was for Doja a “non-prepared speech” became a hilarious scene since she had to run from the bathroom to the stage when announced as a winner:
“Thank you to everybody, my family, my team, I wouldn’t be here without you, and I wouldn’t be here without my fans,” Doja said while shedding tears.
“I like to play down shit, but this is a big deal, thank you, everybody, be safe, take care,” then, she walked out the stage with SZA, who made it with the help of crutches, explaining the same day she fell from the bed while leaving her house to get ready.
The latest and echoed-for-weeks scandal surrounding Doja started around March 24 when the rapper tweeted to the Paraguayan fans that complained about her being uninterested in them, during her stay in Asunción, over the days she stepped into Paraguay. The rapper was supposed to perform at the Asuncisica Festival, which was canceled due to a deadly storm that took three lives away and left significant damage around the country.
“There was a storm in Paraguay; the show got canceled. So when I left the next morning, there wasn’t one person outside the hotel waiting for me. Let that sink in.” twitted Doja Cat when leaving Paraguay without seeing her fans.
Bia, an “ex” Paraguayan fan, replied to Doja: “We spent a whole day in front of the hotel in the rain, and you never came out or said a word, and you think we would go again the next day? LOL”.
Doja answered back: “I regret spending all the time I did getting ready that day for the show [I’ve] been busting my ass every day to put on for you, but god bless.”
Yet, some other fans believed the circumstances were ridiculous. They worried about how Doja shouldn’t be asked or pushed to greet fans while not performing, especially “if she is resting at her hotel or considering the dangerous storm there was,” as many tweeted.
“She needs to stop playing and release more music. It was funny at first, but now it’s just getting annoying, still love her with all my heart,” said Chris, 16, from New York.
Amir, a 16 years old fan from Massachusetts, runs a fan page mainly dedicated to Doja Cat called The Kittens Room: “I became aware of Doja in late 2019; my interest in her, however, didn’t form until early 2020, after she collaborated with Nicki Minaj.”
He, who since then knows quite a lot about the rapper, didn’t hesitate in mentioning his understanding of the controversial figure he admires.
“A little bit after that, she was under a lot of controversy for her private life on Tinychat, which deterred me away from her for a bit. But the entire experience of realizing all the misinformation circulating at the time and how she dealt with it made me a closer fan.”
“The entire situation has escalated this far due to miscommunication and misinterpretation. Fans that waited at her hotel have the right to be disappointed in not seeing her or even getting a mention online [of Paraguay] like she did for fans from other countries. Still, Doja was within her right to keep herself during her time there,” Amir added.
Doja Cat, who joined Twitter in 2012, had overcome controversies and multiple public debates.
Nevertheless, she has been close to “getting canceled” amid racial commentaries involving her on video chats from the past, and discussions that surged after her polemic tweets. She denied the racial accusations many times throughout her career. However, unlike past conflicts, what Paraguay has awoken brought all dusk from the surface back, and traveled frontiers. Therefore, most of Doja’s Paraguayan fans felt her attitude was reasonable to be canceled this time, as even today.
Daniel, a 22 years old Paraguayan fan, said he went first to the Asunciónicolocation since he had tickets to watch Doja Cat live. However, once he heard the concert was canceled, with Doja fans’ friends went to the hotel where Doja was staying, Dazzler. They waited in the night until about 3 am.
“We were super excited, shouting Doja, Doja, Doja, Doja! But, unfortunately, she didn’t show any love for [her] stay in the country and appeared on Twitter late.”
“After the concert, we went to Doja’s hotel for hours to see if she came out, like the others [artists did in other hotels], but the storm continued. Finally, the rain-soaked us, and we went to our homes; it was indignant and sad.”
The fan, who had followed Doja since 2018, said he doesn’t consider himself a Doja Cat’s “kittie” fan anymore.
“Fan mentality tends to idolize the artist to the point of forgetting the artist is also a flawed human,” said Psychotherapist Maria Bruce, who specializes in working with high-performing individuals. “This leads to this love/hate relationship where things the artist say are taken personally and can devastate or feel like a betrayal.”
The Mercosur Twitter Oficial account commented in defense of Paraguay, one of the union’s countries. The tweet, now deleted after becoming viral said: “Doja Cat speaking badly of a Mercosur country,” followed by red flags.
Doja’s tweets and likes to other controversial tweets opinating on the situation were not pacing down. The Grammy winner said to be “a fool” for ever thinking she was “made for this.”
Days after, in another waterfall of tweets, Doja rapper expressed her regret about the conflict. Taking over Twitter again, she returned the words she said to a fan in a previous tweet and changed her “I’m not sorry” to “I’m sorry.”
The criticism continued, but so did her shows; Doja traveled to Brasil on March 25 to perform at Lollapalooza Brasil.
Sofia Gelosa, a 14-year-old Brazilian fan, traveled with her mum and a friend from Santa Catarina to Rio de Janeiro, a journey of approximately 14 hours to make Sofia’s dream true, to see Doja Cat performing live.
“I admire her amazing voice, her female empowerment; she is genuine and funny. The show was surreal, with inexplicable energy; she is amazing. Now I like her more than before,” Sofia said.
On March 28, Mix105.1 twitted an article headlined “Doja Cat apologizes for saying she’s quitting music,” They added, “OK, so maybe @DojaCat isn’t retiring @pikeTaylorRadio.” The rapper answered the tweet, “yes, the fuck I am.”
Multiple additional tweets had been deleted by Doja Cat, who changed her Twitter handle from ‘I quit” to “Mmh” to “I still quit” to “Mike Penis” to “Sausage toes” to “Yeeee,” to “Fart ass:” the most recent to what this article dates.
Chris, a 16-year-old fan from New York, has followed Doja Cat since 2019 and has a dedicated account to Doja; called DojoShat: “If anything, these display names make me worried that people won’t take her seriously as an artist, but that’s just me wanting the best for Doja.”
Doja made a new appearance on Twitter on March 31 to communicate with those circulating the idea that she wasn’t genuinely quitting since she was seen continuing with her professional events.
“For those seeing me at the after-hours tour, I’m not bailing. But me not bailing doesn’t mean my ass isn’t gonna disappear right after. I still got shit I gotta do. And a lot of y’all think cuz I post a fucking picture it means I’m not out. Pic doesn’t = music GOOFY,” Doja Cat posted and later deleted.
“It is important to remember that things an artist says might be on impulse or be taken out of context, or just snowball in a way that can be stressful, anxiety-producing, and overwhelming; both for the artists and the fans,” psychotherapist Maria Bruce said.
“I doubt that Doja will quit making music. After all, even when she’s at her lowest, it’s evident that music just CLICKS for her. She’s a natural at making it. I feel like Doja was presented with obstacles recently, and that was how she reacted. I have faith that she’ll bounce back to normal and find comfort within her career again with time. I’m counting on it,” said her fan Amir @thekittensroom .
“Honestly, knowing her, she’s probably trolling her fans as usual. The thought of it is scary, though. What would even happen to my account?” said her fan Chris @DojoShat as he laughed.
Planet her, released in 2021, became the first album by a female rapper in history to spend six months in the top ten on the Billboard 200.
SZA referred to Doja on the Grammy’s red carpet: “she is a star,” adding that the first thing she asked her about was her writing process: “I think she is so masterful in what she does, I have just been able to really admire her powerhouses and the way that she emules from the rain, from the top, and kind of just me in the middle of that.”
As for today, Doja Cat has 5 songs charting on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, the most for any female artist. From Planet Her to the desert, Coachella Valley Music Festival is the latest stage where Doja performed on Sunday, April 17 and 24, and partnered with BMW for the occasion.
Vogue Singapore April edition — her first Vogue cover — Doja Cat, was photographed by British photographer Sharif Hamza. She channels her best 20’s flipper style in a Hollywood glamourized shimmery vibe.In
“Making music, and making music on the fly. When I don’t have to do it and when it’s not my job, that’s when it really makes me the happiest.” Doja said in the interview with Maya Menon for Vogue Singapore; ‘When I do something, I try not to put too much of a concept behind it. I usually vibe and make songs, and whatever sounds good, I smash it together. A lot of people don’t appreciate or respect that, and I understand why they don’t.”
Special thanks to:
Sofia Gelosa @gelosasofia
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