Lana Del Rey buried the lede. This morning, Del Rey announced the impending release of her next album, the follow up to 2019’s astonishing Norman Fucking Rockwell! The new LP doesn’t have a title yet, but it does have a release date: 9/5.
Shortly after the release of Norman Fucking Rockwell!, Del Rey said that she was already working on a new album that she was calling White Hot Forever. Presumably, in this morning’s statement, Del Rey is talking about that album, not the spoken-word LP that she’s also planning to release. And Del Rey also announced that she’s got two books of poetry coming out through Simon & Schuster. (She’s previously talked about publishing her poetry.)
But those announcements are necessarily going to take a backseat to the statement that Del Rey made this morning about her glamorization, feminism, and her own pop-music peers. In a long statement posted on Instagram, Del Rey appeared to dismissively mention a large group of other women, mostly women of color, who have recently had hit songs: Doja Cat, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé.
Del Rey went on to say that her music doesn’t glamorize abuse but that it merely depicts how life and relationships are for many women: “Let this be clear, I’m not not a feminist – but there has to be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me – the kind of woman who says no but men hear yes – the kind of women who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves, the kind of women who get their own stories and voices taken away from them by stronger women or by men who hate women.”
Here’s the full text of Del Rey’s statement:
Question for the culture:
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???????
I’m fed up with female writers and alt singers saying that I glamorize abuse when in reality I’m just a glamorous person singing about the realities of what we are all now seeing are very prevalent abusive relationships all over the world.
With all of the topics women are finally allowed to explore I just want to say over the last ten years I think it’s pathetic that my minor lyrical exploration detailing my sometimes submissive or passive roles in my relationships has often made people say I’ve set women back hundreds of years.
Let this be clear, I’m not not a feminist – but there has to be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me — the kind of woman who says no but men hear yes – the kind of women who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves, the kind of women who get their own stories and voices taken away from them by stronger women or by men who hate women.
I’ve been honest and optimistic about the challenging relationships I’ve had.
News flash! That’s just how it is for many women.
And that was sadly my experience up until the point that those records were made. So I just want to say it’s been a long 10 years of bullshit reviews up until recently and I’ve learned a lot from them
but also I feel it really paved the way for other women to stop ‘putting on a happy face’ and to just be able to say whatever the hell they wanted in their music —
unlike my experience where if I even expressed a note of sadness in my first two records I was deemed literally hysterical as though it was literally the 1920s
Anyways none of this has anything to do about much but I’ll be detailing some of my feelings in my next two books of poetry (mostly the second one) with Simon and Schuster. Yes I’m still making personal reparations with the proceeds of the book to my choice of Native American foundations which I’m very happy about. And I’m sure there will be tinges of what I’ve been pondering in my new album that comes out September 5th.
Thanks for reading
In the past, Del Rey has been friendly with Ariana Grande, and they collaborated last year on “Don’t Call Me Angel,” a song from the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack.
The line about “alt singers” seems to be a reference to Del Rey’s fellow Jack Antonoff collaborator Lorde. As The Guardian points out, Lorde mentioned Del Rey in a 2013 interview with The FADER: “She’s great, but I listened to that Lana Del Rey record and the whole time I was just thinking it’s so unhealthy for young girls to be listening to, you know: ‘I’m nothing without you.’ This sort of shirt-tugging, desperate, don’t leave me stuff. That’s not a good thing for young girls, even young people, to hear.”