Turn on the radio, open TikTok, scroll through Youtube, you’re gonna see Doja Cat. The 24-year-old rapper is everywhere right now, and we’re far from mad about it. Here’s how Doja’s back-to-back wacky, weird and wonderful earworms (and equally imaginative videos) won over the internet.
Meow! Or is it Mooo?
Two years back, Doja Cat wasn’t exactly a household name. She’d amassed a solid following on Soundcloud and Tumblr, collaborated with artists like OG Maco and Elliphant, and her early underground hit ‘So High’ had done healthy numbers online. In March of 2018, her debut album Amala received an overwhelmingly positive critical response, but it wasn’t those glowing reviews that thrust her into the spotlight. Instead, it was one of the most meme-worthy music videos of a generation, four minutes and 42 seconds of pure bovine bliss: ‘Mooo!’
With ‘Mooo!’, Doja managed to tap into something that the culture didn’t realise it needed so badly: a young woman rapping about being a cow. There really wasn’t much to it; Doja wrote, produced and recorded the song as a little joke, shooting the video on her MacBook later that same day. Still, we lapped it up. Now at a casual 66 Million views, ‘Mooo!’ set Doja’s rise to the top of the charts in motion.
02. Tia Tamera
With ‘Mooo!’, Doja had given herself big hooves to fill. But far from being a viral flash in the pan Doja followed up with another hit, the early 2019 banger ‘Tia Tamera’. Doja recruited Maryland up-and-comer Rico Nasty for the collaboration, whose bratty bars and vibrant aesthetic were the perfect match for Doja’s meme-able, memorable hooks. Smothered in ‘90s Nickelodeon nostalgia, ’Tia Tamera’ was Doja’s ode to boobs, cleverly euphemising 90s TV icons Tia and Tamera Mowry—best known as stars of the Nickelodeon sitcom Sister, Sister.
The Roxana Baldovin-directed music video was a direct reference to an episode of Sister, Sister that sees Tia and Tamera compete in a gameshow against another iconic set of twins: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Viral video number two, check!
By August of last year, Doja was truly on a roll. Having cemented her position as one of the buzziest and most imaginative new voices in hip-hop, Doja dropped a Tyga-assisted update to ‘Juicy’ (you can’t tell us that hook didn’t just start playing in your head), a fan-favourite bonus track from Amala. The bouncing record saw her lean into the pop sound that would come to shape her sophomore album Hot Pink (fittingly, she included Tyga’s remixed ‘Juicy’ on Hot Pink: a song so catchy, you put it on two albums).
Doja’s delicious clip for ‘Juicy’ ran up big numbers again, equal to her breakthrough banger ‘Mooo!’. We can only assume this was partially thanks to Doja’s super-creative fruit-themed latex looks, summed up nicely by one Youtube commentator as “the sexiest ad for Fruit Ninja I’ve ever seen.”
04. Bottom Bitch & Rules
Doja wasn’t done giving us hot singles off Hot Pink, switching up her signature pop-rap sound for the grunge-tinged ‘Bottom Bitch’, which borrowed from Blink 182’s 90s classic ‘What’s My Age Again’. Never one to shy away from a great wig (or three), Doja assembled her girl-gang for a nostalgic music video that played like the ultimate homage to a ‘Sk8er Boi’-era Avril Lavigne.
Not one to let up, Doja hit us with ‘Rules’, a punchy, guitar-driven bop with a killer video that saw Doja Cat finally cosplay as a human-cat mob boss. You can’t say she doesn’t know what the people need! Doja herself dreamt up the video treatment, which she says is her favourite clip to date—and it’s currently sitting pretty at 25 million views on Youtube.
05. Say So
We had to talk about this one! A sparkly pop anthem infused with 1970’s disco, Say So is Doja’s highest-charting tune to date, and the soundtrack to a slew of ultra-popular TikTok dances. It popped off on the app before the call had been made to release it as an official single (it’s since cracked the top ten in Australia and New Zealand), in large part thanks to a 16-year-old TikToker from Alabama called @yodellinghaley, who created the most popular ‘Say So’ choreography. You know, the one where you knock on your own head. Always the generous, internet-savvy Queen, Doja featured @yodellinghaley in the official ‘Say So’ music video showing off her moves. No surprise here, that video is already running up huge numbers on Youtube (23 million in two weeks).