Fans of Doja Cat will know her quirky, light-hearted take on rap music can lean in a variety of directions, but even so, her cover of a classic grunge icon might seem a little out of left field upon first glance.
The rapper, who started posting her music to Soundcloud as a teen, has dabbled in plenty of sounds, from her humourous meme songs that have gone viral on the internet to cheeky tracks like ‘Freak’ that incorporates a vintage inspiration, it seems that there’s nothing Doja can’t do as she moves between album eras.
Although this new cover wasn’t an independent release associated with her creative team or record label – in fact, it was a corporate collaboration with Taco Bell for a super bowl commercial – there is a possibility that this sound could show her testing out a direction we haven’t seen before.
Courtney Love is a controversial figure, to put it lightly. Not only has she been wrapped up in all kinds of accusations regarding Kurt Cobain’s passing, but she’s also been involved in a sea of celebrity drama, like her most recent online feud with pop singer Olivia Rodrigo over an album cover. Regardless, she’s an undisputed grunge hero.
Songs like ‘Malibu’, ‘Doll Parts’, ‘Jennifers Body’, ‘Violet’, and their most famous ‘Celebrity Skin’ can all be attributed to Love’s band, Hole. The track ‘Celebrity Skin’ is one of those cultural touchstones of the late 1990s that everybody knows. Even if you can’t identify the song by the title, you’ll definitely recognise it once you hear it.
Doja Cat’s take on this song is a pleasant surprise. With most of the instrumentals remaining consistent with Hole’s version, the rapper shows off her growly, raspy lower register that she doesn’t usually get the chance to flaunt. Although it hugs closely to the original, this track can serve the purpose of giving Doja Cat a chance to dip into other styles, while also introducing Hole to a new generation.
Courtney Love has a history of not taking kindly to others putting their spin on her material (hence the Olivia Rodrigo drama), but it seems that Love was all-hands on deck with this one, giving her blessing in the form of contributing to corporate-friendly lyric changes (a concept that seems so fully un-punk, but hey, what can you do?).
With this new sound from Doja and a collaboration with one of the most notable women in music, it begs the question, what’s next for Doja Cat? Perhaps this grungey edge is teasing a whole new era. And if it’s anything like this, it’ll definitely be one to stay tuned for.
Listen to the full version of Doja Cat covering ‘Celebrity Skin’ by Hole below.