“Bitch, I’m a cow.” With four simple words, Doja Cat birthed a viral sensation and put one of hip-hop’s most enthralling figures on the map. Yet, it proved to be more than just a passing viral moment, as each of Doja Cat’s forthcoming varied releases captured with it that same initial spark of surprise and excitement. And while the aforementioned “MOOO!” would later appear on the deluxe edition of Doja Cat’s debut album, Amala, the Los Angeles rapper’s sophomore effort is nowhere near lacking when it comes to standout moments.
Hot Pink is perhaps as far from a straightforward hip-hop album as you can come. Then again, that likely comes as no surprise given the fact that one of the first previews of Hot Pink came in the form of the Blink-182-sampling “Bottom Bitch.” It is this same willingness for experimentation that makes Doja Cat’s sophomore effort a sonically disjointed affair at times but one that is ultimately brought together by the star power and overflowing charisma of its leading lady.
One of Doja Cat’s most daring payoffs arrives in the form of “Say So,” a neon-tinged departure that pays ode to the sights and sounds of ‘70s dance and modern-day nu disco. Moments later we are thrown a curveball with the impossible to misplace calling card, “It’s Gucci,” marking one of Hot Pink’s only three collaborations. And while the Smino-assisted “Bite” and the Tyga-supported “Juicy” showcase Doja Cat in two varying lights, with the latter’s glittering, buoyant soundscape creating a more iconic moment than the breakout “MOOO!,” it is the Los Angeles rapper’s solo efforts where she feels the least inhibited.
It is these moments that allow for Doja Cat to flex her versatility between hip-hop maverick and R&B heartthrob. “Streets” sees Doja Cat lulling listeners into a false sense of security before dipping behind a haze of sultry, ominous R&B. Meanwhile, the disarmingly sublime “Cybersex” doubles as a pop-leaning anthem for cam girls and those stuck in long-distance relationships.
The one constant that exists between Doja Cat’s forays into nostalgic R&B, leftfield hip-hop, and even alternative rock–fueled departures is a musical vision that seems to care little for cohesion in favor of delivering a project rife with standout, memorable moments. Hot Pink is an album to match any mood, any fleeting feeling, and satiate those looking for anything beyond what mainstream hip-hop has to offer.
Listen to Hot Pink below: