Rapper Doja Cat addresses controversial song, denies taking part in 'racist conversations'
Singer and rapper Doja Cat issued a statement on Sunday night, addressing a resurfaced 2015 song with an offensive title. She also defended herself after receiving backlash for associating with alt-right internet users, saying she never personally took part in "any racist conversations."
Hashtags like #DojaCatIsOverParty and #OnlyKlans began trending on Twitter late last week, with many social media users calling Doja (real name Amalaratna Zandile Dlamini) out for her song "Dindu Nuffin." The title is a racist slur often used against black people who've faced police brutality. People also criticized the artist for appearing in past racist video chats.
In the first part of her statement, Doja, 24, apologized for taking part in the chats but denied saying anything racist herself.
"I want to address what’s been happening on Twitter,” she wrote. "I’ve used public chat rooms to socialize since I was a child. I shouldn’t have been on some of those chat room sites, but I personally have never been involved in any racist conversations. I’m sorry to everyone I offended."
Doja, who is half black, said she regretted releasing the old track, saying it was "written in response to people who often used that term to hurt me."
"I’m a black woman. Half of my family is black from South Africa and I’m very proud of where I come from," she continued. "As for the old song that’s resurfaced, it was in no way tied to anything outside of my own personal experience. It was written in response to people who often used that term to hurt me. I made an attempt to flip its meaning, but recognize that it was a bad decision to use the term in my music."
She concluded her statement by saying she took the situation "very seriously" and promised to do better in the future.
"I understand my influence and impact and I’m taking this all very seriously. I love you all and I’m sorry for upsetting or hurting any of you," she wrote. "That’s not my character, and I’m determined to show that to everyone moving forward. Thank you."
Not everyone bought her apology, and shortly after Doja issued the response, community organizer Zellie Imani noted her December interview with Paper magazine where she admitted to "making offensive jokes" in online chatrooms.
"People would pick on me and use horrible, horrible language, just the worst, and I just didn't understand why people were so crazy on there," Doja said in the interview. "So I became the person who would make offensive jokes and do things sort of out of the box."
The musician, whose "Say So" remix with Nicki Minaj recently reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts, has previously apologized for old offensive remarks. In 2018, her 2015 tweet using a homophobic slur resurfaced, and while she initially defended herself, she later ended up expressing regret.