I am mad at Doja Cat for being so good at everything at ACL Fest
Who gave Doja Cat permission?
Who reviewed her application to work the swing shift at the pop factory and saw how absurdly overqualified this woman is?
Why do I wear insole inserts with extra support from my podiatrist but she can complete an entire Olympic qualifying trial in platform sneaks?
The rapper-singer-TikTok star turned the Lady Bird Stage on Saturday at Austin City Limits Music Festival into an alien pleasure planet. Maybe just to rub it in that she's an otherworldly talent? Backed by full arena-style instrumentation and a squad of miraculous dancers I can only assume were trained by Batman, surrounded by psychedelic flora and styled to perfection like "Dirrty"-era Xtina on a tropical vacation, Doja Cat came to audition for Billie Eilish's time slot.
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First of all, how dare she? And second, how dare the United States of America for not giving her the (pulsating, extraterrestrial) flowers she deserves?
I know Doja is famous, but when someone eats and leaves no crumbs — I looked and I could not locate one crumb in Zilker Park! — it's hard not to be mad that people think of her primarily as a viral sensation.
The hit parade was in full effect Saturday. She cycled through songs like "Rules," "Juicy," "Like That," "Get Into It (Yuh)" and "Talk Dirty," and that was just the first 20 minutes. "I brought a toy," she told the audience as she grabbed a red microphone tricked out with vocal effects, launching into a truly athletic "Bottom Bitch."
Doja's new album, "Planet Her," is stacked with festival-ready tactical missiles like "You Right," "Woman" and the inescapable summer song "Kiss Me More." On "Need to Know," it struck me how everyone knows the words to all of Doja's songs because we’ve been indoctrinated, cult brainwashed maybe, by their ubiquity across the internet. If you think that being the purveyor of 97% of TikTok's popular sounds makes Doja a novelty of some sort, then I can't help you understand that it actually makes her the only pop star who fully harnesses the power of the communication medium we spend every second of our lives consuming.
Those ACL singalongs don't lie. See also: the arms waving in the dusk breeze to "Shine."
Which brings me to my next point, namely, that this lady's flow is as crisp as a Fuji apple chilling in the drawer at the bottom of the fridge. On "Streets," she spit like her tongue does sit-ups. And "Tia Tamera" was a real crowd-pleaser, because come on, those rhymes are hilarious: "Have a seat, bitch, please, Ikea/ From the Westside like Maria/ I'm hot like grits, Madea/ Beat the (expletive) up, call PETA/ I rock the boat like Aaliyah/ I rock a bob like Sia."
Like, I'm furious. You don't get to be one of the most sparkling wits in all of pop culture and also dance like you've got hydraulics in your cartilage. The choreography was sexy, and it was strange, like Britney Spears making a cameo in a Missy Elliott video. No one has ever done the robot to such precise, serotonin-creating effect. Her body broke and shook, with the squad around her fully adding Cirque du Soleil to the ACL Fest lineup.
And when Doja swept down to the ground, grabbed her mic and immediately started with the bars? I clutched my chest and she owes me a reimbursement for my insurance copay.
Don't get me started on the faces Doja pulls while doing all this. Launch the movie career. Just don't hurt us.
Before the set, I told my friends that Doja's performance of her No. 1 hit "Say So" at the MTV EMA last year is a must watch. For that awards show, she turned the candy-gloss disco groove of the tune that launched her into the national spotlight into a full mid-2000s metal-pop Evanescence fantasy. Full electric shreds, thundering drums, big stadium belts — it quite simply slaps.
Imagine my slack-jawed delight when she brought some of that rock to her set-closer. No TikTok dances here, just pure showstopping entertainment.
This was the kind of ACL hour where you keep looking over at your friends wordlessly, like "Can you believe it?"
I'll never be Doja Cat, and neither will you. I'm suing her for emotional distress.