Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Doja Cat – Mooo!

To which some of us say, “Wooo!” and others say, “Booo!”…


Julian Axelrod: Fun fact: “Mooo!” is a song. It’s understandable if you forgot, given its warped life cycle: Doja Cat has gone from also-ran to viral sensation to problematic fave in under a year, a PR whiplash that might be too heavy for this song’s slight shoulders to bear. But how does one evaluate “Mooo!”? Is it a fun novelty hit with unfortunate baggage or a canary in the coal mine for everything that followed? Is it “Gucci Gucci” or “Gangnam Style”? If I close my eyes and focus, I can still hear a song under all the noise. It’s unabashedly goofy, obviously, but its silliness belies its expert execution. Doja’s falsetto coos sound lovely floating above a loping jazz guitar and relentless 808s, and even when she’s milking the cow metaphor for its last drop, I find the song oddly relaxing. It’s hard to hear “Mooo!” and not think of the surrounding discourse, but there’s a reason we were all talking about it in the first place.

Alfred Soto: Like good Wayne, more than a decade ago, Doja Cat loves sounds such that she’ll follow them into every burrow. The lounge jazz background, complete with guitar pokes, complements allusive lyrics and insinuating mannerisms. Then Doja tears the genteel script in half: “I wanna cheeseburger. Fuckin’ vegans.”

Nortey Dowuona: Drifting, ghostly piano samples drift behind the nimble, bouncy ball beat while Doja goofily slides all over, skidding gleefully when she could be marching all over instead.

Tim de Reuse: Four and a half minutes of a joke that deserved maybe ten seconds? That’s bad enough. Closing with a reference to a much more successful song just makes it all the more obvious how the rest of it is about as sexy as a funeral.

Ramzi Awn: With sultry vocals and a slinky beat, “Mooo!” makes it hard to tell if it means to be ridiculous or not. Either way, it succeeds, and the rhyming of “moo” with three other distinct words to construct a good hook is oddly admirable. The overuse of Kelis’s “Milkshake” comes as an unlikely low point, however.

Taylor Alatorre:The Kelis interpolation that we used, there was literally nothing better than that in that moment. We were like, let’s sample Kelis.” This is instructive in that “Milkshake” was often derided as a gimmick song during its peak but has stood the test of time due to its rhythmic complexity, lyrical daring, and yes, memeability. Doja Cat may have hoped to evoke some of that energy here, but her delivery makes it obvious that this is all just a series of free associations with no deeper purpose, so we’re left with little to become invested in. Okay, so you’re a cow; you’ve gone to great lengths to convince me that this is literally the case, including use of the words “steroids” and “farter.” Now what am I supposed to do with that information?

Iain Mew: Mostly it defies commentary through force of casualness, but the abbreviated “Milkshake” quote stands out as a delightful payoff/punchline/big bow on top.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: What I appreciate most about “Mooo!”: it feels like a late 2010s version of a video/song I’d see on eBaum’s World circa 2004, which is to say that it’s enjoyable for both its musicality and humor. Surely the best thing about this novelty hit is that it’s so effortlessly presented, and knowing that it was made in a single day really makes it all the better. The Ludacris and Kelis interpolations that comprise the song’s final 90 seconds seem unnecessary, but it’s hard to find fault in them considering how easy they go down. When was the last time a song so readily memeable was this easygoing?

Nicholas Donohoue: Doja Cat is a good test case of the internet meritocracy and the resulting crash of support. Comic songs about cows aren’t a new innovation, but Doja Cat shot up out of nowhere by being one of the few genuinely funny things in 2018 that didn’t need any context or backstory or kernel of an idea other than that I know what a cow is and that fast food is delicious. Any sliver of a moment that can allow me to ride a surreal trip of being a pompous cow is inherently good for me and to I imagine the vast amount of people who find glee in its lightness. Then Doja Cat had to dash my joy away by defending her prior 15,000 uses of a homophobic slur. It is the defense that’s the true let down. Everyone is allowed to grow from their past and finding anyone who doesn’t at some point say stupidity on a medium like Twitter is rare, but the moment Doja Cat had to face a weighty issue she used the same buoyant not-giving-a-fuck mood from “Mooo!” in her response. Hating gay people isn’t the problem here, it’s not caring about them, especially when the LGBTQ community poured so much support out for her. Then to not directly apologize to the LGBTQ community in order to do a managerial non-discrimination on the grounds of race, religion and sexuality corporate broadcast apology… twice. So yeah, the song is real fun, but I am well done with this.

Reader average: [2.83] (6 votes)

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2 Responses to “Doja Cat – Mooo!”

  1. Had no idea she was problematic :(

    I was genuinely surprised this wasn’t anything to do with Turquoise Jeep records.

  2. Yeah her fifteen minutes (more like 5, really) ended rather abruptly for me with her horrendous “I don’t think I hate gay people” apology.