Doja Cat Talks the Viral Success of 'Mooo,' Getting a Chance the Rapper Co-Sign & Lessons Learned From Debut LP 'Amala'
Though in recent days, Nicki Minaj has had the industry on tilt with the release of her fourth studio album Queen, this past weekend, it was Doja Cat who dominated the conversation. Though she's been slowly building traction with her grossly underrated release Amala, on Saturday (Aug. 11), the rosy R&B singer clawed her way into mainstream glory overnight with her eccentric visual "Mooo!."
In the surreal video, the spunky singer peppers farm-animal punchlines over bizarre green-screened backdrops, while dressed in a cow costume. Doja even takes it a step further and coos a simple, but sticky hook to signal her allegiance to the everyday farm animal: "I go mooo, mooo, mooo/ Yeah, I say bitch, I'm too smooth." Despite the rudimentary hook, the lyrics instantly pop, mostly courtesy of the lighthearted video.
"I just like to do the fun stuff. If I’m not having fun with it, I’m not going to do it for the rest of my life," Doja tells Billboard. "I just wanna bring something fun -- the current climate is so uptight and serious and it’s just good to have something stupid to laugh at. It’s funny because it’s a joke, but it sounds kinda good. People listen to it like it’s a song."
Since the release of "Mooo!," Doja's video has garnered praise from fans and peers alike. Earlier this week, Chance the Rapper gave his stamp of approval after watching the whimsical clip. "So now im a big doja cat fan," he wrote on Twitter. Pop luminary, Katy Perry, was also swept away by Doja's creativeness and saluted the young singer on her new video. "Udderly fab," Katy quipped.
Billboard spoke to Doja Cat about her bovine banger "Mooo!," Chance the Rapper's stamp of approval, and why she'll probably be throwing burgers out to the crowd during her upcoming tour. Check it out below.
I gotta talk about the elephant in the room, the record, “Mooo!” Please tell me the concept of the video and the record.
That all came from the outfit I was wearing in the video, actually. I got that outfit for touring. I was stocking up on costume and things like that, and that was one of the costumes. I never had any intentions of making a cow song, but then I put the costume on in bed. I kind of cheated. I put the costume on while I make songs in bed. I’m in bed with this shirt on and I had a tutu and I was on live with all my fans or whatever, the 50 supporters I hang out with.
I didn’t know what to write about. I had this sample from Wes Montgomery that my friend chopped up for me. I threw it in the program and I was like, “What do I talk about?” I had no idea. I think I had stayed up late and I just started writing about cows ‘cause it seemed perfect. I was like, “Let me just do a cow song.”
You were literally rocking the cow costume, writing a cow song?
Yeah! I had my hair in little cow horns. The whole costume materialized as I was making the song. I was like, “Let me put some moo-ing harmonies in this.” I’m gonna go all the way, full throttle.
I listened to “Wild Beach,” and you were do meow-ing sounds at the end of the record, so I was like, “Maybe she’s trying to switch it up and go with a ‘moo,’ and next time she’ll go with a ‘woof.’” I tried to correlate the two together.
Totally. I just like to do the fun stuff. If I’m not having fun with it, I’m not going to do it for the rest of my life. I just wanna bring something fun and the current climate is so uptight and serious and it’s just good to have something stupid to laugh it. It’s funny because it’s a joke, but it sounds kinda good. People listen to it like it’s a song.
I thought it was so dope how you had a ton of song references in there like Luda's "Move," “Milkshake” with Kelis, Raekwon with “C.R.E.A.M."
The punchlines are crazy in this compared to most of my songs -- probably the hardest I ever really rapped on anything, and I do try to go pretty hard. It’s funny, when you have a theme so particular to cows -- or it could be anything like hair or nails -- when you’re rapping about a specific thing, you can have more punchlines about it. Because it was about cows, you can link that to farms, hay, and all of that. The irony about it is being about cows in a rap song is what made it special.
Have you caught note of all the memes on Twitter about the record and if so, which ones are your favorite?
My favorite one is probably the biggest one. I haven’t really looked at too many, but one was it said, “My boyfriend said he wants steak tonight, so I’m like ‘moo.’” [Laughs]
Sango tweeted how dope you are as an overall singer and songwriter outside of the "Mooo!" record. He was saying how people are doing a disservice if they think this is all you can do.
Dude, he's so great. He's an angel for that. I do have a lot of music out. I just put my album out about four months ago and it didn't get a good push, honestly. There was bad communication and it was really hard to get the album out there, but honesty, it good some really good feedback and positivity. My album Amala is out right now. I think this is really so good that this song went viral because I have a tour coming for Amala in September. Like, right now. So, it's crazy. [Laughs]
So now im a big doja cat fan --— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 13, 2018
What did you think when Chance came and gave it his stamp of approval?
I kind of wasn’t surprised, because I know chance has an appreciation for DIY -- and you know Chance, he made it on his own. That’s his thing. It’s really cool.
Have people gone back and listened to Amala since you released "Mooo!" because you do have some dope records on there like "Casual" and "Fancy."
Yeah, I’ve noticed a bit of that. That’s why I did re-pin my album link right when the shit started to take off, I said, “let me pin this album.” It kind of started to fade into the background because I had other songs that I was making in the past three months and I started working on my new album. With that, comes certain songs little I put out in the meantime. I put shit out for free often.
Have you ever thought about how you’re going to incorporate “Mooo!” into your tour? Have you thought about if you’re going to perform it.
Oh, totally. We wanna pull a Rick Ross and throw cheeseburgers into the crowd with Doja Cat stickers on them. My friend called me to tell me we should do that and I said it was genius.
You could get a partnership with In-N-Out, I feel it.
The song is pretty vulgar [laughs]. I totally get what you’re saying, but it’s pretty rated-R.
Somebody’s gotta take a chance. You might get Carl’s Jr.
Maybe instead of “Bitch, I’m a cow” we thought of maybe “Sis, I’m a cow.”