Doja Cat? The woman who currently holds three top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “Kiss Me More,” featuring SZA (No. 5), “You Right” with The Weeknd (No. 17) and “Need to Know” (No. 20)? The artist whose third studio album, Planet Her, has remained in the top 5 of the Billboard 200 since its No. 2 debut last month and has sent multiple songs to the top of the Rap Streaming Songs, R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs, Rhythmic Airplay and more charts? The superstar who won best new artist accolades at the American Music Awards, iHeartRadio Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and more award shows last year? Yes, the one. She wants to do better, because her career isn’t a numbers game to her.
She told Missy that “about 98 percent of the time I’m just trying to have fun” when she’s making records that turn out to be hits with a staying power. Following the success of her first Hot 100 No. 1 “Say So,” her sophomore album Hot Pink continued gaining attention and traction, with “Streets” reaching the top 20 of the Hot 100 in March 2021 — after it was initially released in Nov. 2019. But the 25-year-old MC isn’t as concerned about her stats as she is her craft.
“When it comes to rap I could be better. I think everybody feels that way with their own art, in all kinds of ways. But I see all these incredibly talented rappers around me, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m doing pop, but I should focus on my pen now more than ever,'” she told the veteran MC. “I’m good, and I can be funny and charming, and I can do little punchlines here and there, but I need to talk about my life more, and about what’s going on.”
While she hosts consistent Instagram Live chats with fans from her bedroom, there’s more to her than meets the eye through the screen. And she’s still figuring out if she wants to share those parts of her through her bars. “Yeah, there’s personal stuff that happens in my life that I don’t talk about in my music. I also kind of don’t care,” Doja added, telling the “Work It” rapper, “I always felt like you cared about dancers, and you cared about sounds, and you’re not boring people to death with your personal life, or whatever is going on in your mind. Sometimes rappers can do that. They rap about how they’re sick and tired, and how they’re this and that. It gets boring after a while.”
Her “Say So” smash perfectly demonstrates Doja’s versatility as a rapper and singer, but the first part of her art is something she’s still finding the time to really sit down and hone in on.
“It’s harder for me to rap. Sometimes I get writer’s block, because I don’t want to write something stupid,” Doja said. “Sometimes I’ll write something and be like, ‘Why would I say that?’ Then I’ll restart, and eventually just give up. But when I do it right, I’m really, really happy about it.”