Del Rey co-wrote “Blue Banisters” and “Text Book” with Gabe Simon of the indie rock band Kopecky (Dua Lipa, mxmtoon), while she co-wrote “Wildflower Wildfire” with veteran rap producer Mike Dean (Kanye West, Travis Scott), who also produced the single.
The 35-year-old singer-songwriter has already caused controversy with a lyric from the chorus of “Text Book,” where she sings, “And there we were, screamin’ ‘Black Lives Matter’ in a crowd.” See some of the reactions below:
why the hell is lana del rey talking about black lives matter- pic.twitter.com/EHWDmUT8QF
— darian electra (@darianmars) May 20, 2021
not lana del rey putting “and we were screaming black lives matter in the crowd, along the river, and i saw you saw who i am” in a song
— roslyn talusan (@roslyntalusan) May 20, 2021
Lana del Rey singing Black Lives Matter in Text Book but it’s really just a song about her daddy issues… oh no 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/99h5NeKSmT
— Boston Gay Boy 🏳️🌈 (@BostonGayBoy) May 20, 2021
lana del rey really sprinkled Black Lives Matter in her lyrics to give it it some flavor and now it’s backfiring so hard cause why did she think that her basically showing that she doesn’t ACTUALLY care about black lives or black issues was the move ?
— ☥ (@JV_IZM) May 20, 2021
Shortly after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 that sparked Black Lives Matter protests, Del Rey posted videos of looters breaking into businesses and running out with arms full as alarms blared. Black artists like Kehlani and Tinashe called her out for it because of the way it portrayed the protests and endangered the lives of other Black people.
Days earlier, Del Rey name-dropped Kehlani and other artists who are women of color while announcing her upcoming album last spring. In a lengthy note posted to Instagram, the singer wrote, “Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyonce have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, f—ing, cheating, etc — can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money – or whatever I want – without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse?”
After being labeled “racist” for calling out female artists of color in her post, Del Rey responded in the comments, writing, “This is sad to make it about a WOC issue when I’m talking about my favorite singers. I could’ve literally said anyone but I picked my favorite f—ing people.” She continued to defend herself in a six-minute video. “I’m not the enemy, and I’m definitely not racist, so don’t get it twisted,” she said after earlier calling herself a girls’ girl. “Nobody gets to tell your story except for you, and that’s what I’m gonna do in the next couple books. So God bless and, yeah, f–k off if you don’t like the post.”
Del Rey released her Chemtrails Over the Country Club album in March, which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Shortly after the LP’s release, Del Rey already announced that another new album, Rock Candy Sweet, will arrive June 1. Blue Banisters is set to arrive July 4.
Listen to “Blue Banisters,” “Text Book” and “Wildflower Wildfire” below.