The Brief: Lana Del Rey controversy memes began trending after the artist compared her criticism in the music industry to that of Doja Cat, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Kehlani, Ariana Grande, and Camilla Cabello.
On May 21, singer Lana Del Rey took to Instagram to defend critiques from female writers and ALT singers that said her music glamourizes abuse and is anti-feminist at its core. She called out a double-standard in the industry, saying that that artists like Doja Cat, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Kehlani, Ariana Grande, and Camilla Cabello are chart-toppers while singing about “being sexy, wearing no clothes, f*cking, cheating, etc.” In her post, she goes on to ask: “Can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even in the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money — or whatever I want — without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse?”
Her argument did not sit well with music fans in various standoms. Many who found her argument pointed at a time when the top spots on the Billboard charts are occupied — for the first time ever — by four Black Women (Doja Cat, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Megan Thee Stallion).
Lana Del Rey at 12am last night pic.twitter.com/TtAfABaHQJ
— pop religion (@popligion) May 21, 2020
The BeyHive was quick to illustrate Del Rey has never reached Beyoncé’s numbers.
The Hive is fed up. Let me get my popcorn https://t.co/sCivV4gfHP
— ❄Mikki Kendall❄ (@Karnythia) May 21, 2020
She also hasn’t dealt with the same struggle female artists of color have.
nah i’m fucking crying at lana del rey saying "there has to be a place in feminism for women who look like me" like is she’s sojourner truth 😭
— lana del rey is the sojourner truth of our gen (@nostalgicuItra) May 21, 2020
What killing me is Lana thinking she’s gotten more harsh critique than a Nicki Minaj or a Beyoncé throughout their careers.
— @elonmusk invent the BBL pill 🇩🇲 (@lunahi6h) May 21, 2020
Del Rey has had previous run-ins with other artists, notably her beef with rapper Azealia Banks. Subsequently, memes about Banks hearing the news began circulating online, with Azealia Banks’ name trending on Twitter.
azealia banks really was right when she called lana a white feminist a few years back… pic.twitter.com/26Ab7mUDk3
— ben (@colapeach) May 21, 2020
thinking about when lana started using all that aave bc azealia called her out for her white feminism pic.twitter.com/4BAhQlTzIM
— incel elgort (@shazthebabe) May 21, 2020
miss azealia must ready to post that IG stories rant about Lana in the morning pic.twitter.com/F6FGgsxvU1
— dom (@dominickarmand) May 21, 2020
Miss Azealia Banks from her home as we speak pic.twitter.com/dIN5lKR8wC
— Lexus J. Blige (@Holyzusss) May 21, 2020
Lana Del Rey waking up tomorrow morning with a message from Azealia Banks: pic.twitter.com/IcbkzrIVmq
— cruel nox (@cruelnox) May 21, 2020
Azealia getting ready to fire up her keyboard and respond to Lana despite not being mentioned anywhere in the text pic.twitter.com/RVJ9VZcMGp
— metamucil papi 🐀 (@kaypeaux) May 21, 2020
when azealia banks wakes up and sees lana del rey getting dragged pic.twitter.com/XrcJQpY6iw
— c (@chuuzus) May 21, 2020
Lana Del Rey: “question for the culture..”
Azealia Banks: pic.twitter.com/fHj5eyPPgi
— Sharon_Shurrnnn (@SShurrnnn) May 21, 2020
The backlash is also being compared to food columnist and cook Alison Roman’s controversy with Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo. Roman criticized Teigen and Kondo in The New Consumer for selling products and merchandise, which she deemed antithetical to what they’ve promoted in the past.
Anyone have Lana del Rey’s shallot pasta recipe
— Ira Madison III (@ira) May 21, 2020