On Sunday evening, Lana Del Rey dropped the track list for the forthcoming Chemtrails over the Country Club, whose title track she’s expected to release on Monday. But she did not do so without also dropping a bizarre Instagram comment, an apparent attempt to preempt any backlash over the album artwork, which shows Del Rey surrounded by a group of women clad in dresses and pearls.
If that is what’s going on here—it’s hard to tell. It seems as though Del Rey intended to respond to someone, but whoever they are and whatever they said has since been lost in a sea of friendly comments from fans eager for the full album release. And frankly, I don’t think the loss of context is what’s making Del Rey come off badly in this comment.
Here it is in full:
I also want to say that with everything going on this year! And no this was not intended-these are my best friends, since you are asking today. And damn! As it happens when it comes to my amazing friends and this cover yes there are people of color on this records picture and that’s all I’ll say about that but thank you. My beautiful friend Valerie from Del Rio Mexico, my dearest friend Alex and my gorgeous friend Dakota Rain as well as my sweetheart Tatiana. these are my friends this is my life. We are all a beautiful mix of everything- some more than others which is visible and celebrated in everything I do. In 11 years working I have always been extremely inclusive without even trying to. My best friends are rappers my boyfriends have been rappers. My dearest friends have been from all over the place, so before you make comments again about a WOC/POC issue, I’m not the one storming the capital, I’m literally changing the world by putting my life and thoughts and love out there on the table 24 seven. Respect it.
Where to begin! Well, first off, it seems that Del Rey was replying to someone accusing her of tokenizing the women of color who appear on the album cover. It seems fine for Del Rey to point out that the people included in the photo are in fact her friends (assuming that it’s true). But things quickly devolve from there and become a version of the “some of my friends are Black” defense. For example: “We are all a beautiful mix of everything—some more than others ...”
Some more than others.
Then there’s: “My best friends are rappers and my boyfriends have been rappers.”
And of course all of these cringey, tone-deaf remarks are topped off with an appeal to her own supposed superiority and good intentions: “I’m not the one storming the capital, I’m literally changing the world by putting my life and thoughts and love out there on the table 24 seven. Respect it.”
This smug kicker is similar to one Del Rey used in May to address backlash resulting from an Instagram post criticizing Black women artists and portraying herself as marginalized within the music industry. At the time she concluded, “I’m not the enemy, I’m not a racist, don’t get it twisted...so fuck off if you don’t like the post.”
Not racist, not storming the Capitol...how wonderful that Del Rey has Instagram at her disposal to reassure us of all her impressive attributes.