Published May 21, 2020Over the years, Lana Del Rey has often received criticism over lyrics that allegedly glamourize abusive relationships, such as on the Crystals-quoting title track of her 2014 album Ultraviolence, when she sang, "He hit me and it felt like a kiss." Now, Del Rey has defended herself against those criticisms, as well as announcing that she has a new album on the way.
In a letter posted on Instagram, Del Rey wrote that she is "fed up with female writers and alt singers saying that I glamorize abuse when in reality I'm just a glamorous person singing about the realities of what we are all now seeing are the very prevalent emotionally abusive relationships all over the world."
She wrote that her lyrics have explored the submissive or passive roles she has taken in her own relationships, and called the criticisms "pathetic." Del Rey added, "I've been honest and optimistic about the challenging relationships I've had. News flash! That's just how it is for many women. And that was sadly my experience up until the point that those records were made."
Describing herself with the double negative "not not a feminist," she said that "it's been a 10 years of bullshit reviews." According to Del Rey, "I also feel it really paved the way for other women to stop 'putting on a happy face' and to just be able to say whatever the hell they wanted to in their music."
Buried in the second page of the lengthy letter is a tidbit about new music. She wrote that she has two upcoming poetry books exploring the same themes as the letter and added, "I'm sure there will be tinges of what I've been ponder in my new album that comes out September 5."
UPDATE (5/22, 11:30 a.m. ET): Following a wave of backlash over the Instagram post, Del Rey replied in the comments section, addressing accusations of racism. In response to criticisms of her calling out the likes of Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé, Del Rey wrote, "Don't ever ever ever call me racist," adding: "The singers I mentioned are my favourite singers so if you want to try and make a bone to pick out of that, like you always do be my guest. It doesn't change the fact that I haven't had the same opportunity to express what I wanted to express without being completely decimated. If you want to say that that has something to do with race that's your opinion but that's not what I was saying."
Read the letter below.
The new album will be the follow up to last year's beloved Norman Fucking Rockwell! album. It's not entirely clear if she's talking about an entirely new project, or if it's the previously teased spoken word poetry album Violet Bent Backwards over the Grass.