Doja Cat: “Demons”

The art of the iconic music video has been, if not entirely lost to time, at the very least declining these past few years. Doja Cat is one of the form’s few remaining practitioners, and the clip for her new single, “Demons,” is a miniature horror film that’s creepier and more fun than pretty much anything Blumhouse put out last year. Her marketing strategy around her forthcoming album, Scarlet, seems to be, simply, “freak people out,” and the clip for “Demons”—in which she, made up as a demon in full-body prosthetics, ruins Christina Ricci’s life—certainly fits the bill.

A great music video is kind of moot if the song itself doesn’t deliver, which “Demons” does: Rapping over a disorienting, bass-heavy beat that sounds a little like a pop-ified version of something Tyler, the Creator might have made circa Goblin, Doja adopts the same laissez-faire-but-not-really attitude toward haters as on “Paint the Town Red,” her recent TikTok hit. Her lyrics, delivered in a clipped baby voice, are simple and effective: “Are you off a key/I would never let you in my VIP/We are enemies, we are foes/Who are you? And what are those?” Moments later, she begins to rap with an even more clipped flow, adopting the unnatural rhythms of a text-to-speech app. As with much of Doja’s recent output, it’s smart, sinister, and knowingly dumb, all at the same time.