After a year-long absence of rap songs topping the Billboard Hot 100 in 2023, the first rap song of the year has finally broken the dry spell. The song that achieved this feat is by Doja Cat, an artist who has worked tirelessly to establish her hip-hop credibility.
Her single “Paint The Town Red,” which samples Dionne Warwick, has topped this week’s Hot 100 chart. This is her second No. 1 hit after “Say So” reached No. 1 on the chart dated May 16, 2020, largely due to a guest appearance from Nicki Minaj, which also gave Minaj her first-ever No. 1. Interestingly, the last rap song to reach No. 1 was Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” on the chart dated August 22, 2022.
In the lead-up to her forthcoming fourth studio album, Scarlet, Doja Cat humorously claimed that her new album would be entirely rap, then entirely R&B, then punk or inspired by rave culture. She eventually attributed these frequent changes to ADHD. However, she has always been a stylistic chameleon, even criticizing her older albums for being more commercial and less authentic.
Given that she was mentored by Project Blowed veterans like Verbs in Los Angeles, hip-hop is in Doja Cat’s DNA and is clearly what she is most passionate about expressing at the moment. It appears that her passion is yielding results.