Doja's skilled flow, sense of humour, and catchy refrains have garnered her a wide fanbaseTWITTER/ DOJANEWSS

This has been an enormous year for Doja Cat, and it’d be a lie to say that I haven’t relished it. From the acclaimed release of Planet Her in June, to hosting the VMAs this September, Doja’s meteoric rise to the top has been one of the most deserved in recent pop history. Her success isn’t just about her infectious, psychedelic-pop beats. Doja Cat’s lyrics are bold and funny, delivered with a quirky versatility reminiscent of MARINA or Nicki Minaj. Hot Pink (her biggest masterpiece to date) is nothing less than a frothy, genre-bending disco of sex-positivity. The fact is, she’s a born performer, and few of her contemporaries have the potential to work a crowd quite like she does.

Nevertheless, there’s a downer coming, and it’s quite a big one. Doja doesn’t always hit. It’s forgivable because she’s got so much else going for her, but it’s also pretty unavoidable. One track, you’re raving about her revolutionary pop genius; the next, you’re wishing she’d packed it in after “MOOO!”.

And so, without further ado, here are ten of the greatest Doja Cat bops – and five which I believe shouldn’t have made it past the recording studio...

Ten of Doja Cat’s best songs… (in no particular order)

1) “Rules” (Hot Pink, 2019)

This was the song which sold me on Doja Cat. Her flow is at its most impressive, the bass is hypnotic, her lyrics are fun and just-a-little-bit out there. And that Austin Powers impression? With the gasp right before it? In a word: perfect.

"Rules" showcases Doja's flow "at its most impressive"YOUTUBE/ DOJACAT

2) “Woman” (Planet Her, 2021)

As Planet Her’s opening track, it’s a strong headliner. With driving steel drums, “Woman” pays homage to Afrobeat, proving the perfect eff-the-patriarchy hype song.

3) “Say So” (Hot Pink, 2019)

Right up there with dalgona lattes and crocheted crop tops, “Say So” defined the first lockdown. And, somehow, it never got boring. Reworked into a god-tier remix with Nicki Minaj, a musical-theatre-style glamour medley, and a haunting, string-heavy ballad, Say So did it all. There’s even a heavy metal version inspired by The Ring.

One of the many subversive performances of Doja Cat's smash hit "Say So"YOUTUBE/ DOJA

4) “Cookie Jar” (Amala, 2018)

Amala was Doja’s first full-length album, and I’d say that “Cookie Jar” shines through as an underrated gem. With a sugary, shout-along chorus, and lyrics skipping nimbly from “Pokémon” to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” references, can you really ask for more?

“I grew to love Doja’s mesmerising, silky-slow build-up”

5) “Streets” (Hot Pink, 2019)

I hated this song the first time I heard it. Its status as a TikTok-induced sleeper hit felt genuinely inexplicable. At some point, though, I grew to love Doja’s mesmerising, silky-slow build-up, only making that fierce “Damn papa you a rare breed” rap all the sweeter.

6) “Tia Tamera” f/ Rico Nasty (Amala (Deluxe), 2019)

The hook is infectious, Doja is golden, and Rico is ferocious in the best way.

7) “Boss Bitch” (Birds of Prey: The Album, 2020)

The first verse is apparently penned by Ashnikko, and you can definitely feel that in the ballsy, confident bluster of “Boss Bitch”. This is one of Doja Cat’s more conventional raps, but she still showcases her sharp, whip-quick enunciation.

8) “Cyber Sex” (Hot Pink, 2019)

One of Doja’s most intricate flows for sure, “Cyber Sex” is a playful, sex-positive song which doesn’t shy away from themes of female masturbation.

9) “Payday” f/ Young Thug (Planet Her, 2021)

The gorgeous R&B dance anthem that “I Don’t Do Drugs” wishes it was, “Payday” is one of my all-time favourite Doja collabs. It’s three minutes and thirty-two seconds of bragging about money, and it’s incredible.

10) “Need to Know” (Planet Her, 2021)

Last but definitely not least, “Need to Know” is one of Doja’s most explicitly sexual tracks, and with that, feels deliciously intimate. Punctuated by breathy gasps and a pulsing bass, I’d venture to crown it Planet Her’s best song.

And five of her worst…

1) “Shine” (Hot Pink, 2019)

The autotune on this track should be illegal (and I absolutely do not mean that in a good way). The techno influences in “Shine” just aren’t quite convincing or coherent enough for Doja to pull off, resulting in the only must-skip track on Hot Pink.

2) “Dick” by Starboi3 f/ Doja Cat (2021)

Don’t get me wrong, I do like this song. I mean, objectively speaking, it’s definitely one of Doja’s worst tracks – and yet there’s something very lovable about this plain-speaking ode to penis. Lyrics are not the strongpoint, but the “She’s not with Jim tonight/She in the gym tonight!” refrain somehow manages to feel genuinely gleeful. It’s a banger that’s so brazen, it actually works.


READ MORE

Mountain View

Summer Walker basks in newfound autonomy on Still Over It

3) “Beautiful” (Purrr!, 2014)

“I’m beautiful… I’m beautiful!” croons Doja in her first EP. Unfortunately, her vocals aren’t. Whilst it may be passable stoner trap, “Beautiful” is far from Doja’s best.

4) “Why, Why” f/ Gunna (Planet Her (Deluxe), 2021)

I definitely get why (why) this song wasn’t included in the original album release. The melody (when there’s melody to speak of) is messy, the hook is whiny and forgettable. Next!.

5) “You Right” f/ The Weeknd (Planet Her, 2021)

Time to wrap things up with a controversial opinion. “You Right” was one of the most hotly anticipated tracks on Planet Her, and since its release it’s quickly become a fan favourite. Honestly, though, I’m just not hearing it. Maybe it’s a stretch to call this track one of Doja’s worst, but I do think it had the potential to be so much more. As it is, it’s far from an album stand-out.

A few final thoughts…

This collab with The Weeknd, according to Miranda, "had the potential to be so much more"YOUTUBE

Despite a caché of mediocre tracks, an inconsistent discography hasn’t stopped Doja Cat finding a permanent place in my (perhaps overly-critical) heart – not to mention the latest charts. Injecting her signature spunk and quirky lyrics into mainstream RnB, it’s hard to miss her infectious appeal. As she points out herself in “Cookie Jar”, as eloquently as ever: “On the billboard that’s me, Senpai!” And, if I’m being honest, I hope she’s there to stay a while.