In “Paint the Town Red,” Doja Cat flexes her confidence and self-sufficiency, expressing a preference for fame and the fast life over conventional societal norms. The lyrics are a testament to her firm resolve to remain steadfast on her path, embracing her success and refusing to settle. And as the Queen of Wordplay, she equates her domineering, rebellious persona to a devil, which in the hip hop world signifies a fearless disruptor.
Breaking down the verses, the repeated phrase “I’d rather be famous instead” surmises her preference for the limelight over the mundanity of ordinary life. She’s not here to play; she aims for the stars with her cat-eye glasses locked on fame. The lyrics “I let all that get to my head” indicates she’s aware of fame’s intoxicating influence, yet she’s not backing down. Her intent to “paint the town red” is a colloquial expression for partying or causing a stir, suggesting she’s not only embracing stardom but also the potential chaos that comes with it.
With the lines “She the devil / She a bad lil’ bitch, she a rebel / She put her foot to the pedal / It’ll take a whole lot for me to settle,” Doja Cat is asserting her confidence. Calling herself ‘the devil’ is less about evil and more about embodying a fearless and rebellious character, uncompromising and pedal to the metal – racing through life with no intention of slowing down.
When she says, “My happiness is all of your misery / This Margiel’ don’t come with no jealousy / My illness don’t come with no remedy,” it’s essentially a clapback to haters who can’t stand her success. The “Margiel” could be a reference to Maison Margiela, a high-end fashion house. She’s saying, her swag is unique and isn’t tainted by envious vibes. Also, her “illness” here could be her addictive and hypnotic personality, which doesn’t need a cure.
Interestingly, “I don’t need a big feature or a new sidekick / I don’t need a new fan ’cause my boo like it” is a strong statement. She doesn’t need collaborators or a sidekick to stay relevant, and she’s not desperately chasing fans, but rather creating music that she and her close ones appreciate. Doja concludes by repeating the chorus, reinforcing her fiery character, appetite for fame, and her determination to “paint the town red.”
All in all, Doja Cat’s “Paint The Town Red” offers a compelling exploration of her relationship with fame, her audacious and unwavering personality, and her steadfast belief in her worth and prowess. This track is indeed a testament of pop with a punk attitude, played out with a devil-may-care grin.