Lana Del Rey released the album cover and tracklisting for her seventh album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club on Sunday, before launching into a lengthy Instagram comment which saw her defending herself from accusations of racism, and which many have criticized for being tone deaf.
The cover of Lana’s album, which she posted on her Twitter, features a black and white image of the singer and a group of women around a table. Some of her fans, however, were quick to criticize this image. One, for example, tweeted, “Lana cover is giving me racist 1950s vibes,” while another wrote, “lana posted a cover that looks like a women for trump gathering.”
Seeming to respond against comments like these, the singer, whose given name is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, took to Instagram.
In a now-deleted post, the “Born to Die” hitmaker wrote: “As it happens when it comes to my amazing friends and this cover yes there are people of color on this records picture and that’s all I’ll say about that.”
However, this was not all she said about that. She continued: “In 11 years working I have always been extremely inclusive without even trying to. My best friends are rappers my boyfriends have been rappers.”
For many, this comment read as tone deaf, with Lana giving a new spin on the “I have black friends” defense that white people have given to defend themselves about accusations of racism in the past.
Reacting to this, one fan tweeted: “#LanaDelRey i love you but please you are confusing the heck out of people talking about certain topics AT THE WRONG TIME. it had nothing to do with race. and to use a black stereotype ‘rappers’ in replace of the black ppl you’ve dated and been friends with is SO TONE DEAF. #lana”
Another Twitter user posted a reaction featuring a picture from the movie Get Out, about a white woman who lures her Black boyfriend to her parent’s house so they can steal his body, with the caption, “Lana del Rey and her rapper boyfriends.”
Another Twitter user, meanwhile, compared her to Miya Ponsetto, a 22-year-old woman who recently appeared on CBS This Morning to defend herself after being arrested for confronting a Black teen in a hotel and accusing him of stealing her phone.
Del Rey finished her comment by writing: “My dearest friends have been from all over the place, so before you make comments again about a WOC/POC issue, I’m not the one storming the capital [sic], I’m literally changing the world by putting my life and thoughts and love out there on the table 24 seven. Respect it.”
One Twitter user summed up the situation by writing, “if you ever feel useless, just remember that lana del rey has a publicist.”
This latest Instagram post comes after a year in which the singer received criticism online for another controversial statement on race.
In May 2020, she defended herself against accusations that her songs glamorized abuse with a post in which she called out a number of women of color artists for their lyrical content, writing, “Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, f******, cheating, etc—can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money—or whatever I want—without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse?”
The album cover of Chemtrails Over the Country Club also features a reference to the last time Lana Del Rey received the ire of Twitter. In the bottom left hand of the image, an iPhone can be seen next to Lana’s mesh face mask, which many criticized her for wearing.