“C’mon, it’s only a music video.”
At this point, it’s all too predictable: a middling but relatively successful female music artist goes all-in on satanic imagery and — like the temptation the devil put before Jesus — suddenly they’ve got the keys to the kingdom.
So when rapper-singer Doja Cat released a new music video in which she dons a demonic persona and terrorizes an unwitting victim (played by actress Christina Ricci, in an apparent nod to her “Addams Family” roots), well, let’s just say it’s barely newsworthy nowadays.
Or is it?
The music video for “Demons,” directed by Christian Breslauer, pays homage to some of the greatest horror films of all time, from the snowy static of old-school late-night TVs to the infamous shower scene from “The Shining.” When it comes to genre, the video leaves no doubt as to which category Breslauer prefers.
And while we won’t share the video itself here due to its excessive profanity, sinister themes and blatant satanic imagery, much of its content can be gathered from social media posts which Doja Cat — whose real name is Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamin — shared on her Instagram page.
On Aug. 22, the artist posted a silhouette of herself wearing horns with the caption, “9.1.23” in reference to the debut of “Demons,” prompting one fan to comment, “The religious people will love this one.”
Days later, she shared an image from the video shoot in which she can be seen hanging upside down from the ceiling and wearing an all-black latex-style body suit with black horns atop her head and long, claw-like fingernails.
Another image showed Doja Cat scaling the walls of the same room.
“Demons” is reportedly the sixth track from Doja Cat’s soon-to-be-released album titled Hellmouth.
Get it? Demons. Hellmouth. Devil horns. Nothing to see here. Because for Doja Cat, none of this is particularly new.
Her hit “Paint the Town Red,” which was released just last month, has 30 million views on YouTube and is the No. 12 top music video on the entire platform.
That video also has no shortage of satanic imagery, including the artist literally dancing on top of some sort of horned demon head while wearing a sleeve decorated with — you guessed it — red pentagrams.
Oh yeah, and in that video, Doja Cat also flirts with the Grim Reaper while wearing an all-red hooded dress, eats raw meat while wearing a cross necklace and shirt with the word “FERAL,” and again wears horns on her head while getting familiar with another dark horned figure.
You know, just typical music video stuff.
And maybe that’s what this is all about.
“Paint the Town Red,” after all, is a sort of response song to criticism aimed at Doja Cat over the dark imagery in her videos and whether she, like Robert Johnson and so many before her, actually sold her soul to Satan.
It’s not as though Doja Cat doesn’t realize the impact she might have on her audience; she’s laughed off accusations about her “demonic” tattoo and even changed her profile image on TikTok to a demonic face.
So, clearly, she’s not concerned with making the wrong impression that she might, just maybe, have a taste for the satanic.
And make no mistake, the music industry is taking notice: not only is Doja Cat set to perform at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards this month — where she’s also nominated for best video of the year and artist of the year — but she’s also headlining the upcoming “Victoria’s Secret World Tour on Prime Video.
Which begs the question: why not just come out and say it? Why not just be honest with your fan base and tell them who you really are?
Or if this is some sort of marketing play and/or initiation ritual (no emails, please), why not just say that? Why advertise the product in the first place if that’s not your brand?
The thing is, the devil doesn’t show up with horns and pitchforks, but actually masquerades as an angel of light, something beautiful, glorious even: “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)
But whereas before the demons of this age felt the need to conceal their true identity, in the year of our Lord 2023, they can no longer be bothered with such technicalities.
Instead, it’s in our face, on our children’s devices. It permeates the culture. It glories in the fact that most people just don’t know their Bibles. It feeds on our theological ignorance.
And it absolutely loves lukewarm Christianity.
But rest assured, like so many before it, “Demons” isn’t just another music video.
It’s a commercial for everything that we, as Christians, are supposed to hate and, in Christ, ultimately relegate to the dustbins of history.