Music

What Is The Meaning Behind Doja Cat’s ‘Balut?’

todaySeptember 21, 2023

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With Doja Cat’s fourth studio album, Scarlet, just hours away from release, anticipation for the new project couldn’t be higher. While Doja’s antics during its rollout were purposely designed to throw off some fans, Doja diehards were fascinated with her edgy singles, which included “Attention,” “Paint The Town Red,” “Demons,” and most recently, “Balut.”

However, that last one has some fans confused about its meaning. Whether that’s due to its titular reference to the Filipino street dish or fans wondering how that title relates to the song’s content, many have been wondering…

What Is The Meaning Behind Doja Cat’s “Balut?”

Balut, the dish, originates in the Philippines. It’s a simple street dish consisting of a boiled or steamed fertilized duck or chicken egg. The embryo is incubated between 14 and 21 days then steamed or boiled and eaten directly out of its shell, often with vinegar or salt. The longer the embryo has been incubated, the more it looks like a bird.

Doja’s ingenious use of the term comes from the cutthroat nature of the lyrics. In the verses, she slings such pointed insults as, “I’m the shit, you a real piece of shit / I am needed, you a real needy bitch / I’m competing, you are incompetent / You are fleeting ’cause you can’t copy this.” In a post on Instagram Stories, Doja explained, “I named the song ‘Balut’ because it signifies a bird that’s being eaten alive. It’s a metaphor for Twitter stans and the death of Twitter toxicity. The beginning of ‘X’ and the end of ‘tweets.’” (The reference to “Fleets” — the short-lived copy of Snapchat and Instagram Stories — bears this out.)

Unfortunately, her explanation actually incensed some Filipino fans, who sought to correct her mischaracterization of balut. What should have been a pride-inducing moment for the culture turned into a teaching moment for Doja as fans explained that the duck embryos are no longer alive when eaten.

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