Kesha and mother Pebe Sebert attend the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on Januar...

Kesha’s Mom Explained That Controversial Jeffrey Dahmer “Cannibal” Lyric

She co-wrote the song.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is back in the headlines following the debut of Netflix’s new series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. In addition to critiques about the impact the show had on some families of Dahmer’s victims, the show has ignited controversy surrounding pop songs that mention Dahmer, including Kesha’s 2010 hit “Cannibal.”

The song featured a lyric that reference cannibalism and name-dropped Dahmer: “Be too sweet, and you'll be a goner / I'll pull a Jeffrey Dahmer.” The song was co-written by Kesha, songwriter Ammo, and Kesha’s mom Pebe Sebert.

On Oct 2, Sebert addressed the backlash to the “Cannibal” lyric in a TikTok video and said she wrote the lyric. "At the time, Kesha and the other writer [Ammo] were too young to even know who Jeffrey Dahmer was,” she said in the TikTok.

Sebert explained how a computer program generated the now-infamous name-drop. “Literally, the way it happened is I have this rhyming program called MasterWriter for songwriters. We were looking for a rhyme for 'goner,' at the very end of the widest rhymes was ‘Jeffrey Dahmer.’ I was like, 'Oh, my God, that's a perfect lyric,’” she said. "Not to be insensitive to anybody whose families were involved in this and lost loved ones.”

Sebert also gave context to the song’s overall lyrical meaning, which was empowering Kesha after years of not being in charge. “At the time, it was a song that we were writing about Kesha,” Sebert said, acknowledging that it was a way for her daughter to give a middle finger to those who made fun of her growing up who were now coming out of the woodwork after she blew up. This experience, Sebert said, inspired lines like “Now that I’m famous, you’re up my anus.”

“It was a tongue-in-cheek funny song,” Sebert said. “It was not actually about cannibalism. It was just a title."

Sebert, who has written number-one songs for the likes of Dolly Parton and Pitbull, gave her apologies to the families of Dahmer’s victims. "We certainly never meant to hurt anybody or make anybody feel bad,” she said in the TikTok. “Jeffrey Dahmer’s name wouldn’t even be in the song if it wasn’t for the MasterWriter that threw his name up there.”

Kesha recently performed “Cannibal” in Hulu’s Huluween Dragstravaganza, which premiered on Oct. 1. The Dahmer line censored from her performance.