At the start of every artist's newest era, stans take to Twitter to discuss the most anticipated new tracks and the album's visuals. But depending on the artist, those discussions can turn into debates and even arguments, and some fanbases aren't as forgiving as others. Lana Del Rey's Chemtrails Over The Country Club album cover (and the artist's pre-emptive statement to critics about it) has fans upset.
Lana Del Rey shared the artwork for her upcoming album via Instagram on Jan. 10, whipping stans into a frenzy with the mysterious black-and-white imagery for Chemtrails Over The Country Club. The cover itself is beautifully shot and features her closest friends and an elegant vintage aesthetic, but the singer issued a sort of warning statement along with it. "No this was not intended-these are my best friends, since you are asking today," she wrote in a comment soon after posting the photo. "And damn! 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, but thank you."
It's not totally clear what comments Del Rey was responding to, but it was seemingly in response to some criticism from followers about the diversity (or seeming lack thereof) of her friend group.
The statement comes after Lana was recently called out over similar concerns from fans about a statement she made in May 2020 concerning sexism in the music industry. After clapping back at accusations she glamorized abuse in her lyrics, Lana claimed her statement "was about the need for fragility in the feminist movement." She cited "Beyoncé, Doja Cat, and Nicki Minaj" as women who she felt explored sexuality like hers in their music, but people on Twitter did not appreciate Lana's implication that those Black artists hadn't faced as much sexism from the public for their music as she had (which is, of course, not at all true).
Now, Lana is seemingly on the defense to show fans she's inclusive. "We are all a beautiful mix of everything — some more than others which is visible and celebrated in everything I do," she wrote in the comments under her album cover. "In 11 years working I have always been extremely inclusive without even trying to."
"My best friends are rappers[,] my boyfriends have been rappers," Lana continued (although it's unclear why that's important, considering not all rappers are POCs and — as far as her rapper exes go — they're mostly white). "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 [Capitol], I’m literally changing the world by putting my life and thoughts and love out there on the table 24 seven."
Lana is certainly aware of all the memes and backlash from stans on Twitter about the cover and her controversial statements in May, but she may have misfired, once again, when it came to addressing it. Some followers may not have even noticed or critiqued the album cover had she not pre-emptively defended its level of diversity. Now, her comments have set off another wave of criticism.