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A Brief History Of Charli XCX’s Brat Wall

“brat wall you will always be famous <3”

by Carson Mlnarik

You can’t turn a corner in New York — a city obsessed with culture, capitalism, and charm — without someone trying to sell you something. Perhaps that’s why Charli XCX’s massive, months-long promo campaign for her latest album Brat stuck out like a literal giant, lime-green wall. Leading up to the record’s release and in the weeks following, the “365” singer used it as a canvas to update local fans and the entire internet on new releases and vibes, broadcasting updates by painters in real time on TikTok.

The space in Greenpoint, located near a rock-climbing gym, affectionately became known as the “Brat wall.” But on July 1, Charli and team effectively hung up their painters’ hats with one final message: “ok, bye!” But as the club-classics creator wrote on social media: “brat wall you will always be famous <3.” This is its history.

The lore began on May 2 after Charli tweeted out the address for The Lot Radio, where she held a surprise pop-up performance to kick off the Brat era. “BRAT WALL 4EVER,” she wrote on TikTok, standing atop a parked SUV in front of the fluorescent wall and lip syncing to “360” surrounded by a flock of fans. Still, it remained blank in the immediate weeks following, albeit not free from the occasional trolling. (“Someone sh*t on the BRAT wall,” one fan wrote alongside pics of brown smudges on Reddit. So not Julia.)

Ahead of Brat’s release on June 7, it seems Charli sent one of her first messages via lyric: “i’m your fav reference,” before the wall was repainted to feature the record’s short and spunky title. The brat meeting point didn’t last for long, though. On June 10, it went completely white to announce the aptly titled deluxe edition — “brat and it’s the same but there’s three more songs so it’s not” — which arrived on the same day. A few weeks later, it was updated to the much more cryptic “lorde” to tease the two singers working it out on the remix with “the girl, so confusing version with lorde,” which dropped on June 21.

Each time the wall was updated and live-streamed, stan Twitter went into a state of pandemonium trying to anticipate Charli’s next move. Although Brat cover-meme-making sites popped up and her particular shade of lime green was virally omnipresent, its physical likeness somehow seemed even more powerful. Fans trekked en masse to take photos and watch its updates.

Thankfully, as Charli clarified, its farewell message is not a door closed on the era, but rather a surrendering of the marketing space. (“Brat summer is only just beginning,” she explained.) But in a time of fleeting social media updates and constant releases, we’ll miss the tangible chaos it brought into our lives, even if only for a few weeks. RIP Brat wall indeed.