It seems drama follows Lana Del Rey wherever she goes. After spending the latter half of 2020 being criticized for seemingly wearing a mesh mask to an in-person book signing, Lana Del Rey has found herself in hot waters again — this time around the rollout of her highly-anticipated new record, Chemtrails Over The Country Club.
After months of teasers and updates, the pop star finally released the tracklist and album cover for the record on Instagram on Sunday, alongside a rambling, defensive and seemingly unprompted note in the comments section about her cover art choice. The art in question is a photograph of Del Rey dressed up in pin-up fashion, standing and laughing alongside 10 of her friends.
"I also want to say that with everything going on this year! And no this was not intended-these are my best friends, since you are asking today," her note cryptically began. "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."
After going on to thank a few of her collaborators, she ended the note by emphatically (and cringely) stating that in the "11 years working I have always been extremely inclusive without even trying to. My best friends are rappers my boyfriends have been rappers." And that "before you make comments again about a WOC/POC issue, I’m not the one storming the capital, I’m literally changing the world by putting my life and thoughts and love out there on the table 24 seven. Respect it," she wrote.
Since the release of her note, the Internet has been dragging Del Rey for her messaging, which many have summed up as a longer version of the well-known "I can't be racist because I have black friends" excuse.
"This 'i can't be a racist look I have poc friends I've dated rappers' Lana Del Rey post is sending me! WHAT IS 2021," one Twitter use wrote.
Despite all the hullabaloo — or, at this point, in spite of it — Del Rey is still moving forward with the rest of the rollout, sharing the song and music video for the title track on Monday. The song and video is classic Del Rey, from its dreamy verses about upper-class American suburban life, to the video's retro-themed aesthetics, and shots of her zooming down the highway in a red convertible — in her mesh mask, no less.
Hear "Chemtrails Over The Country Club" above, and see its tracklist and album cover below.