At midnight on Oct. 21, Lady Gaga dropped the newest single off of her upcoming album “ARTPOP,” the R. Kelly assisted “Do What U Want.” A flickering slice electro-R&B, “Do What U Want” has a bit of that 80’s throwback vibe that’s been finding its way back onto the charts thanks to people like Drake and, well, Lady Gaga. The song’s “Do what you want/ what you want with my body” lyrics are a little gross considering who she tapped to join her on the track, but it’s a catchy and propulsive pop song that features strong vocal performances from both Gaga and Kelly.
Because the release of a new single is incomplete without an accompanying Twitter rant, Gaga took to the popular social media site on Sunday to list some of the slights that have been directed her way and respond to them with hashtags that double as the song’s lyrics (cleverly done, Ms. Gaga).
Beginning with “LADY GAGA IS FAT NOW!” and an accompanying, somewhat unflattering picture, Gaga self-addressed rumors of drug use (“My recovery is a daily battle”), her LGBT advocacy (“[I will] always fight for equality, got my own relationship with God”), comparisons with fellow pop starlet Katy Perry (“I write for the music not the charts”), and her supposed feud with Madonna (“i dont need anybodys permission to be remembered. I will be. Whether they like it or not.”). Most of the posts sprinkled in hashtags like “#WriteWhatUWant” and “#YouCantHaveMyHeart” that referenced the lyrics to her new single.
The whole thing was a canny bit of promotion, as Gaga built anticipation for her new song while simultaneously playing the “misunderstood outcast” card, a favorite in her deck of tricks. When the results are as good as “Do What U Want,” however, all attempts to reposition a multi-platinum pop star as an alienated pariah are forgiven.