Ahead of dropping Norman Fucking Rockwell, Lana Del Rey spoke to the New York Times about making protest anthems for the project in light of the current climate in America. During the interview, the singer-songwriter talked about some of her controversial peers that have been heavily covered in the press lately like Kanye West, Donald Trump, Moby, and Billie Eilish.
On her latest single, “The Greatest,” Lana directly refers to West as being “blond and gone.” When asked about the purpose of that line, she refrained from fully blasting the rapper by emphasizing the significance of his influence on society as a whole.
“I don’t want to elicit a response,” she said. “You never feel better for having written something like that. But Kanye just means so much to us. And by the way, I’m grateful to be in a country where everyone can have their own political views. I’m really not more of a liberal than I am a Republican — I’m in the middle. But it was more like the mood and the vibe around, Yo, this man is the greatest! Really? The greatest? It hurt me. Did I have to say anything? No. But it’s more just a line that represents a lot of things.”
Last year, Lana called out West for supporting the Trump campaign when he proudly posted a photo of himself wearing a MAGA hat on Instagram. “Trump becoming our president was a loss for the country but your support of him is a loss for the culture,” she previously wrote. “I can only assume you relate to his personality on some level. Delusions of grandeur, extreme issues with narcissism. If you think it’s alright to support someone who believes it’s OK to grab a woman by the pussy just because he’s famous-then you need an intervention as much as he does.” As for Trump, she did not hold back from criticizing how his administration openly promotes violent behavior in comparison to Barack Obama’s presidency.
“I was there when Obama got elected in Union Square,” she explained. “Under that administration, it felt like a dream had come true-ish and we could focus on the arts and it was a time of reprieve and we didn’t have to talk about certain things. But of course there was a lot going on. One portion of the dots that people are connecting is: ‘Is it possible that this presidency is engendering this idea that it’s O.K. to be more violent?’ And a lot of people are saying yes. Someone who says ‘grab ’em by the pussy,’ that does make someone else feel a little bit more entitled to bring his rifle to school. If there wasn’t a time for protest music, there absolutely is now.”
Norman Fucking Rockwell is out on August 30. While you wait for the record, read her full interview here.