It seems like Lana Del Rey wasn’t the only person that discovered Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism during lockdown as she’s now asserted that the Donald Trump presidency “needed to happen” as a means to illuminate the real pandemic of our age, narcissism.
The singer recently sat down with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 in promotion for her forthcoming record, Chemtrails Over the Country Club.
During the interview, Lana Del Rey took a moment to clarify the controversial comments she made upon the album’s artwork reveal before talking about Trump and politics.
For context, yesterday Lana unveiled the tracklist and album artwork for Chemtrails. In classic Lana fashion, the news was accompanied by a clumsy spiel about how she is a very! Inclusive! Person!
The album artwork features a group of women lounging in a barn. For some unknown reason, Lana felt the need to elaborate on the women of colour featured on the artwork.
“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,” she wrote in a since-deleted comment.
She continued, “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 capital, I’m literally changing the world by putting my life and thoughts and love out there on the table 24 seven. Respect it.”
During her BBC interview, Lana Del Rey elaborated that the peculiar comments that accompanied the album artwork revealed were prompted by an instinct that she would face backlash for the artwork.
“Before I even put the album cover up, I knew what people were going to say,” she said (transcribed by Consequence of Sound). “So when they actually started saying things, I responded and I just said, ‘I got a lot of issues but inclusivity ain’t one of them.’ It just isn’t. You can’t just make it my problem…”
“We voted for Biden,” she continued. “My girlfriends come from all over the world, they have children from all different types of people. And I’m mentioning all this, like, to people who are listening because people really wanted even more people of color on my album cover. Which you know is, to a point, a photo just is what it is.
“I wasn’t being preemptive, I was definitely responding. But I just feel like if that’s really what people are gonna say, I have an answer for them, which is that if you look closer, you will see people of colour. It’s a black-and-white image, so zoom in, you know. It’s just weird, you know?”
The songwriter went on to take a moment to reflect on the political and social landscape of the United States, boldly claiming that the biggest problem the country faces isn’t climate change, but narcissism.
“The madness of Trump… As bad as it was, it really needed to happen,” she said. “We really needed a reflection of our world’s greatest problem, which is not climate change, but sociopathy and narcissism. Especially in America. It’s going to kill the world. It’s not capitalism, it’s narcissism…”
She continued, “Your life is not about what kind of shoes you buy, it’s not about going to Harvard or Oxford,” she says. “It’s about what kind of person you are. If you’re an asshole and everyone … if you’re a jerk and everyone tells you that you are and everyone tells you that you’re a jerk, then we finally need to address this big issue in the world of what do we do with all these people who don’t know they’re hurting other people? Do we put them all on an island together?”
Elsewhere in the interview, Lana Del Rey offered her insight into the protests that took over the Capitol last week, boiling it down to “disassociated rage” felt by US Citizens.
“I think, for the people who stormed the Capitol, it’s disassociated rage,” she explained. “They want to wile out somewhere. And it’s like, we don’t know how to find a way to be wild in our world. And at the same time, the world is so wild…”
“Again, I think people are having to re-evaluate what is strange and not strange. Watching the people storm the Capitol, everyone gets to go look at that and figure out what Capitols they’ve been storming this year in their own freakin’ lives. ‘Cause everyone’s running amok.”