"Mooo!" (often stylized in all caps as "MOOO!")[4] is a 2018 song by American rapper and singer Doja Cat. After originally being uploaded exclusively as a music video on August 10, 2018, it became a viral internet meme and amassed over 75 million views.[5] It was consequently released as the first single off the deluxe edition (and third overall) of her debut studio album Amala. The viral success of "Mooo!" is considered to have been a major influence to Doja Cat's internet fame, ultimately "setting the tone for her career",[6][7] despite being considered by Doja Cat herself as a "throwaway" and a "joke".[8]

"Mooo!"
Doja Cat - Mooo!.jpg
Single by Doja Cat
from the album Amala (Deluxe Edition)
ReleasedAugust 31, 2018
Recorded2018
StudioDoja Cat's Bedroom (Los Angeles, California)[1]
Genre
Length4:46
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Doja Cat singles chronology
"Candy"
(2018)
"Mooo!"
(2018)
"Tia Tamera"
(2019)
Music video
"Mooo!" on YouTube

Background and recordingEdit

Prior to the release of "Mooo!", Doja Cat had released her "moderately successful"[9] debut studio album, Amala, in March 2018.[10] She developed the song as an inside joke alongside her fans in early August 2018, not expecting it to go further than SoundCloud.[11] She told Dazed, "We started it on Instagram live, just me and 60 other people, and we all had fun coming up with puns and metaphors."[12] The song was inspired by Doja Cat's cow-print costume set which she wears throughout the song's music video.[13] She wrote and recorded the song in six hours, while in bed in the costume.[14][11] Doja Cat used a sample of Wes Montgomery's "Polka Dots and Moonbeams", which producer Troy NōKA had chopped and sent to her the night before.[15][16] After making a beat with the sample and recording vocals in Logic Pro,[15] she immediately began filming the song's music video from her bedroom.[11] According to Doja Cat, she completed the song and its video within 12.5 hours of one day.[17][18]

The song's music video gained over five million views in two weeks.[19] After the video's viral success an updated single was released.[20][21]

CompositionEdit

"Mooo!" is "a rather simple, jazzy song about the important things in life: eating cheeseburgers, maybe doing some kissing, and generally not being in the mood to do anything else."[22] A novelty song,[9][6] Doja Cat raps about being a cow, despite her name, and the pleasures of farm life in a pseudo-sexual way. The song contains plethoras of cows "mooing" (mainly COW - SINGLE MOO, ANIMAL 02 from Sound Ideas's The General Series 6000) background vocals over "swelling harmonies" and jazz guitar.[23][15] The refrain goes "Bitch I'm a cow / Bitch I'm a cow / I am not a cat / I don't say meow". The song features a lyrical reference to the nursery rhyme "Old MacDonald Had a Farm (E-I-E-I-O!)", while also referencing hip hop songs including Ludacris's "Move Bitch", Schoolboy Q's "Collard Greens", Chamillionaire's "Ridin'", "Kelis' "Milkshake", Tear Da Club Up Thugs's "Slob on My Nob", and Wu Tang Clan's "Cash Rules Everything Around Me".[24][25][17]

Music videoEdit

 
Critics praised the video for its "DIY", "lo-fi", "low-budget" style.

To prepare for filming, Doja Cat hammered a green bed sheet to her bedroom wall to act as a green screen and inserted GIFs from Google into Photo Booth.[15][7] The video for "Mooo!" features Doja Cat clad in cow-print pajamas with french fries in her nose and eating various fast food items.[26] She raps in front of a green screen which alternates between cartoonish GIFs of food, farms, and bouncing anime breasts.[27][3] The video was filmed and edited by Doja Cat herself in the timespan of five hours maximum.[28] She said in an interview that the green screen was actually made of her childhood bedsheets, as she was "obsessed with green" as a kid.[15] The DIY video has been praised for its "lo-fi",[29][3][11] and "low budget"[9][3][30] nature. Sofia Mele of Billboard compared the video to that of John Mayer's "New Light" whilst describing it as a "meme-maker's paradise, charmingly kitschy in its use of green screen".[31]

The American animal rights organization PETA responded to the song's music video with a parody video told from the perspective of a cow that Kristin Corry of Vice described as "pretty damn rude".[32] Doja Cat responded to the parody, saying, "PETA can't say shit and they can suck it because I didn't actually hurt anybody. I didn't hurt any cows, dogs, cats, or frogs, or fucking ants. I'm not worth picking on."[7] In addition to the parody, Doja Cat also responded to the negative criticism towards "Mooo!", tweeting: "I love that the majority of you guys are healthy and normal and then all of the people who don't like moo are taking their lives and a song I wrote about cows all too seriously, losing hair over it. I like to disappoint woke-hip-hop people."[27]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

Susanna Heller from Insider described it as "the song of the summer", "a classic", and "a bop".[25] Jordan Sargent of The Face wrote that the song "might seem silly, but at its core it's a tender and affecting piece of songwriting about perseverance and individuality".[33] Aaron Williams of Uproxx said the song was "silly and strange and alarmingly catchy, exactly the sort of thing calculated to go viral on social media" while praising the "bold, hilarious rhymes".[34] "Mooo!" was ranked at No. 2 on Paper's list of The 100 Best Songs of 2018.[35] Critics said the song was a great introduction to Doja Cat's catalog.[7][36] Reporting for Pitchfork about Doja Cat's rise to fame with a throwaway song after the "sleepy rollout" of Amala, Rawiya Kameir wrote "The sudden attention from 'MOOO!' gave [Doja Cat] an opportunity to remake her career in a way that suited her personality more, and the influx of followers meant leverage. Still, she acknowledges that there was a little smarting at getting so much attention for a throwaway, instead of an album that she'd worked hard on."[8] Nitish Pahwa of Slate said the "throwaway song" was "perhaps her most mainstream claim to fame".[23]

AccoladesEdit

"Mooo!" was ranked in various critics' lists of the best songs and music videos of 2018.

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Billboard The 50 Best Music Videos of 2018 50 [37]
Dazed The 20 Best Songs of 2018 20 [38]
The Fader The 100 Best Songs of 2018 25 [39]
NPR 35 [40]
Paper 2 [35]
Slant The 25 Best Singles of 2018 10 [41]
Spin The 101 Best Songs of 2018 16 [42]
Vibe The 25 Hip Hop and R&B Music Videos of 2018 22 [43]
Vulture The 10 Best Music Videos of 2018 8 [44]

Credits and personnelEdit

Recording and management

  • Engineered at Doja Cat's Bedroom (Los Angeles, California)
  • Mixed at Alcove Studios (Los Angeles, California)
  • Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering (Hollywood, California)
  • Mau Publishing, Inc./Prescription Songs (BMI), Wiz Up Publishing/Sony/ATV Songs LLC (BMI), Yeti Yeti Yeti Music/WB Music Corp. (ASCAP), Universal Music Careers (BMI), EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI), Pharrell Pub Designee/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI), Block Off Broad Publishing/Ultra Empire Music (BMI), 10 X 2 Publishing/Ultra Tunes (ASCAP), Reservoir 416/Reservoir Media Management, Inc. (BMI), Braids Publishing/Universal Music-Z Tunes (ASCAP)
  • Contains portions of "Milkshake", written by Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, published by Universal Music Careers (BMI), EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI), Pharrell Pub Designee/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) and "Move Bitch", written by Craig Lawson, Bobby Sandimanie, Jonathan Smith and Michael Tyler, published by Block Off Broad Publishing/Ultra Empire Music (BMI), 10 X 2 Publishing/Ultra Tunes (ASCAP), Reservoir 416/Reservoir Media Management, Inc. (BMI), Braids Publishing/Universal Music-Z Tunes (ASCAP)
  • COW - SINGLE MOO, ANIMAL 02, recorded at Sound Ideas.

Personnel

Credits adapted from Hot Pink (Japan Version) liner notes.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Hot Pink (Japan Version) (Media notes). Kemosabe Records.
  2. ^ Moen, Matt (August 14, 2018). "Doja Cat's 'Mooo!' is a Meme Masterpiece". Paper. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Bernard, Jesse (August 21, 2018). "This is why Doja Cat's single 'Mooo!' went viral even though it doesn't make any sense". The Independent. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  4. ^ "MOOO! by Doja Cat - Spotify". Spotify. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  5. ^ Krishna, Rachael (August 13, 2018). "Doja Cat's New Song About A Cow Has Become A Huge Meme". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on August 5, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Blair, Robert (February 26, 2020). "How Doja Cat's "Mooo!" Set The Tone For Her Career". HotNewHipHop. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Corry, Kristin (August 16, 2018). "An Interview with "Mooo!" Maker Doja Cat, Rap's New Dairy Queen". Vice. Archived from the original on December 29, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Kameir, Rawiya (October 9, 2019). "The Strange Evolution of Viral Music Stardom". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Bassett, Jordan (August 29, 2018). "Doja Cat, you've been cancelled: how the novelty rapper became 2018's 'Milkshake Duck'". NME. Archived from the original on May 21, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  10. ^ Valentine, Claire (March 30, 2018). "She's About to Be Everywhere: Get to Know Doja Cat". Paper. Archived from the original on October 29, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d Skelton, Eric (August 14, 2018). "Doja Cat Explains How Her Viral Banger "Mooo!" Came Together". Complex. Archived from the original on November 3, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  12. ^ Alemoru, Kemi (August 29, 2020). "Speaking to Doja Cat, the IG Live auteur behind viral hit 'Mooo!'". Dazed. Archived from the original on May 15, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  13. ^ Heller, Susanna (August 22, 2018). "Viral internet star Doja Cat said her 'ridiculous' costume inspired her song 'Mooo'". Insider. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  14. ^ Silver, Jocelyn (August 14, 2018). "Doja Cat Explains Her Perfect Viral Hit 'MOOO!'". Paper. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  15. ^ a b c d e Pache, Juliana (August 14, 2018). "Doja Cat explains how she made her viral hit "Mooo!"". The Fader. Archived from the original on April 4, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  16. ^ Hughes, Aria (October 10, 2018). "Who Is Doja Cat?". WWD. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Fu, Eddie (August 23, 2018). "Doja Cat Breaks Down "Mooo!" On Genius' Series 'Verified'". Genius. Archived from the original on August 24, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  18. ^ Gore, Sydney (August 15, 2018). "Meet Doja Cat, the Artist Behind the Viral Cow Anthem "Mooo!"". Highsnobiety. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  19. ^ Thomas, R. Eric (August 24, 2018). "Let Doja Cat's Viral Video Moooove You Into a Weekend Vibe". Elle. Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  20. ^ Giulione, Bianca (August 28, 2018). "Doja Cat Is Releasing a New Version of "Mooo!" on Spotify & More". Highsnobiety. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  21. ^ Hussein, Wandera (August 27, 2018). "Doja Cat will release an updated version of "Moo" on Spotify and iTunes". The Fader. Archived from the original on October 28, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  22. ^ Harris, Hunter (August 15, 2018). "The Summer's Most Important Wind Down Is 'Mooo!' by Doja Cat". Vulture. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  23. ^ a b Pahwa, Nitish (August 15, 2018). "This Song About Being a Cow Could Spawn the Next "In My Feelings" Challenge". Slate Magazine. Archived from the original on May 25, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  24. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (August 14, 2020). "'Bitch I'm a Cow' Is a Thing That Exists and the Internet Seems Really Happy About It". People. Archived from the original on December 1, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Heller, Samantha (August 15, 2018). "Stop what you're doing and listen to 'Mooo' — the song of the summer that's about a woman being a cow". Insider. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  26. ^ Pace, Lilly (August 14, 2018). "Doja Cat's "Mooo!" is 2018's Magnum Opus". V Magazine. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  27. ^ a b Bryant, Taylor (August 14, 2018). "Doja Cat's Song About Being A Cow Has Gone Viral". Nylon. Archived from the original on May 17, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  28. ^ Post, Chantilly (August 14, 2018). "Doja Cat's "Mooo!" Video Was Made In "Five Hours Max" In Her Bedroom". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  29. ^ Gore, Sydeny (August 14, 2018). "Twitter Is Losing It Over Doja Cat's Wild "Mooo!" Video". Highsnobiety. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  30. ^ Sunnucks, Jack (August 14, 2018). "you have to listen to doja cat's 'mooo!'". i-D. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  31. ^ Mele, Sofia (August 13, 2018). "Doja Cat's 'Mooo!' Video Is Chance the Rapper-Approved". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  32. ^ Corry, Kristin (August 21, 2018). "PETA's Diss Record for Doja Cat's "Mooo!" Sounds Like Pooo!". Vice. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  33. ^ Sargent, Jordan (December 18, 2019). "Doja Cat: 'you need to be a bit of a comedian to be a rapper'". The Face. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  34. ^ Williams, Aaron (August 13, 2018). "Doja Cat's Jokey 'Mooo!' Video Belies A Truly Unique Hip-Hop Artist". Uproxx. Archived from the original on February 20, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  35. ^ a b Love, Michael (December 21, 2020). "PAPER's Top 100 Songs of 2018". Paper. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  36. ^ Kaseko, Baraka (August 14, 2018). "Doja Cat's "Mooo!" is the extremely unlikely song of the summer". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  37. ^ "50 Best Music Videos of 2018: Billboard Staff Picks". Billboard. December 26, 2018. Archived from the original on May 2, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  38. ^ Cadogan, Dominic (December 10, 2018). "The 20 best tracks of 2018". Dazed. Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  39. ^ Pache, Juliana. "The 100 best songs of 2018". The Fader. Archived from the original on February 18, 2019. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  40. ^ Voynovskaya, Nastia. "The 100 Best Songs Of 2018 (40-21)". NPR. Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  41. ^ Hoskins, Zachary. "The 25 Best Singles of 2018". Slant. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  42. ^ "101 Best Songs of 2018". Spin. December 20, 2018. Archived from the original on April 29, 2019. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  43. ^ Elibert, Mark (December 17, 2018). "25 Best Hip-Hop and R&B Music Videos of 2018: List". Vibe. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  44. ^ Lockett, Dee (December 11, 2018). "The 10 Best Music Videos of 2018". Vulture. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2020.