Photo: Courtesy of Polydor/Interscope.
We got Lana Del Rey wrong. Yes, she — the music artist —is popular, but her work was never meant to be pop. "If they thought it was supposed to be categorized as pop music, that was the first mistake," Lana Del Rey explains to Complex's Dana Droppo. The themes of submissiveness and succumbing to the male-dominated industry in order to get what you want are present, but they are, by no means, anti-feminist in her eyes. She knows this, and makes it her goal to let us know she doesn't care what we think in her cover interview with Complex's August/September issue.
It may just be the polarizing artist's most sincere interview to date. The proverbial smoke that surrounds Del Rey is cleared, despite multiple references to her actual chain-smoking habit. She's aware of how she's perceived. She knows her words will be chewed apart, but never fully digested. "How can I say this without getting into too much trouble?" she asks in response to a question about her idea of how violence and love related. "I like a tangible, passionate love," she reveals. "For me, if it isn’t physical, I’m not interested."
And, it's this kind of love that has fueled a large portion of her writing. Though he's never named, she admits to "demolishing" her relationship with ex-Cassidy frontman Barrie James-O'Neill. "Now it’s just an untenable relationship, impossible because of my emotional instability." This, on top of appeasing the demands of a swiftly-growing fan base despite the media's harsh critiques, is the root of quotes like, "I don’t feel like things have gone well. It’s not the way I would have chosen them to go" and "It [the negative reviews] put me in a mind frame where I expect things not to go right, because they generally don’t." But, any press is good press and whether Del Rey's name was cast positively or negatively, the countless number of articles out there has skyrocketed her to a level of recognition Del Rey's uneasy with.
Pop or not, Del Rey's not going anywhere. Her fan base is too large, too devoted, too obsessively caring to let that happen (something that's both endearing and completely frightening at the same time). One thing's for sure, though, and Del Rey hits the nail on the head with this one: "The music is going to be great. The reaction’s going to be fucked up."