Sorry in advance for getting the lyrics "bitch, I'm a cow" stuck in your head all day. However, if you've been on the internet at all this week, then they probably already are. The newest viral sensation courtesy of Doja Cat has everyone doing their best cow impression to an insanely catchy beat. Over the weekend, the rapper posted a snippet of a low-quality video she made wearing a cow suit and singing about being a cow. Her followers immediately jumped on it, prompting her to upload the full project, which runs an impressive four minutes and 42 seconds — and it's still not long enough. What started as a middle-of-the-night joke became what may just be the actual song of summer 2018.
There isn't one, succinct answer as to why "Mooo!" has become such a sensation, or what Doja Cat plans to do with her new viral fame (Refinery29 reached out for comment). But, we can try to dig a little deeper to see how "Mooo!" came to life, and figure out how on earth we, as a society, spent an entire week low-key pretending to be a farm animal.
First of all, who is Doja Cat?
Doja Cat, aka Amala Zandile Dlamini, is a 22-year-old singer, songwriter, and rapper who already has a full album to her name. She’s been releasing music on Soundcloud since she was 16 years old, and her early song “So High” went viral when she was 18. Having grown up making music, she’s an expert at composing, recording, and cutting her own tracks. Her oeuvre is made up of DIY music similar to “Mooo!” as well as more professionally produced hits that appear on Spotify and Vevo.
Why did she make “Mooo!”?
Dlamini told The Fader in an interview that she had purchased the cow costume for her upcoming tour and was wearing it on Instagram Live when she had the idea.
“I had this top from the costume on and didn’t know what to sing about, but the shirt was so ridiculous that I was like, ‘Maybe that would be cool if I just made a song about cows,’” she told the outlet.
How did she make “Mooo!”?
According to The Fader, the whole thing took her 12 and a half hours.
“I started the song at about 2:30 p.m. and finished the video at about 3 in the morning,” she revealed. This included creating the track (using a sample of Wes Montgomery from a friend), editing the video, and finding all the insane GIFs for the background. Apparently it’s “really hard to find good cow and cheeseburger gifs.”
Once she made it, she posted a snippet of it to Twitter, and people demanded more.
What did people think of it?
They, uh, really liked it.
Dlamini isn’t quite sure either.
“I can’t fucking believe how much you guys like moo,” she tweeted after posting the video.
Unlike Dlamini’s other playful songs (we'll get to those in a bit), the success of “Mooo!” comes down to the combination of both the song and the video. It’s unlikely one would have gone viral without the other.
First things first, the lyrics are incredible:
“Bitch, I'm a cow / Bitch, I'm a cow / I'm not a cat I don't say meow / Bitch, I'm a cow / Bitch, I'm a cow / Bitch, I'm a cow / Bitch, I'm a cow.”
Then, of course, there’s the chorus:
“I go ‘mooo’ (I'm a cow, I'm a cow, I'm a cow) / Mooo (I'm a cow, I'm a cow, I'm a cow, I'm a cow) / Mooo (I'm a cow, I'm a cow, I'm a cow, I'm a cow) / Mooo (I'm a cow, I'm a cow, I'm a cow, I'm a cow).”
There are some other one-off gems as well, including “Got the methane, I'm a farter (woo)” and “I ain't a moose, bitch / Get out my hay, get out my hay.”
The video is the perfect compliment to this absurdity, with Dlamini using a bedsheet as a green screen and leaning into the low-quality aesthetic by filling the video with cow GIFs and other farmer-related costumes while she chomps on a burger. The whole thing is just delightfully silly.
“There’s a lot of political stuff going on,” she told The Fader. “I needed a break from that kind of shit. I make serious music, love songs, and moody stuff sometimes, so this was just a huge break from that and I’m glad people took it in a great way. I’m really happy it's making people happy.”
Will we see "Mooo!" on the charts?
As it is now, it's not likely. In 2013, the Billboard Hot 100 formula, which is how the music industry determines a song's place on the charts, added U.S. YouTube views into consideration. After that, the first YouTube song to chart thanks in large part to YouTube views was "Harlem Shake" by Baauer. However, overall the Billboard Hot 100 is determined 35–45% by sales, 30–40% by airplay, and 20–30% streaming. Currently, "Mooo!" exists only on YouTube. While it has over a million views, that means it's not making any sales on services like Apple Music or getting streamed on Spotify.
What does Doja Cat's other music sound like?
Dlamini’s most popular song, “So High,” is from her 2014 EP Purrr! And comes with a more typical music video:
Her most recent music video is for the song “Go To Town”:
Does she have other songs like “Mooo!”?
You bet she does. While her Spotify and official YouTube are dedicated to her more polished work, she has another YouTube channel of the more DIY projects. You can also go to her Soundcloud to get a taste of everything.
For fans of “Mooo!,” the singer recommends “Suck My Dick” or “Nintendhoe” — which was the song she thought was going to be the one to go viral, according to The Fader.
“The hook is incredibly annoying, but in a good way in my opinion,” she said.