February 28, 2023
In the video of the 2018 song “Mooo!,” rapper and singer Doja Cat stands in a cow print bikini against pixelated anime and Minecraft background and croons, “B*tch I’m a cow, b*tch I’m a cow, I’m not a cat, I don’t say meow…” She then proceeds to put french fries up her nose.
Some were perplexed at what the song meant, while others called the video high art, a cinematic masterpiece. While “Mooo!” was not the Grammy-winner’s debut, its quirky lyrics and catchy rhythm catapulted the bovine anthem into both a viral hit and meme fodder — and later, the performer to fame.
Doja Cat, with her South Asian-sounding name — Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini — and racially ambiguous features, has not only enraptured fans and detractors alike, but has also inspired a curious phenomenon. South Asians the world over are intent on finding even a simulacrum of subcontinental DNA in Doja Cat. Her time in a Hindu ashram might explain this fixation, and why we can’t help but moo back. But why are we intent on claiming her?