Doja Cat’s latest single, “Balut,” from her upcoming fourth studio album, “Scarlet,” set to release on Friday, September 22, has ignited heated discussions among predominantly Filipino internet users.
The song’s mid-slow tempo and self-praising lyrics left many puzzled about its true meaning. The singer-rapper attempted to shed light on her choice of title through an Instagram Story shared on September 17.
In her Instagram Story, Doja Cat explained her rationale behind naming the song “Balut,” likening it to a bird being eaten alive. She described it as a metaphor for the Twitter community and the demise of Twitter toxicity, symbolizing the transition from “X” to the end of “tweets.” The post was accompanied by an intriguing photo of a bathroom in the background.
However, her explanation failed to resonate with the majority of Filipino netizens, who swiftly pointed out that “balut” is not, in fact, a bird being consumed alive.
For those unfamiliar with this exotic Filipino street food, “balut” is a fertilized duck egg incubated for 14 to 21 days, allowing the embryo to develop before it is boiled and eaten directly from the shell.
Critics went further, labeling Doja Cat’s explanation as “ethnocentric,” particularly in light of the increasing circulation of TikTok videos featuring foreigners trying “balut” and expressing their disgust.
In response, some advocated for mutual cultural respect and called for educational efforts to inform the global audience about the unique culinary delicacy.
In an attempt to immerse herself in the culture she had referenced, Doja Cat shared her first experience tasting “balut” via Instagram Live the day after her initial explanation. She expressed her partial enjoyment, stating, “I liked it, but I don’t think I had it properly.” Doja Cat went on to describe “balut” as having a taste reminiscent of liver, with a noticeable vitamin-rich flavor. She also clarified that, although it was a fertilized egg, she did not observe the presence of a visible duck embryo inside.
“It wasn’t as whimsical as I thought it would be. Like the full [bird] and there’s feathers, and you’re eating it straight up. It wasn’t like that at all,” Doja Cat shared. Additionally, she revealed her preference for vinegar as an accompaniment and enthusiastically praised the “juice” found within the “balut.”
Doja Cat, known for hit tracks such as “Say So,” “Attention,” “Kiss Me More,” “Paint The Town Red,” and “Need To Know,” has previously faced controversy in 2020 due to allegations of making racist remarks in her song “Dindu Nuffin.”