Like ‘ET’ and ‘Last Friday Night’ before it, Katy Perry’s latest single ‘This Is How We Do’ has gotten a remix treatment in an effort to gain sales. The four singles off Prism before it all charted within the Top 20 of the Hot 100, with ‘This Is How We Do’ reaching a new peak at #57 this week, according to Billboard. On the remix, Katy teams up with RiFF RAFF, who joins the song after nearly two minutes (if you make it that far in without turning it off.)
‘This Is How We Do’ follows Katy’s usual formula for the perfect song, but has received mostly mixed reviews. The lyrics are pretty inane and repetitive, and while Katy’s kooky style and carefree lyrics have charmed listeners in the past, ‘This Is How We Do’ tends to border more along the lines of a bad Youtube parody than a legitimate song in its own right. Songs about partying and getting stupid are better left in the hands of Kesha (who hopefully will be releasing new music very soon! The pop world needs her back to loosen things up.)
The video for ‘This Is How We Do’ only furthered the single’s troubles rather than promoting it positively, with some viewers slating it as racist. In the clip, Perry wears her hair in dreadlocks and sings about getting her nails done “Japanese-y.” While performers push the envelope all the time in the name of art, it’s hard to understand why Perry would so blatantly borrow from other cultures in an attempt to sell records, especially after recent controversies surrounding ‘Dark Horse’ having racist undertones, and Avril Lavinge’s ‘Hello Kitty’ debacle. The real issue people have with artists like Katy and Avril using cultures they aren’t a part of is the artistic integrity of videos like ‘This Is How We Do’ and ‘Hello Kitty’ aren’t all that strong.
Take Lady Gaga’s ‘Alejandro’ for example: Gaga herself is Catholic, and although her depiction of a nun swallowing a rosary did raise a few eyebrows (including Katy Perry herself…pot kettle black?), there are two things different to Gaga’s ‘Alejandro’ and ‘This Is How We Do’ or ‘Hello Kitty.’ Mainly, Gaga is Catholic, unlike Katy or Avril who are neither black nor Japanese. Secondly, the artistic vision and effort that went into ‘Alejandro’ is remarkable. If you watched the three videos for these pop songs in a row, you would be hard pressed to deny that Lady Gaga’s had the most artistic integrity.
In the end, Katy’s ‘This Is How We Do’ is fizzling, and it’s easy to see why. Rather than creating controversy that in the end generates more buzz and customers, with one quick listen or watch it’s easy to see the quality of ‘This Is How We Do’ is just not up to Katy’s standard. The cultural references just seem like a quick and cheap grab for attention and headlines, and the public turns out to be smarter than Katy or her record label thought.