Lana Del Rey’s new song reveals her performative activism

Lana Del Reys past songs have dealt with excessive wealth and capitalism.

Interscope and Polydor [Fair Use]

Lana Del Rey’s past songs have dealt with excessive wealth and capitalism.

By Gracie Rowland, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

Lana Del Rey has made her fortune by singing about suicidal ideation, dating older men and drug abuse. However, the main theme that runs throughout her discography is a clear romanticization of excessive wealth and the top 1%. She claims to be an activist and against everything Trump stands for, going so far as to “hex” him with witchcraft, but continues to work against the proletariat by normalizing and romanticizing excessive wealth, actions that have dire consequences, whether she realizes it or not.

Her new song, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” clearly romanticizes ostentatious wealth and a lifestyle that hurts the working class. The top 1% of Americans have taken $50 trillion from the bottom 90%, but Del Rey continues to ignorantly sing, “Under the chemtrails over the country club / We’re in our jewels in the swimming pool” and, “Well, I don’t care what they think / Drag racing my little red sports car”.

One journalist said, “Billionaires and the politicians they own have gutted the income, and stripped away much of the wealth of the American working class. It’s tearing America apart.” The bottom 50% of Americans only own 1.9% of all US wealth, and the problem is only getting worse. “Over the past three decades, the top 10% of U.S. households have seen their wealth rise by almost ten percentage points while the total wealth controlled by the bottom 50% has been cut nearly in half.”

Clearly, the wealth disparity crisis is an immediate threat to our country, and yet it is being romanticized by Ms. Del Rey.

The music video itself of “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” is filled with excessive opulence and Slim Aarons like landscape locations. It felt so flashy I almost cringed. Although some of the scenes have applaudable cinematography and forethought, the message throughout the video remains unclear, as the plotline is vague and the editing is sloppy.

Lana Del Rey has always perpetuated capitalist propaganda into her music, with songs like “Old Money”, “Million Dollar Man”, “Bel Air”, “Money, Power, Glory” and much more. She has created a fanbase with an intense desire to find extreme wealth, instead of normal goals, like finding happiness or stability.

Psychologists warn that a great desire for wealth can have severe pejorative effects that lead to compulsive behavior. In fact, that compulsive behavior can become an addiction. Psychologist Dr. Dayton said “a compulsive need to acquire money is often considered part of a class of behaviors known as process addictions, or “behavioral addictions.”

No one has ever held Lana Del Rey accountable for the impact her music has on her millions of fans because she doesn’t hold herself accountable. You can’t force someone to take responsibility for their actions unless they want to. Del Rey is one celebrity out of thousands whose actions have adverse effects, but that doesn’t make criticizing her any less important.

Her activism is performative and her morals fake, as she continues to harm millions of people through the messages her music conveys.

This story was originally published on The Vision MSMS on January 26, 2021.