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In Defense of “Brooklyn Baby”

By Olivia Donohue and Olivia Donohue

By Olivia Donohue | 27/4/17 2:00pm


Who else is excited about the new Lana Del Rey album? I mean, probably nobody at this organization other than me because of high standards and what not, but me, I am. I don’t really care that she puts out the basically same album every two years but with a different color scheme in the videos. Her music is fun to sing along to and I like to hear what that old man she’s always having sex with is up to. His life is wild, truly.

I don’t really have all that much to say about Lust for Life so far. It seems like it’s going to be fun, and thematically a bit of a departure from what we’re used to (or I’m used to, since we already established I’m the only person here who likes her). What we’re used has been pretty consistent for the past five years. One could see it as a recycling of the same themes and topics over time but I prefer to see it as the building of a character. I like hearing what this cult member prostitute baby is up to every two years.

Most of her songs are very straightforward about doing coke with her daddy in a nice hotel room or whatever, but I think “Brooklyn Baby”, one of her most popular songs, is actually very deceptively straightforward and not quite what it means. The song appears to be about her singing about her time living in Brooklyn, reflecting on the hipster culture with a kind of muted reverence. On the surface, it’s just a song about hipsters.

In the bridge, she says “I’m talkin' bout my generation - if you don’t get it then forget it/cause I don’t have to fuckin explain it”. I choose to take this one of two ways, depending on who I feel the most victimized by that week. The first way I think, which is probably the intended way, is that she’s trashing the hipsters, and if anyone who hears the song doesn’t get that then she doesn’t feel the need to have to explain it to them. This is the argument most used to explain this line.

In my own humble opinion, though, that’s a message to people outside of her generation. There are so many people who are quick to judge and misunderstand the so-called “hipsters” and “millennials” or today, and you know what, they aren’t ever going to understand us. What do we have to prove to them anyways, though? Like Lana says over and over in the song, we’re cool. That’s all the validation we need, and if you don’t get it? Well, that’s your own personal problem and you should just keep it to yourself.