If Grimes steps in and defends you, you’re definitely one of the most controversial acts in town. Such is the case with Doja Cat, who really just seems to love antagonizing her own fanbase for some reason. First it was the whole don’t call yourselves “Kittenz” thing. Then she told fans she wouldn’t say she loved them. Recently, she responded to a mass Instagram unfollowing by posting that it felt like she “defeated a large beast that’s been holding me down for so long.” In short, “Doja did something that pissed people off” isn’t much of a headline anymore. What is news is that this one doesn’t seem to be her fault—or intentional, at the very least.
On Tuesday, Doja posted the cover art for her upcoming album Scarlet on Instagram—a magenta spider staring at a drop of blood on a white background. But something was amiss. It soon came out that the cover art was almost identical to an upcoming album by German metal band Chaver. Their album is due out on September 22—the exact same day as Doja.
Both covers were made by Portland, OR-based artist Dusty Ray, who defines his style as “rudely animalistic, the meaty red stuff on the inside as representation of the animal exterior.” While Dusty Ray has not publicly addressed the similarity, he did repost Doja Cat’s original announcement on his Instagram story.
While Doja clearly has a much larger following, Chaver posted the artwork first in an LP announcement at the end of July and seems to be sticking with it. Doja Cat, on the other hand, quietly deleted her original post and “announced” the new album and its artwork for a second time on Thursday with a slightly new caption: “SCARLET 9.22 (updated cover).” The new art was also created by Dusty Ray.
It’s unclear exactly what went down between Doja, Dusty Ray, and Chaver to result in this whole kerfuffle; as of this writing, none of the parties involved have indicated if anyone actually acted in bad faith or if this was all just a misunderstanding. There doesn’t seem to be any bad blood between Doja and Dusty Ray, at least, because the artist again reposted the singer’s album art announcement with three white heart emojis on Thursday, per Entertainment Weekly.
Doja, in typical fashion, seems only to have responded to the whole situation with one cheeky comment on her post. In response to a fan suggesting that she might have changed the cover because it looked similar to Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint, she answered “oh sweetie that’s not why.” While there are still some unanswered questions, knowing Doja’s track record there’s a non-zero chance all of this will be aired out more publicly somewhere down the line.