For someone as nonplussed by the buzzing of mouths as Lana Del Rey, it certainly seems that the less she responds, the more people want to speculate. The latest deliberation is about one of the most prototypical of her baroque style songs, “Cola.” Released in late 2012 on the Paradise EP, the media has had a field day with the potential revelation that the track was either inspired by or directly about Harvey Weinstein.
Though no one can say for sure what the truth is except for Del Rey herself, there seems to be both simultaneously flimsy and solid evidence about the claim. Regarding the latter form of proof, “Cola” is a song that firmly established that whole “Daddy” shtick (hyper-solidified with the video for “Ride”), and, grossly, who but Harvey Weinstein would have incited such a sentiment at that time in her career?
The very public visual records of Weinstein’s orbit in her life began around mid-2012, when the two were seen during Fashion Week. It was perhaps Harvey’s pursuit of her that led Del Rey to pen the lyrics, “I got sweet taste for men who’re older/It’s always been, so it’s no surprise.” No surprise that what? That Harvey attempted to initiate a sexual relationship with her after intuiting her particular “flavor”? Harvey’s appearance behind the scenes of her 2013 Paradise Tour in videos posted by opening act Kassidy don’t exactly help one believe their liaison was all business-oriented.
Perhaps wanting any opportunity to keep her close, Weinstein personally asked Del Rey to record the songs “Big Eyes” and “I Can Fly” for the 2014 film Big Eyes, expressing, “Lana Del Rey exemplifies strength, femininity and independence as an artist.” But maybe not necessarily as a person. The epiphany of the liner notes of Paradise being changed to read “Ah he’s in the sky with diamonds and he’s making me crazy” instead of “Harvey’s in the sky with diamonds and he’s making me crazy” (though the lyrics that come up on Google maintain Harvey, as you’ll see below) infers that Del Rey was willing to sweep the truth about Harvey under the rug like so many others.
Then again, Del Rey has always been more forgiving than most famous women about male artists and the assholery exhibited in their personal lives. For instance, for the past few days on her Instagram, she’s been highlighting people that have influenced her own work, one of the latest being known dickhead Pablo Picasso. She commented of the misog, “Every artist has their own visual language. I always admired how much emotion Picasso could convey through his simple broad strokes. The quickness with which he paints oozes self-assuredness and natural ability. Picasso’s paintings always reminded me of Hemingway’s works – big lives siphoned into exquisitely simple works of art. Aspirational for an abstract over-analyzer like me.” And then she brought that other misog Hemingway into it too, proving that Del Rey might be the last of Mohicans in terms of women able to separate a man’s artistry from his reprehensible behavior toward the females in his personal life. Because yes, Harvey was an artist, at least with money and investing in projects that others were too afraid to take a gamble on. There’s practically no film he hasn’t had a hand in since the founding of Miramax and The Weinstein Co. But it’s all tainted in light of his grotesquerie, leaving those who take issue with the tolerance of sexual assaulters and chauvinists getting a pass just because they’re “brilliant” or “genius” between a rock and a hard place. And even if Del Rey’s then subtle dig at the producer was her attempt at letting the cat out of the bag, it doesn’t change that she toyed with the notion of fulfilling her Daddy complex, much to the eventual dismay of then boyfriend Barrie James O’Neil. At least, one supposes, Del Rey is trying to make up for it now with her burst of feminism (hear: “God Bless America – And All the Beautiful Women In It”)–sort of the way George W. Bush is trying to make up for his flaccid presidency with hardcore shade throwing.