“Peppers” by Lana Del Rey (ft. Tommy Genesis)
In the case of her latest studio album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, Lana Del Rey sorta bucked her established norm of flying solo by featuring artists on over over a third of the tracks.
One of the songs that fall into that category is “Peppers”, which co-stars fellow Interscope artist Tommy Genesis. Although Genesis, who hails from Canada, has already dropped a couple of LPs, there’s a good possibility that you never heard of her. And so it is with most of the featured artists on the album – Father John Misty, Bleachers, Riopy and SYML – with the most-popular out of the lot being Jon Batiste, who appears on Candy Necklace.
THE TEAM BEHIND “PEPPERS”
Besides Interscope, the other label which supported this outing is Polydor, with the two sharing a close business relationship. This track has more composers than most other songs on “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, with Lana Del Rey, Benji Lysaght and a hip-hop artist known as Father serving as both writers and producers.
Then on the authoring side, Mike Hermosa and Tommy Genesis also made a contribution, with Jack Antonoff being credited as an additional co-producer.
To note, “Peppers” is Lana’s first collaboration with Tommy Genesis. And by the looks of things, the latter did not add any fresh vocals per se. Rather, this song samples a track Tommy dropped in 2015 titled “Angelina”.
SHOUTOUT TO ANGELINA JOLIE
And speaking of Angelina, what the chorus of “Peppers” revolves around is the vocalist fully adopting the character of Angelina Jolie, the A list Hollywood actress. That is the motif upon which Tommy Genesis’s piece is also based.
“Hands on your knees, I’m Angelina Jolie
Hands on your knees, Angelina Jolie
Let me put my hands on your knees, you can braid my hair
Do a fat criss-cross in the back somewhere, ha”
But as for “Peppers”, it is more akin to a love song. Both tracks feature references to the vocalist’s boyfriend, but Lana’s piece puts an emphasis on her being smitten by him. But more to the overall point, it would appear, is the singer depicting herself as some type of bad girl.
For instance, in the first verse, Lana expresses the intent to “take off all (her) clothes” and “dance naked for the neighbors”. Of course doing so would be a spectacle, but her disposition is “f*-k it” – she’s “gonna give them a show” and proceeds to “open up the blinds” in her room accordingly.
In the second verse, her recklessness is further manifested by engaging in activities such as making out with her boyfriend. This is despite the fact that he “tested positive for COVID”, and she will inevitably catch the virus as a result of smooching on him.
So basically, what’s being inferred here is that Angelina Jolie is quite the wild woman herself and therefore serves as a role model, if you will, for the likes of the free-spirited Lana and Tommy. Jolie does have a pretty-compelling background and can be considered sort of a feminist pioneer in Hollywood, considering for instance she took on the role of the gun-slinging Lara Croft a couple of decades back.
Reading her romantic relationship history does illustrate that she’s lived what can be deemed a different type of life and one which was also very much in the public eye.
And so it would seem is the attitude the vocalists have adopted in “Peppers”. They have thrown caution to the wind, as the direct result of being “in love”. And Angelina Jolie, it can be said, lived a similar lifestyle.
WHY IS THE SONG TITLED “PEPPERS”?
The word “peppers” is only found once, at the end of the first line of the first verse, in reference to “Chili Peppers”, that presumably being the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a very-famous and long-standing rock band from Los Angeles. Del Rey is known as a Chili Peppers fan, and they are referenced in the song as a favorite of the vocalist and her boyfriend.
“‘Peppers’ stands out among the rest of the songs on the album. It’s energetic, upbeat, and less somber, which is probably why I enjoy it so much. It’s the unique one among the album’s songs. Her use of subtle chatters and squeals in her music adds an extra layer of liveliness and makes her songs even more engaging.
Furthermore, it’s exciting when two of my favorite talents collaborate on a track together. Tommy Genesis and Lana are both incredible artists and it’s no surprise that their collaboration has been well-received. It’s wonderful to see Tommy shining in her own moment as a talented South Asian artist. As for Lana, she always brings her unique style and artistry to every project she works on. It’s great to see that we are all enjoying their music together!”