“Taco Truck x VB” by Lana Del Rey
According to Genius, “Taco Truck x VB”, which was released on 24 March 2023, is officially a remix of “Venice B*tch“, one of the singles from Lana’s 2019 studio album “Norman F*cking Rockwell“.
It is a part of “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, the Del Rey’s LP which also came out on the aforenoted date. Both of those projects are products of Europe-based Polydor Records and its American partner, Interscope Records, with Lana being affiliated with the two labels since 2011.
“Taco Truck x VB” marks another collaborative composition between Lana Del Rey and Jack Antonoff, with the pair producing and writing this track. Mike Hermosa, who also contributed to a number of songs found on “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, also had a hand in authoring this one.
The working title of this track was “Bonita”.
The “VB” in the title is a shoutout to the aforementioned “Venice Bitch”.
The “x” in the title in indicative of this track being two songs in one, with the first part being titled “Taco Truck” and the second “VB”.
It’s understandable why Lana experienced some backlash as the result of the “Taco Truck” section of this track, because it seemingly centers on the vocalist presenting herself as a Latina. First of all, by the looks of things Del Rey isn’t at all, rather tracing her complete ancestry to Western Europe. Secondly, associating tacos with Latinos is often used to disrespect or in the very least stereotype the group.
Furthermore, in presenting herself so, the vocalist goes on to adopt marijuana-smoking, potentially “violent” persona, i.e. that of a quintessential, L.A.-based Latina from the ‘hood, if you will. If an artist decides to take on a character who is of a completely-different race, then it’s almost inevitable that some stereotyping is going to be involved. And so it can be said with Lana Del Rey’s approach to “Taco Truck”.
However, it doesn’t appear that Lana opted to do so for any type commercial reason per se. Rather she’s adopting the attitude of a Latina, so to speak, to point to the more confrontational, don’t-give-AF side of her own character.
As revealed in the post-chorus, this serves the purpose of allowing Del Rey the freedom to directly address her hater. And what’s she’s letting them know is that their sticks and stones, i.e. hateful words, aren’t going to “phase” her either way.
So “Taco Truck” starts off sounding like a love song, then segues into the vocalist detailing her own ‘hood-like behavior and later serves the purpose of addressing negative critics. But the “VB” segment that follows is more directly a love song.
The vocalist herself is the self-proclaimed “Venice b*tch”, which again is a callout to Lana’s previous song of the same name, which is also romantic in nature. More specifically, she’s apparently depicting herself along the lines of being a resident of Venice, which is a part of Los Angeles.
It does not appear that the songstress ever lived in that neighborhood. But to note, there are parts of it and surrounding areas which are as “Del Rey”, such as Venice’s own Del Rey Avenue (which, to note, was not named after the singer).
So Del Rey proceeds to present herself as sort of this classic city girl. But again, the thesis sentiment of “VB” revolves around her romantic love for the addressee, with it appearing that they have been an item for some time. And Lana is really missing her sweetheart since he’s been away for an extended period.
She also goes about seemingly noting her maturation within the context of this relationship. For instance, that vocalist states the two of them “are getting high now because (they’re) older”. And it also seems to be implied that whereas she has a notable materialistic side, she has come to value the simpler, “crimson and clover” characteristics of her significant other.
So perhaps we can close out by arguing that, all lyrics considered, “Taco Truck x VB” is a romantic track. But with Del Rey, things are never just straightforward or about a single subject. So in her own special way, Lana also expresses her appreciation or perception of Latina culture, as well as later haters know that she is aware of their actions but will not be deterred by them.